Who Cares Whether Hillary (Maybe) Smoked Dope?

Gail Sheehy’s Nov. 29 interview with Stone Phillips on NBC’s Dateline alerted Chatterbox that the big scoop in Hillary’s Choice, Sheehy’s new psychobiography of the first lady, is that Hillary might have smoked some dope in college, but her ex-boyfriend isn’t saying for sure.

Stunned by this new revelation, Chatterbox ran to the nearest bookstore and purchased a copy. Sure enough on Page 62, we meet David Rupert, a

ruthlessly handsome ‘black Irishman’ with dark eyes that he used to his advantage. He would become her first real love. … Rupert says he was 150 pounds of pulsing hormones. Their relationship was a tempestuous one.

This brooding hunk of manly sinew seized Hillary’s heaving shoulders at a mixer for Capitol Hill interns during the summer of 1968 and murmured … that he was working for Charlie Goodell, the liberal Republican from New York. She fluttered her eyes downward and whispered … that she was working for Mel Laird, the Republican Wisconsin representative who would later be defense secretary under Richard Nixon. Their loins ached with passion.

“We always used birth control,” offers [!] Rupert. [This is on Page 69; by now they’re both back at college.] “Abstinence is the absolute remedy here, but a fear of getting pregnant did not deter us in our relationship.” He often stayed over with Hillary in the suite she shared with three roommates at Wellesley and knew her roommates well.

Mesmerized by the narrative rush of Sheehy’s bodice-ripper, Chatterbox almost forgot to look up the business about smoking dope. Here it is (Page 68):

Rupert discovered something unexpected about Hillary: get her away on a weekend, and she could be playful. He vaguely remembers them joining a march on Washington and spending the weekend there together. “Some of us were inhaling,” he says with a you-know-what-I-mean smirk. The obvious question is, did Hillary inhale too? “I don’t have to go there,” says Rupert, “but you can read between the lines.”

On Dateline, Phillips informed viewers that the first lady repeatedly “has denied ever trying marijuana.” (Sheehy told Dateline, “I wasn’t aware of that” and that she hasn’t “asked Hillary Clinton herself.”) Phillips then intoned, “The first lady’s spokesperson told us Mrs. Clinton stands by her previous statements that she has never taken illegal drugs.” Surprisingly, nobody pitched a question about this to the president this morning when he gave some remarks about a new proposed Labor Department rule allowing states to use unemployment insurance to fund parental work leave.

In case Chatterbox isn’t being snide enough to get his point across: Chatterbox doesn’t care whether Hillary Clinton ever smoked dope with her college boyfriend, even if she’s lying about it now. He brings the matter up only to demonstrate the exhausted state of Clinton White House scandalmongering seven long years into this national soap opera. By now we’ve heard nearly every conceivable accusation about the Clintons, true or false, that could possibly be leveled. What’s left? A loutish college boyfriend who says maybe when Hillary was in college she engaged in a popular illegal national pastime of that period. He’d rather not say for sure. In response, the creaking White House press office shudders and throws off a spark or two and issues one more unconvincing denial. Can’t anybody make it stop from both ends? Chatterbox can’t take it any more!