I was arrested by the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney’s remark, “I only spent four years as a governor. I didn’t inhale,” made in the Republican Presidential candidates debate on Fox News channel aired on September 22nd. I thought it means Romney hadn’t inhaled marijuana at top of my mind, but rethought it shouldn't be all what he meant.
Michael Scherer of the Time magazine reports that when Romney is asked if he thinks President Obama is a socialist by the moderator, he avoided the answer, and said:
“I love this country. I spent my life in the private sector, not in government. I only spent four years as a governor. I didn’t inhale.”
“This is funny. It seems like an attack on Bill Clinton who famously did inhale, but it is actually an attack on Perry, who not only has been in government for decades, but appears to have inhaled Benadryl dust.”
From the context of the sentence, I guess “inhale (dust)” means “being spoiled by bureaucratic atmosphere / trapped into trite, bureaucratic thinking patterns," but am not sure.
What does “inhale” or “inhale Benadryl dust” (I know Benadryl is a brand name of diphenhydramine hydrochloride) exactly mean? Is it understood to everybody for its own as “I didn’t inhale,” as Romney used without supplementing “what”?