CTV Stands By Obama NAFTA Story: Says Obama Official Was Austin Goolsbee

By Big Tent Democrat

As a supporter of free trade and NAFTA, I am in the awkward position of being pleased that Barack Obama appears to understand that his demagoguing on NAFTA may be good politics but not good policy. CTV is standing by its story and names Obama advisor Austin Goolsbee as the person who assured the Canadians that Obama was merely posturing on NAFTA:

[T]he Obama camp did not respond to repeated questions from CTV on reports that a conversation on this matter was held between Obama's senior economic adviser -- Austan Goolsbee -- and the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago.

Earlier Thursday, the Obama campaign insisted that no conversations have taken place with any of its senior ranks and representatives of the Canadian government on the NAFTA issue. On Thursday night, CTV spoke with Goolsbee, but he refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago.

As I have said before, journalism does not require suspension of common sense. We now know that CTV is reporting that it was Austin Goolsbee who was the Obama advisor who met with a Canadian official in Chicago and provided the NAFTA assurances. Goolsbee refuses to deny the meeting. It is pretty clear that it did occur. And good for Obama for that.

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    This is hardly about NAFTA. (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by ajain on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:31:08 AM EST
    I'm sorry, are you saying it is good that Obama was saying one thing to American electorate and another to a foreign government?

    That's politics (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:34:05 AM EST
    I am not upset about it.

    It is politics (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by ajain on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:36:10 AM EST
    But, isnt it early to do this crap? I mean he isnt even the Democratic nominee yet.

    Means justify end? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by sarahfdavis on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:36:51 AM EST
    When is throwing another dem under the bus or lying 'good' politics?  When do politcs become 'bad'?

    Is lying good politcs? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:39:19 AM EST
    Um, yes?

    Sometimes... (none / 0) (#138)
    by joc on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:12:22 PM EST
    Being caught in a lie, however, is not.

    This could be especially bad for a candidate like Obama, whose campaign is focused on himself more than his policies. People may wonder if he's just telling them what they want to hear, rather than what he'll really do as President.  And if people begin to question whether or not they can trust what he is telling them, it's going to cut deep into his support, since much of it is based on personal connection to Obama.

    Will the media play up the story, or will they let it pass by? We will probably know by Sunday morning which it's going to be. Because, if I was the Clinton campaign, this is what I would be trying to get everyone to talk about before the Tuesday elections (and the sooner the better).

    The question is, who will bite?


    The Repubs will agree come (none / 0) (#163)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:09:52 PM EST

    No, Not Good (none / 0) (#171)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:33:18 PM EST
    Obama's attacks on Clinton concerning NAFTA along with his support of NAFTA (the Goolsbee, Cutler, Liebman economic team should have been cited by the Clinton campaign)are about as underhanded as a campiagn can get.  

    That's the GOP tactic of accusing your opponent of doing what you're doing.


    The Bush 2000 campaign was more forthcoming than Obama's.

    And by the way, if you lived in a midwestern industrial state you might have a better idea of why this tactic is particularly disgusting.

    In many ways the biggest joke is on those Obama supporters who've projected just the opposite.


    I dont think this is minor. (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by ajain on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:59:29 AM EST
     If they can prove this stuff, then his credibility is gone. We are supposed to trust the guy. And lets not foget he accused Hillary Clinton of being willing to say/do anything to win elections.

    its the beginning (none / 0) (#100)
    by thereyougo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:16:16 PM EST
    of the dismantling of the message of change from Obama, that has been caught.He's starting to feel the heat instead of the after glow of his 'words'

    Sounds like same old same old.


    Certainly Is (none / 0) (#175)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:18:00 PM EST
    It's been clear from the start of this campaign to many of us that from a policy standpoint, Obama represented the "status quo" on steroids.

    Then (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by tek on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:29:32 AM EST
    you are exactly like Karl Rove and the neoCons.  Good politics is when you tell the truth to the American people as Hillary Clinton did, but you probably think it's good politics for Obama to dictate that Hillary's experience as First Lady doesn't count because she wasn't a public official and then turn around and hammer her over every policy that HER HUSBAND supported.  If I'm, not mistaken, it's called hypocrisy.

    Therefore, you have no room to criticize anything the Republicans do either to the American People or to Democrats.  Was it "good politics" when Dubya told Americans one story about Iraq and then we later learned that he had lied to go to war?  

    You demonstrate the most disturbing characteristic of Obama and his followers.  They are exactly like the neoCons.  If we have another liar in the WH, how are Americans supposed to ever know what diabolical thing is taking place in secret?  If you believe that Obama's two-faced behavior is "good politics" for the campaign and he'll have integrity and care about democracy once he's in office, you're in for a rude, damaging awakening.


    BTD (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:33:47 AM EST
    my usual refrain: Why?

    Why is he reassuring the Canadian government that he will protect NAFTA?  Yes, politics is politics, but surely Canadian government officials know this.  Why did Obama feel the need to reach out to them via a surrogate and reassure them (in what he thought would remain a private call) that he would protect NAFTA?

