DES MOINES--Hours before the start of the final Democratic debate before the Jan. 3 caucus here, the Barack Obama campaign is making a fund-raising appeal based off of a Clinton backer bringing up Obama's past experimentation with drugs.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe writes in a pitch for $25 donations, "On Wednesday, their top advisor in New Hampshire tried to recycle old news by smearing Barack for experimenting with drugs as a young man -- something Barack candidly wrote about years ago in his memoir and has since talked about with young people in an effort to teach them the lessons he learned from his mistakes."
The Clinton campaign said it did not condone the comments of New Hampshire Clinton co-chair Bill Shaheen. The Clinton operation was not looking to stir up controversy the day before a big debate. Shaheen said he was not talking on behalf of the campaign. This episode shows how just a few words can quickly change the dynamic of a race and inject new narratives into the campaign storyline.
Click below for Plouffe letter...
This race took a sharply negative turn yesterday.
With recent polls giving Barack the lead in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and just three weeks left before the Iowa caucuses, the attacks on Barack's character that Hillary Clinton has called "the fun part" of this campaign have reached a new low.
In an increasingly desperate effort to slow Senator Clinton's slide, the focus of the Clinton campaign has moved from Barack Obama's kindergarten years to his teenage years.
On Wednesday, their top advisor in New Hampshire tried to recycle old news by smearing Barack for experimenting with drugs as a young man -- something Barack candidly wrote about years ago in his memoir and has since talked about with young people in an effort to teach them the lessons he learned from his mistakes.
The only way to stop these kinds of tired, desperate attacks is to demonstrate very clearly that they have a real cost to Senator Clinton's campaign.
If 5,000 people donate in the next 24 hours, we can show their campaign that we reject this kind of divisive politics. Make your donation of $25 now:
These remarks crossed a line that should never be crossed in a Democratic primary. In fact, even Republicans think it's beyond the pale. When asked about this very topic recently, one of the GOP presidential frontrunners actually commended Barack's candor and honesty.
It's a sad day when a Democrat running for president takes up a line of attack that even a potential Republican opponent refuses to dignify.
Raise the cost of this kind of negativity for the Clinton campaign by making your donation of $25 now:
Make no mistake -- this kind of attack is becoming a pattern as Clinton's support declines.
Since the last time I wrote to you about their attacks, the Clinton campaign has mailed brochures in Iowa that distort Barack's health care plan, produced negative television ads for New Hampshire, and actually sent emails asking for information that could help them smear Barack's efforts to fight poverty and joblessness as a community organizer in Chicago.
It's up to you to demonstrate to the Clinton campaign that these kinds of attacks will backfire and make us stronger.
Reject this negativity now:
Growing outrage at this line of attack already has the Clinton campaign backtracking in the media, but it's up to us to stop these tired, petty tactics once and for all.
Please respond and make your voice heard for a new kind of politics. Let's bring real change to America.
Obama for America