December 13th, 2007
04:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton advisor quits over drug comment

An advisor to Clinton resigned Thursday over his comments on Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top advisor to Hillary Clinton has resigned his position with her campaign after suggesting rival Barack Obama's admission of drug use could hinder his chances of winning a general election matchup.

Bill Shaheen, a co-chairman of Clinton's New Hampshire campaign, said in an issued statement, "I made a mistake and in light of what happened, I have made the personal decision that I will step down as the co-chair of the Hillary for President campaign."

"This election is too important and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country," he added. "That candidate is Hillary Clinton.”

Reacting to the news, Obama's chief campaign strategist David Axelrod told CNN's Jessica Yellin he thinks it was a "good decision."

"I think what he did was beyond the pale," Axelrod said. "He injected something into the campaign that didn't belong. We didn't ask for him to resign. I think it was a good idea. Hopefully it will send a signal you can't do these kinds of things."

"We believe the American people can sort out these issues and we weren't lying awake at nights worrying what Bill Shaheen said," Axelrod continued. "Maybe the Clinton campaign was."

Full story 

Earlier: Aide: Clinton apologizes to Obama

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. JB, Columbus Ohio

    "This election is too important and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country," he added. "That candidate is Hillary Clinton.”

    Because nothing says change like a washington insider who has been in politics for 35 years...

    This whole notion that Clinton=change is laughable.

    As for the drug thing...CLinton camp put shaheen up to it, in one of those, unofficial, do it but say we had no idea you were doing it kind of ways.

    December 13, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Jaik , chicago, IL

    yet another way to rehash this story into the headlines again, 1 day of free negative press for Obama for the original statement, wait till the next press day to apologise, for another free negative ad, and then a 3rd day for the resignation, 3 days of free smear ads provided by CNN in support of Hillary.

    December 13, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Ivelisse


    now the rest will learn to leave the talking to her!!!!!

    negative remarks should end.....

    December 13, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. rosemergy

    The downward spiral continues...

    December 13, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Fred, Reston VA

    Looks like honesty and integrity to me. From Hillary's people. Although the drug question will be out there for the next year if he wins the nomination.

    More importantly, democrats need to stop making excuses for Obama in the primary. Clinton's 30% and Edwards' 30% don't buy the "judgement" and "hope" garbage and i gurantee 100% of repubs and 75% of independents won't but it either in the general election. And think about what you do, because if Obama get the nomination and loses (which he will) he will never get another chance because the anger at him for wasting our chance in 08 will be worse than anything felt towards Nader or Kerry. It will take another generation to get another Obama, why take the chance? he can wait 8 years can't he? he's only 46.

    December 13, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Ed, Hilton NY

    No, this guy was obviously fired.

    December 13, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. John Q. Public, USA

    We need the Senate to launch a full-scale investigation into this matter.. just as the Democrats would have done if Karl Rove would have made the comment.

    December 13, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Claude, Mesa AZ

    To all of you fools who are going to vote for HRC. She will run her white house the same way her campaign is being run. Absolutely disgusting. Hell, she hasn't even got there yet and people are already stepping down. HRC supporters need to wake up and vote for someone else.

    December 13, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. One America

    If you are an American who yearns to finally get beyond the symbolic battles of the boomer generation and face today's actual problems, Obama is your man. Who wants to spend the next 8 years refighting the same fights that have been going on for decades?

    December 13, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. t. u. binghamton n.y.

    What a gentleman

    December 13, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. kathe oakland, california

    I have to wonder where do these candidates get these aides – don't they screen them? And I would suspect Hillary had no problem with her folks saying that about Obama – but to actually take responsibility for her people she will not do that. You know it is like a parent – children know what is acceptable and not acceptable as a member of a family so please Hillary......I certainly don't think you were surprised at that type of behavior and performance. You will need a lot more than Bill Clinton to get my vote – how about honesty, and telling us just where are you coming from anyway – I still do not know after all this time. To me you are just another rich person who will follow the Bush Administration policies and dishonesty.

    December 13, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I don't believe Mr. Shaheen quit, Hillary fired him. Hillary did her investigation and found him responsible for this slander on Obama. Hillary isn't like GWB who always said "I will deal with anyone whom I find responsible for wrong doings" and nothing was done. Hillary has the integrity which we all expect in a president.

    December 13, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Jackson, Monrongo Valley, CA

    I think it is admirable that David Axelrod resigned, but I don't feel it was necessary. After all, Obama was the one that told everyone about his drug use... David was only voicing something that everybody knows is the truth.

    December 13, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Mr. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    Knowing Clinton, he was probably paid to say something bad, apologize, then resign and endorse her on his way out the door.

    A subtle way to stain Obama and make Hillary Clinton look like an innocent victim.

    The thought of Hillary Clinton being a victim is laughable.

    She'll probably call him a NEO-CON plant if her poll numbers continue to slide. Better yet, she'll probably make him part of the vast right-wing conspiracy that is always out to get her.

    And if it gets complicated, she'll outright deny knowing him.

    December 13, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    It's all good to apologize and burn your bridges, Mr. Shaheen. Next time, though, think about the consequences before you open your mouth.

    December 13, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    It appears that Hillary and her immediate advisors have blundered onto the only remedy for being "found out".

    In my lifetime, when someone is discovered to be unethical, the portion which comes into view is merely the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure this is the case here as well.

    December 13, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. anon New York, NY

    He did the right thing by stepping down. The Democrats don't need distractions like this.

    Clinton surrogates often make the dumbest comments. I wonder if they're secretly supporting Obama or Edwards.

    December 13, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Nancy, Chicago

    Good, finally the Clinton Camp admits to a sleazy attack because they got caught. The Clintons should never have tried to call an upstanding Senator such as Obama a "drug dealer" just to win an election. It is very desperate.

    December 13, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a Hillary fan, but COME ON!! Thats rediculous! Who was offended? No one. Did it hinder Obamas campaign? NO! The problem with the democratic party is that everyone is so concerned about causing offense no one will stick up for themselves or their remarks!

    Thats what we need in this country, spineless jellyfish!

    December 13, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Martin, Clarksville, TN

    Once again one of Hillary's workers leaves the campaign because of mudslinging. What we really need is for Hillary to leave the campaign.

    December 13, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. Pedro, Fort Dodge, IA

    Woo hoo! After all the talk about Clinton cleaning up Washington, we see Obama cleaning up her campaign just by maintaining his own integrity. Honesty is not a vice. Maybe if Clinton understood that, she would not plummet in the polls everywhere she has actively campaigned.

    December 13, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. LinnieFB, Corona CA

    Why do I think this was all planned by the Clinton put it out there for all to see, you disavow and pull it back, then your guy falls on the sword as planned. Politics 101...

    It's a new day!

    Go Obama!

    December 13, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Obamafan

    Hillary hasn't even made it to the White House, and she has already began having the same problems the Bush administration has been experience throughout his adminstration: resignations and step downs. *shaking my head* Just more of the same with Clinton in the White House.

    December 13, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Betsy, Kansas City, MO

    Good Riddance!

    December 13, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. Fred, Walnut Creek, CA

    The guy attacks Obama for the Clinton's, gets the information out there as their underhanded attack, and then Hillary makes it look like she didn't know about it or authorize it.



    December 13, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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