    Is this just more of Obama trying to have it both ways.  Tell Ohio NAFTA will be abolished if it's not changed, tell Canada don't worry, I'll protect NAFTA.  It begs the question: was he lying then or is he lying now?  And why lie to voters, then turn around and assure a foreign country that he was just, in fact, lying?

    What does it accomplish?

    As for political ramifications, I don't think your argument that it doesn't matter will hold up.  Just yesterday, Jeralyn posted a poll that pointed out that Obama lying about Clinton's NAFTA record was the reason behind some people moving toward Obama.  All politics is local.  Until you call Canada.


    Maybe he is reaching across the (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:55:36 AM EST
    aisle to voters in Canada?

    Was Austin Goolsbee officially (none / 0) (#89)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:59:44 AM EST
    speaking on behalf of the campaign or was he off on his own saying what he hopes to be true? That is not clear from anything I have read. Goolsbee  is a Chicago School economist and clearly favors NAFTA.  

    One of my complaints about Obama is he seems to have a lot of Chicago school of  economics advisors. As I understand it, they are hard core Freidmonists and Milton was a laissez a fair fundamentalist. Meaning they adamantly oppose regulation of any sort as an interference with the "magic of the marketplace".

    Does anyone know if Obama has any Keynesian advisors?


    NAFTA... (none / 0) (#172)
    by Rainsong on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:44:18 PM EST
    [blockquote]...a lot of Chicago school of  economics advisors. As I understand it, they are hard core Freidmonists and Milton was a laissez a fair fundamentalist. Meaning they adamantly oppose regulation of any sort as an interference with the "magic of the marketplace".[/blockquote]

    That would explain the lack of industry regulation in Obama's health care plan.

    Clinton (& Edwards etc) the mandate works on both consumers AND industry (and other stakeholders).
    It includes industry mandates to stop customer discrimination, forcing compliance with standards etc.

    Obama's plan uses words like "encourage" industry to play nice, use "voluntary" mechanisms etc. All optional.  His subsidies are just corporate welfare, more people get covered sure, but they get the same crap coverage everybody else is already pissed about, and the govt subisidies, in effect, flow through to the HMO.

    HMOs have maxed out the market in the USA, a 'saturated market', they are keen to expand to overseas markets. Canada might look good I guess for a new hunting ground?

    As for NAFTA, Canada used ot be politically split on it, their current govt is conservative isn't it?


    No Keynesians (none / 0) (#176)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:30:12 PM EST
    "Does anyone know if Obama has any Keynesian advisors?

    No. None Nada.

    The principals are David Cutler, Austen Goolsbee and Jeffrey Liebmnan.

    Free market, free traders one and all.

    And that's been the biggest clue to Obama's perfidious campaign from the start.

    This is what's behind his remarks about Social Security (Jeffrey Liebman, SS privatization supporter), his tepid response ($500 tax credit) to the mortgage crisis, his lame (tax cuts) initial response to recession countermeasures and his failure to provide a government run health insurance option (David Cutler, wants health care industry profits as high as possible) unlike Edwards and Clinton.

    If he is nominated and elected it will be up to the Democratic leadership in Congress to propose real progressive legislation.  It won't come from Obama.


    The GE. The GE. (none / 0) (#24)
    by liminal on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:41:00 AM EST
    This could really hurt him in the general, even if it has little impact in the primary.  Maybe it won't; I don't know - but if he's been lying in Ohio and the story continues, to build, he can write it off in the general.  He needs those blue collar workers to turn out in order to win.  

    Nah (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:42:04 AM EST
    Just a minor skirmish.

    Removes an edge (none / 0) (#47)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:07:04 AM EST
    It might remove an edge with some people, but I doubt it will kill him, I mean its not like McCain is pro-Union, heck his remarks on Airline Pilots alone will destroy him there (basically believes that they should pay the government back if they got militray flight training, something).

    Narrative. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by liminal on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:26:42 AM EST
    It undermines his narrative.  There was an interesting story about Obama precinct captain training in Texas on NPR this morning.  The enthusiasm among the volunteers was almost infectious; then the volunteers broke out to talk about how to persuade people to vote for Obama.  One woman told her "story" about how she worked in the Peace Corps for ten years, but then fell into cynicism, until she "heard his words" and "saw his face."  It reminds me of that SacBee article: Obama campaign volunteers were encouraged NOT to discuss issues, but to discuss what were essentially revelation stories.  

    So how does this sort of story play into that narrative?  It undermines it.  Maybe he can address it satisfactorily.  I wish that - instead - he had taken a smarter stand on NAFTA, rather than pandering outright.  I mean - couldn't he have approached this from someplace truer to his own position?  


    Unfortunate (none / 0) (#177)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:32:59 PM EST
    If it does get little attention that will be unfortunate.

    Has this story been on TV at all? (none / 0) (#132)
    by Josey on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:00:13 PM EST
    Last night Dan Abrams covered it, but took (none / 0) (#139)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:13:55 PM EST
    Obama's and the Canadian embassy's answer (DC embassy) as the final word.

    Now, CTV, which I gather from other commenters is highly regarded as a good source of information, has stood by its story and given the name of the Obama campaign contact.

