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Q&A: Obama's drug use, Novak's accident and Liu's show

Obama's drug use

Sen. Barack Obama's admission of cocaine use is well-known. At what age did he use it, and how did he quit?

In his book, Dreams From My Father, which was written before he ran for the presidency, Obama acknowledged indulging in marijuana, alcohol and cocaine in high school.

At Occidental College in Los Angeles in 1979, people remember him as someone who would take a drag on a joint or drink a beer, but mostly described him as a model of moderation. He wrote that once he moved to New York, in 1981 as a part of a transfer program Occidental had with Columbia University, he stopped getting high.

Obama has spoken little about his past drug use on the campaign trail, though he did admit last year in an appearance at a high school that he had made "some bad decisions" as a teenager involving alcohol and drugs.

Obama's candor about his past was a point used against him by Hillary Clinton campaign officials, who argued that Republicans would "jump all over" his drug use in the general election. So far, little has been said publicly by the McCain campaign about Obama's drug past.

Novak hit pedestrian, drove on

I understand that Robert Novak, the writer and television personality, was in an automobile accident. What were the details?

On July 23, political columnist Robert Novak, 77, hit a pedestrian in a Washington intersection with his Corvette. The pedestrian rolled up onto the hood and then onto the street.

Novak drove off but was stopped about a block away by a witness to the accident. Novak said he didn't know he hit anyone. The man he hit suffered a dislocated shoulder. Novak was cited for failure to yield and fined $50.

Four days later Novak went to a hospital for tests and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On Aug. 4, Novak announced that his condition was "dire," and he was walking away from his nationally syndicated column. But in August he felt well enough to resume writing.

Novak made his name as a political columnist in the 1960s with his Evans-Novak Political Report column, written with Rowland Evans. He was a Democrat in those days, and a friend to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. His views turned conservative over the years, and in 2007 he expressed support for the presidential bid of Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican who is widely seen as more of a Libertarian.

Novak also was in the news in 2003 for identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, quoting "senior administration officials" as his sources.

'Cashmere Mafia' is long gone

Whatever happened to the TV show The Cashmere Mafia?

The ABC show about four female friends in New York City, with Lucy Liu as the headliner, was canceled Feb. 20, after seven episodes.

Q&A: Obama's drug use, Novak's accident and Liu's show 10/14/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7:19pm]
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