In more than three dozen interviews, friends, classmates and mentors
from his high school and Occidental [College] recalled Mr. Obama as being
grounded, motivated and poised, someone who did not appear to be
grappling with any drug problems and seemed to dabble only with
Vinai Thummalapally, a former California State University
student who became friendly with Mr. Obama in college, remembered him
as a model of moderation — jogging in the morning, playing pickup
basketball at the gym, hitting the books and socializing.
An Obama campaign spokesman angrily denied the truth of the article.
"The candidate has said that he will not allow himself to be Swift
boated, and we're going to tackle these accusations right here and now.
Obama did do coke in both high school and college. He was
by no means a 'model of moderation,' in fact quite the opposite.
Not only was he involved in dangerous drugs, but he was in the
process of working off a lifetime of anger at the Man, and was in
fact both a stoner and an angry radical. Heck, it's a miracle he
didn't go on a string of liquor store holdups or even kill somebody.
He was that close
dead-end life ... the fact that his subsequent trajectory looks like
the launch of a Space Shuttle is beside the point. Sure, he
cruised through Occidental, then Columbia and Harvard Law, the Illinois
legislature, the Senate, marriage to a stunningly beautiful and
accomplished woman.... but it was hard! he was conflicted about
how ridiculously and effortlessly succcesful he was! Because at heart
he's a bad guy! A street tough! A dangerous punk! OK,
a punk with a smile that could light up a stadium, but still a punk.
A deeply charismatic bad boy."
Totally impartial observer James Carville disagreed.
"Sounds to me like he was something of a Poindexter," mused the
colorful media figure who in now way has a dog in this fight.
"Maybe President of the Chess Club. Maybe even Minutes
Secretary of the Mathletes." John McCain's campaign strategy team
is mulling the use of a heckler dressed as a chess piece at future
Obama rallies. "Pawn would be good, for obvious reasons,"
theorized one staffer who believed this reporter would respect the
phrase 'off the record.' "A Rook would be good, too sounds like
crook, and for the 5% of the population with vocabularies bigger than a
place mat menu, of course, "rook" means to defraud by
cheating or swindling. Yeah, that's sweet. Barack...
Ba-Rook.... Don't get Ba-rooked... oh, yeah."
UPDATE: The accusations are serious enough that the
candidate himself has addressed them. In an interview with KFAUX
today, Obama denied any chess or mathlete affiliation and suggested
physical fitness regime in college was purely an effort to "get
ready for the revolution." He added that his low-fat diet and choice of
healthy, balanced meals was "a way of lashing out at the establishment"
and that his marvelous penmanship was "a cry for help."