    That aide says talk to the campaign!

    If this story is not picked up by the MCM, it means the MCM has decided to go with Obama at least through the primary (IOW, take out Clinton)--it does not mean it won't turn on Obama in the GE.

    The MCM will only side with or take a neutral stance IF the Corporate part of the Mainstream Corporate Media decides they don't want a third Bush term with McBush.

    I don't know what KO did as I'm taking a vacation from his Hillary pillorying.

    Can't recall what the evening news did!


    thanks (none / 0) (#161)
    by Josey on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:05:50 PM EST
    The media and their corporate sponsors must surely love Obama's conservative health care plan and "Harry and Louise" ad against Hillary.
    And seem to be rewarding him for his centrist position.
    Obama has trained Obamabots to believe mandates are awful! - another reason for the media to promote Obama.

    So (none / 0) (#160)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:38:29 PM EST
    the "change" how things are done in Washington comes when?

    I think, (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by NJDem on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:31:48 AM EST
    as both candidates have pointed out, that NAFTA works for some, but not for others (or other regions).  That's why it needs to be reformed--I mean, things have changed in the global economy in the last 14 years.

    But the point about this is if BO's camp really contacted the CA gov't--both before he wrapped up the nomination AND to relay the message to just ignore him as he lies to the voters.  That's the problem with this (again, if true).

    I agree (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:36:10 AM EST
    I don't have a problem with NAFTA as a whole, especially in our dealings with Canada. What I have a problem with is Obama lying to the people, especially of Ohio, to win votes.

    If there is nothing wrong with it then he should just admit that it happened.


    Particularly because (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:40:53 AM EST
    so many support him because they think he will not be a typical politician. They are being misled and are in for a big disillusionment.

    buyer's remorse (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by thereyougo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:23:15 PM EST
    you can still exchange for a grounded experienced smart woman.

    Cartoon I saw (none / 0) (#155)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:58:45 PM EST
    had Hillary operating a snow blower in the driveway of a snowbound-home while the owners looked on....The caption indicated that Hillary was able to get the snow blower running again....

    Not "Good" For Him Or Dems (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by cdalygo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:36:11 AM EST
    I see your point on NAFTA - sort of - but that is not the issue.

    Good would have been standing up for NAFTA during the debate. Good would have been admitting what happened as soon as possible. Good is NOT saying something else - then telling a foreign government (not US voters) that you didn't mean it - and then continuing to lie about your later retraction.

    What it leaves us with is a candidate clumsily showing that what he says doesn't mean anything. Further if you call him on it, his campaign will lie about it.

    (Actually, I'm going to quit making the distinction between Obama and his campaign. He wants to take credit for his campaign as proof of his executive skills, then he must take his lumps.)

    The real story is whether anyone outside of CTV and a few blogs will report this news.

    An accurate (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by tek on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:33:57 AM EST
    assessment.  Hillary tells the truth about NAFTA.  it's not working and she has a plan already to change it so that it won't hurt Americans.  

    BTD:  I have a question.  What do you think is the advantage of getting Obama into the WH by any means and then once he's there, he'll do the same garbage that Dubya did, and then the Democratic Party will be destroyed once and for all?  Or do you think Democrats should become the thing we've been protesting for 8 years so the people inside can benefit and burden everyone else in the country even further?


    the media will have to pick it up (none / 0) (#13)
    by ajain on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:38:04 AM EST
    The Clinton camp is making an issue out of it. Its their big ticket.

    Ohio Media (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by BDB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:39:30 AM EST
    But for once Clinton doesn't need the national media to care, only local Ohio media to care.  She might get that.

    Lou Dobbs will report this news (none / 0) (#121)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:39:58 PM EST
    until the cows come home.

    Goodbye media darling, hello Chicago pol in the spotlight, center stage.  Let's see if he can dance as well as Richard Gere...


    Obama is a con and a liar (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Drew on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:37:03 AM EST
    and his lies are catching up with him. This may be happening too late for Hillary but all of this- NAFTA lies, Rezko campaign funds and land deal, Rev. Right, Radical associates/friends - will slap him down in the fall. What if Obama wins the nomination and Rezko starts to sing and Obama gets indicted?

    Correction: Rev. Wright (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Drew on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:37:59 AM EST
    the answer is "hello prez mccain! (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:39:18 AM EST
    This is why we ought not pressure (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:39:46 AM EST
    candidates to drop out until more "vetting."

    Um what evidence do you have of this? (2.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:09:57 AM EST
    Seriously, this accusation is on the level of:
    "What if new evidence surfaces and Hillary is indicted for the murder of Vince Foster?"

    You know... (none / 0) (#153)
    by BrandingIron on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    ...put it to rest.  Vince Foster blew his brains out.  Vince was a childhood friend of Bill's.  Yeah, sure, they killed him.  Right.  Keep parrot talking Republican hatemongering.

    Blah, I missed your context. (none / 0) (#154)
    by BrandingIron on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:58:27 PM EST
    Apologies.  But every time I see that kind of comment about Vince Foster it makes me angry.

    The problem still lies in the validity of the analogy, though...the likelihood of Obama even being mentioned as key in the Rezko case is much, much higher than the Vince Foster scenario.


    That's my great fear (none / 0) (#129)
    by Paladin on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:54:00 PM EST
    That all of this stuff will come crashing down around him after he's won the primary.

    This reminds me of the McGovern/Nixon election - Watergate was just a blip on the radar screen during the campaign.  McGovern tried to raise it as an issue but no one paid attention.  We all know what happened later.

    So in this case, Obama is Nixon and Hillary is McGovern (in the sense that McGovern couldn't get traction with Watergate just as it's probably too late for Hillary).  Plus, if she tries to mention any of this, she comes across as "shrill" or "negative" etc.


    I generally support NAFTA (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by dk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:37:30 AM EST
    but, this is not about NAFTA.  This is about Obama getting caught lying.  He thought he could discredit Hillary Clinton's perfectly reasonable position on the issue to win union and progressive support, even though he was lying to their faces.  

    I know that pretty much every politician does this kind of thing, but that doesn't mean I have sympathy for those who get caught in their lies.

    Meh (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:38:50 AM EST
    This is politics.

    Yes, it's politics (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by dk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:41:25 AM EST
    and I agree with that.  But if you're going to play politics, you have to deal with the consequences.  Obama got caught in his lie...that is not good politics.  That is careless politics, and Clinton has every right to pound him on this.

    He is the candidate of change? (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Drew on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:44:32 AM EST
    sounds like he is the king of political games.

    Which Obama (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:43:40 AM EST
    claims to be above. I personally know several young people who support him specifically because they think he would not so this kind of thing. That is his big appeal.
    I think this also brings his judgement into question. How naive are these guys to think that they can confide in a conservative government and get away with it?

    Just another 2-faced politician (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by pedagog on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:49:31 AM EST

    I'm quite shocked that you feel this way.  If Obama is lying to us about this, what else is he lying about?

    And can any country in the future believe what he says, if he gets the presidency?  Can the American people?  We just had a lying weasal in the White House tell us years ago that there were WMDs in Iraq, that we were on the verge of seeing a nuclear cloud over our heads, etc.

    I think that this is very serious--you seem to belittle its importance.  As others have stated, he is supposed to be the "new" politician who will CHANGE the way politics is conducted in this country.


    Why shocked? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:50:16 AM EST
    Have you not read me on pols?

    But BTD, (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by dk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:53:13 AM EST
    by your own rules, then, shouldn't Hillary play politics by taking him to the cleaners for getting caught in a lie?

    I assume she will (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:57:59 AM EST
    She's (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:08:50 AM EST
    having a conference call right now about this very topic.

    Good Luck (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by tek on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:39:14 AM EST
    with that cynicism.  If that's going to be the name of the game, then the Democrats are done because the Republicans have monopoly on slash and burn politics.  And I would guess that there may be some younger voters who applaud using dirty political tricks to take office (reading Obama's history, it appears he specializes in destroying dedicated Democratic women officeholders so he can steal their constituencies) but I doubt the majority of Americans really want to live under such a system.

    If that is what this country is going to be from now on, I'll be looking to go elsewhere.  Of course, I've always believed that all Rovians should be corralled together somewhere to feed off each other in their own society and they will soon tear each other to pieces.


    Obama "followers" are in this out of (none / 0) (#142)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:24:33 PM EST
    zeal and idealism. They believe he is a different kind of politician, perhaps not even a politician!, who will lead them and the nation to dreamed and even unimagined possibilities for the country. There is the "transcendence"...of something.

    They get to assign to his "change" mantra whatever they want changed, which may not be the same for all people. Workers want more jobs and job security; BTD wants free trade--two goals which are not necessarily opposites, but seem to be in reality.

    So, what happens when reality bites?

    Some of us worry a lot about that.

    Recall that BushBoy ran a campaign that was almost Bill Clinton Lite--except for the absolutist position on taxes.  Bush was the Compassionate Conservative. All would be good. He would work with Democrats as he had in TX (where the Dem called the shot for the most part, btw).

    That worked out so well....

    That's why some want to know about how Obama will implement Democratic core values and goals. And we just do not know--bcz he remains somewhat "stealthy" about what he will do. Now, we have this example of absolute stealth--and lying.  Not good.

    Will no play well in the GE. I can see the ads now.


    there is no excuse for what obama (none / 0) (#77)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:43:00 AM EST
    did. politics as usual has been run into the ground along with the american economy. enough!

    it's a bad way to play politics (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:39:25 AM EST
    because he got caught.  Obviously, someone  they trusted in the Canadian embassy thought it would be a good thing to turncoat on the Obama campaign.  The reason it seldom leaks out when Bush does this kind of crap is because he has loyalists very well trained.  Someone in the embassy betrayed Obama to the press.  

    I'm not familiar with IL politics enough to know what kind of issue NAFTA is in the state.  This could be Obama's way of making sure that, if he loses the election, he still is welcome back in his old seat and still has support.

    Playing to both sides again.


    BTD, you (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Lena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:38:45 AM EST
    may like Obama's policy on NAFTA, however, this "scandal" also puts into question the Obama electability argument.

    To the extent that the story shows Obama to be "politics-as-usual", i.e. willing to say one thing to voters even as he says the opposite thing to the press, it trashes Obama's primary campaign memes: authenticity.

    sorry, (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:39:40 AM EST
    instead of "the opposite thing to the press," that should have been "the opposite thing to the powers-that-be"

    no wonder obama doesn't want to debate! (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:40:49 AM EST
    no wonder his surrogates are calling for hillary to cave in. the longer he is vetted and the campaign continues, the more comes out.

    Longer Primary Season Needed for Vetting (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Athena on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:08:45 AM EST
    The last week has peeled away a lot of the fluff - and more details are starting to emerge as to what Obama really thinks and how he operates.

    Obama's lack of MSM scrutiny justifies a longer primary season.  A longer race will begin the vetting that has not been done yet for this candidate.

    Lying to Ohio voters is highly relevant - both to his primary chances and his electability in the GE.


    Hillary MUST stay in until the end-- (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:30:08 PM EST
    that was my morning after WI vote thought. She has to be there, since we do not know very much about Barack Obama, and we may find there's voters' remorse by the time Puerto Rico comes around.  

    If so, there's the convention for correcting a choice based on limited information.

    The MCM could have helped the Democratic voters with indepth info--they chose not to do so. And they tend to side the ReThugs, so it was probably deliberate. Let the people follow this glowing figure, right into irrelevancy.

    Let us hope there is not bad stuff to come out, but if there is, let it be soon.


    Apparenlty (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by NJDem on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:42:34 AM EST
    the Clinton camp is holding a press conference on this at noon.  I think it's also to defend themselves from the charge that they indirectly contacted the CA gov't about this issue.  

    Then again, the HRC camp has offered "blanket immunity" for whoever they say may have may contacted them on her behalf AND I think it's telling that CTV has not disclosed who this HRC representative was.    

    of course! (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:17:58 AM EST
    how long did it take for the obama campaign to plant the seed of "it's hillary's fault"!

    Predictable (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by honora on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:26:09 AM EST
    Since the MSM has completely failed as a newsgathering  and distribution entity, Clinton's campaign has needed to get some of these stories out.  Is there really anyway that this story is less important than the "muslim attired Obama" story?  I do not see any of the major news organizations even mentioning this.

    please stick to the topic. that is obama (none / 0) (#74)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:41:22 AM EST
    and his double talk. trying to change it all about hillary doesn't fly.

    Good for him (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:43:24 AM EST
    For knowing that he's a demagogue.

    Of course, the obvious response is all politicians are demagogues to certain extents.

    Wait???  Didn't Obama claim to be different.

    Maybe he's just demagoguing the "Tranformational change" issue too.

    I'm surprised you think this is a good story for Obama, but whatever.

    BTD says its a non-story, not a good one. (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:50:42 AM EST
    The Good for Him thing (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:55:42 AM EST
    Oh well.

    But he's right, the al qaeda comment might get more traction over the long term.

    But I think this story is important for the reason I think i just described above.

    I've been having this nastly sort of groundhog day experience on blogs lately.

    Obama is criticized.  When that criticism isn't called a racist attack, and when it becomes clear that the criticism is valid, the invariable response is either "all politicians do it too," or "Hillary does it to," or "Hillary is the same."

    Now.  If that adds up, has anyone noticed yet that might undercut the "He's different" claim that has been made from day one?


    I'm entirely w/you. But (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:15:30 AM EST
    Obama seems to be able to walk away from the criticisms we have of him.

    so far (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Nasarius on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:31:34 AM EST
    But you can be absolutely sure that the McCain campaign and its surrogates will hurl every bit of mud that has lain dormant during the primary.

    For example, the McClurkin story never really got picked up. I'm awaiting the GOP-funded "Gays for Nader" 527 that will run ads on it, inevitably prompting the media to discuss it. Obama has opened himself to attacks from every possible angle, all of which will be exploited in the GE.


    Hypocrit (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by plf1953 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:01:00 AM EST
    As others have already said, this is the MOST hyypocritical of deeds/actions for Obama to have been caught up in, as it cuts heavily against his central "different kind of politician" branding.

    It would be like Disney being caught producing pornography.

    If this continues to have traction, and I think it will, his support will continue to wane, not among the diehards necessarily, but among his beloved new independent and republican supporters ...

    GWB lite, indeed.

    This is about character (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by NJDem on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:04:38 AM EST
    not about NAFTA.  And it calls attention to his economic advisor's who are straight out of the  Chicago School--not exactly a progressive bunch.

    Speaking of character, doesn't it say something that in the midst of campaigning for the make or break upcoming primaries, HRC still found the time to address the SOTBU and she attended the funeral of the fallen officer in Dallas today?    

    Makes her a class act (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:07:12 AM EST
    in my book.  You're right, the flap is about character and he's not showing it well.

    This Can Be Deleted if Jeralyn or BTD like (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:07:22 AM EST
    It's hard to keep up with every blog post here, and if the comments section reaches 200 I understand it does have to be shut down.

    But I see Obama has used the "It's not her fault she's polarizing" refrain again.

    I hate Barack Obama.  I really do.

    It's like I see it like a woman manager at a corporation, and you were harrassed so you called HR and so they fired the guy who harrassed you.

    But here's the thing.  A year later you're trying to get a sr. manager position, you know, move up in the world, and while your record clearly indicates you can handle the position, the vp in charge of filling the position sits you down and says, presumably with a straight face of course:  "Listen, we know you're qualified, and we all know it's not your fault, but all the folks on the floor remember how you got that guy fired, and it's polarizing, so we can't give you the promotion at this time."

    Anyway.  Delete this if it's off topic.

    But I really hate Barack Obama when he says crap like that.

    100% agree with you! (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:23:30 AM EST
    i don't "hate" obama. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:48:47 AM EST
    i hate what has become of his campaign. i hate to see a gifted politican apparently allow his desire to win bring to him to a point where it will all will come crashing down(personal opinion only).

    You hate Barack Obama? (none / 0) (#63)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:27:20 AM EST
    Wow.  Not sure what else to say about that comment?

    It's my honest reaction (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:30:32 AM EST
    To Obama's statement.  

    He says he hates it when BO says (none / 0) (#78)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:43:18 AM EST
    such triangulating crap. Sort of like BO doesn't like some of what the GOP says, but he likes Republicans.

    The statement itself (none / 0) (#90)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:59:54 AM EST
    didn't strike me first as triangulation, just insulting.

    But I can see how it can be interpretted as triangulating as well.

    Can you imagine, does any Obama supporter have any idea what woud happen to anyone who said "Howard Dean can't be president cause he's been attacked too much by Republicans, it's not his fault, but he's polarizing."?

    But we've already confirmed the hypocritical nature of supporting Obama.


    High Level Canadian Sources (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:32:26 AM EST
    Can I just please remind everyone that Canada's basically being run by the Canuck version of a Neocon (better than Bush, but you know its Canada so that's kind of a given) right now, so it's kind of in there best interest to hamstring the Dem nominee, all I'm saying is John Howard hit Barack, now Stephen Harper, I'm Berlusconi and Sarcozy must have dibs next right?  Also, does anyone find this a little odd, I mean what would changing the environmental and labor standards provisions of NAFTA (what both canidates propose) do to Canada, frankly the country up North is already more stringent than us there,  Mexico is who would really get hit.

    That's a question I asked yesterday also (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:38:28 AM EST
    they have a higher minimum wage, stringent environmental laws, stronger unions, and cheaper health care how would revoking NAFTA hurt them except maybe allowing them to put a tariff on the oil they pump to the US

    Right, FLA (none / 0) (#79)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:44:20 AM EST
    so why make the call?  Why reassure them?

    I don't care about NAFTA or Ohio (inasmuch as this phone call is concerned) what I care about is motivation.

    People don't do things like this because it's fun.  What was the motivation behind the reassurance?


    To build his foreign policy (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:58:11 AM EST

    how would it build his cred (none / 0) (#95)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:05:41 PM EST
    if the call was never meant to be revealed to the general public?

    I just can't figure out the reason for this, other than it's typical Obama playing to both sides.  Anyone have an idea? (that doesn't involve McCain and the NY Times story or other silly deflections)


    I think its the same chutzpah (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:08:33 PM EST
    Edwards demoed in contacting Musharaff after Bhutto assassination and Obama demoed in trying to interfere directly in election fight in Kenya.

    there is that also and i don't see (none / 0) (#110)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:27:07 PM EST
    it mentioned very much. obama is acting outside his level of responsibility here. edwards was attacked for making a phone call and obama rules don't apply now? sorry, no sale!

    Good Point (none / 0) (#91)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:01:01 PM EST
    Given the lack of a motive, it certainly brings into question whtere this was even the subject of the conversation (assuming that it took place). By the way now that we have two parties if both deny that this is what happened does that mean that its a non-story much like when McCain and Iseman both denied the affair but admitted to being friends?

    there was a call to Mexico's consulate?

    Now that would be a story. (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:09:19 PM EST
    From an ex-pat (none / 0) (#179)
    by Fultron on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:43:35 PM EST
    The Globe & Mail (a national newspaper affiliated with CTV, which is a centrist source, at least in Canadian terms) prominently ran a story today about McCain's assurances he won't touch NAFTA. Canada depends on the US for ~85% of its trade. Any mention of messing with NAFTA in any way sets off alarm bells. Canadians get nervous when they hear both Dem candidates calling for an overhaul of NAFTA. I actually give some credit to Obama's campaign for appreciating this...this is about the only foreign policy point he has gotten right so far. That said, it still boils down to two-faced statement. At some point this guy is going to have to take a side on something and stick with it.

    While I'm at it, I should point out that Canada has universal healthcare, gay marriage, abortion rights, gun control, and no death penalty...even the Conservative party is somewhere to left of many Dems, so I'm not sure I buy the "neo-con world leaders against Obama" conspiracy.


    You know, when you are getting ready to (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by tigercourse on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:06:12 PM EST
    run against a guy who is famous, lauded, for "telling it like it is" it might be a good idea to try and stay on the straight and narrow, truth wise.

    All McCain needs to do is knock Obama off his "different! kind! of Politician!" pedestal, and he'll wipe the floor with him on experience.

    Yep ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by plf1953 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:16:22 PM EST
    Once you've destroyed your own brand / image, what is left?

    For Obama, there is nothing left ...

    McCain will destroy him.


    as bad and old as he is (none / 0) (#123)
    by thereyougo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:40:44 PM EST
    I agree. Look for him to doze off and misspeak
    and throw tantrums if he doesn't get his nap ::<

    instead of getting Hillary who will run circles
    around the lifers in the Congress.

    hang in there Hillary! We're pulling for you.

    I thnk she will, and in the 11th hr. pull this thing off, while our hearts sink in the process.


    mccain and the gopers have plenty (none / 0) (#117)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:37:26 PM EST
    on obama and will use it in the general. the idea that repubs will cross over to vote for obama in mass is a pipe dream. i know of some dems who plan to vote for mccain in case obama gets the nod. i am not one of them but i listen at business lunches.

    I can see the (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:29:11 PM EST
    bumper sticker now:

    "So which Obama are YOU voting for".

    No name on the anonymous source (none / 0) (#1)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:30:01 AM EST
    but There is more details than on the Garb Pic issue.

    You are making an unreasonable demand. (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:36:00 AM EST
    Goolsbee was named, which means the story can be checked. What would NOT be acceptable is for a story about an unnamed "Obama adviser" or "Obama surrogate" meeting with an unnamed Canadian "Government official".
    CTV's journalism is excellent here.

    Oh I agree with you there (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:41:32 AM EST
    but I was really being sarcastic about those that yesterday that were deriding the story because it was from an anonymous source.  Maybe I should have placed a ; ) next to anonymous.

    Nah (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    Just a skirmish.

    I think Obama's misstatement on Al Qaida in Iraq will have more lasting effect.

    In the GE (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:44:22 AM EST
    but not the primaries.

    You are such a devil's advocate. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:49:54 AM EST
    Lie, lie, lie.  All politics, good politics.  Dem. Pres. primary candidate's top econ. advisor talking directly to Canada's Consul in Chicago about what sd. candidate will do if elected Pres.  Quite presumptuous.

    More than presumptuous... (none / 0) (#127)
    by oldpro on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:49:03 PM EST
    unnecessary and stupid.

    There was no need to say ANYTHING to the Canadians.  Time enough to explain it after the election.  This was arrogance on somebody's part and careless in the extreme.

    The mistakes are starting to add up and 'a new kind of politics' looks a lot like the old politics to anybody paying attention.  Of course, most of us knew that from 'day one.'


    Both will hurt (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:59:31 AM EST
    The Al Qaeda in Iraq thing was bad.  Lying to get votes is done by politicians, but the point is he got caught doing it.  Running against McCain, whose image includes that straight shooter thing, what's he gonna say, "I was against lying for votes before I got caught doing it."?

    Ohio voters may have a longer memory than you suspect.


    Thats a pretty good line. (none / 0) (#58)
    by ajain on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:18:45 AM EST
    This election cycle is entertaining as can be.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by BigB on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:17:08 AM EST
    McCain is hammering Obama everyday on the AlQaeda in Iraq issue. He brought it up again today and used the past vs. future formulation to his advantage.

    We will see ads on Obama's statement.


    bto, i rarely disagree with you. (none / 0) (#82)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:50:53 AM EST
    but here i don't agree. this is indeed a major issue. nafta needs revison at the very least. in ohio and the south people are suffering due to it. it is a major issue.

    You can (none / 0) (#46)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:06:28 AM EST
    bet your gum boots that Hillary is doing the exact same thing.  

    Which just proves (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by tree on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:42:07 AM EST
    that despite what Obama says, his politics are no different from Hillary's.

    it proves that what obama says (none / 0) (#84)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:54:38 AM EST
    about change is just so much talk and nothing more. or even worse it is just for the worse.

    Deal with it! (none / 0) (#50)
    by plf1953 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:08:24 AM EST
    This isn't about Hillary.

    This is about Obama.

    Deal with it.


    LOL (none / 0) (#83)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:53:01 AM EST
    Sure, both are pandering to the gullible public, with no intent on changing a permanent treaty with other contries.  

    I thought the gullible public was the one who (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:01:23 PM EST
    voted for Bush. Twice.

    No (none / 0) (#109)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:26:49 PM EST
    it will be people who vote on their candidates based on what they say their stances are on NAFTA.

    You mean it isn't the ones (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:37:41 PM EST
    who voted for Bush- Twice?

    They seem very gullible to me.


    Hmm lemme reread my above post................. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:11:13 PM EST

    You don't find people who voted for Bush Twice (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:09:40 PM EST
    gullible at all?....

    H'mmm ....... were you one of them? That would explain things!


    They're were just (none / 0) (#173)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:58:29 PM EST
    filled with a belief and faith that passeth all understanding.

    Sorta like (none / 0) (#180)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:11:24 PM EST
    some supporters are now?

    this is about obama! deal with that please. (none / 0) (#86)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:57:42 AM EST
    Actually (none / 0) (#102)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:17:52 PM EST
    as I posted below...

    The CTV exclusive also reported that sources said the Clinton campaign has made indirect contact with the Canadian government, trying to reassure Ottawa of their support despite Clinton's words. The Clinton camp denied the claim. The story caught the attention of Republican front-runner John McCain on Thursday.

    I realize you guys are only interested in Obama bashing but the story certainly DOES apply to both politicians because BOTH politicians are fully aware of the realities of NAFTA.


    I wish the CTV would publish the name (none / 0) (#104)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:21:36 PM EST
    of the person in the Clinton camp the sources said has made indirect contact with the Canadian Government.  Just a thought.

    Maybe they will (none / 0) (#106)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:23:38 PM EST
    Seems to me that someone in the Canadian government is mucking with American politics.  I'm guessing the same source leaked about both campaigns calling up the Canadian government.

    This really is a non-story and I doubt either campaign really wants to engage in it.


    this diary is about obama and (none / 0) (#107)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:24:33 PM EST
    vetting him! his position on nafta is quite important. it is an old debate and political debate to try and change the subject.

    OK (none / 0) (#108)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:25:22 PM EST
    I will deal with it.  I, Wile E. coyote, express amazement and disappointment that "liberal" would pander to a willing and gullible public.  Before this terrible day, I had believed only Lobbyists pandered.  

    liberal? meaning obama? (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:40:21 PM EST
    LOL (none / 0) (#136)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:09:54 PM EST
    I meant to type "a liberal" vice "liberal".  But sure I mean Obama among those running for president on the democrat side.  

    please use the proper term, democratic. (none / 0) (#164)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:35:35 PM EST
    since democrat this and that was begun by repubs, i have a real distaste for the misuse of the word.

    He Is A Republican (none / 0) (#168)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:53:07 PM EST
    You have no problem calling them repubs though. Double standard?

    no, look at the post i responded to where (none / 0) (#169)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:13:01 PM EST
    the poster used the word democrat as an adjective. next.

    Well (none / 0) (#181)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:42:19 PM EST
    you did find something to nit about.  Feel free to sit back in your chair in satisfaction.  

    tell you what, trot over to any liberal (none / 0) (#183)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 10:27:30 PM EST
    blog and use democrat as an adjective. then report back. you'll be taken to task and rightly so. next!

    This is a weak story, seriously (none / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:16:39 AM EST
    Please note, that even if said conversations occured there is absolutely no evidence that this is what was said (I realize that there is no way to disprove it as well), both camps continue to deny the substance of the accusations. Hey Hillary met "80 heads of state" if an unamed source claims that during a meeting she promised to declare war on Iran would that be enough to make it a story? I mean c'mon BTD you decryed the Mccain affair story, and I'm sure that the Clinton wants to sue TX story will be discounted if it even gets covered, but this story is now proven? What's up with that?

    There is no comparison (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:36:48 AM EST
    to the McCain story.

    Why not (none / 0) (#88)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:58:53 AM EST
    His former Mccain manager went on the record and stated that he was concerned about a the appearances of a relationship?

    Um huh? (none / 0) (#94)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:05:13 PM EST
    So what?

    You Must Be Kidding (none / 0) (#135)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:08:54 PM EST
    The google references to the NYT McCain story were astronomical,

    The Obama CTV story just a blip.


    The problem with NAFTA (none / 0) (#59)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:20:15 AM EST
    is that it is politically unpopular but good economic policy.  Macroeconomic policy almost ALWAYS has winners and losers.  What you try to do is create policies that have the MOST gain with the least negative impact.

    Both candidates know this.   But it is almost impossible to sell this to the American people.  Each voter operates on their self-interest so if they are on the short end of the stick they aren't going to like the policy even if it is better for the country on the whole.

    It is one of the political issues where politicians aren't able to tell the truth because the voters will unfairly punish the politician for speaking the truth.

    It would seem that the Clinton campaign feels the same way.  According to the linked article..

    The CTV exclusive also reported that sources said the Clinton campaign has made indirect contact with the Canadian government, trying to reassure Ottawa of their support despite Clinton's words. The Clinton camp denied the claim. The story caught the attention of Republican front-runner John McCain on Thursday.

    I don't really want to argue NAFTA here (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by spit on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:42:17 AM EST
    as it's not really the point, but it does strike me as a little "funny" that the losers in these things always tend to be the people who already have the least economic power to begin with.

    There's more to having a healthy economy than overall efficiency and top-line growth. Disparity is a major issue, and while NAFTA gets maybe more blame for that than it deserves in itself, our broader trade policy is still a piece of that puzzle, IMO.

    Regardless of the merits of NAFTA, though, if this story is true, I find it pretty bothersome -- standard politics, sure, but also possibly reflective of flat-out lying on policy, rather than normal everyday political equivocating.


    The losers in economics (none / 0) (#99)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:09:45 PM EST
    are almost ALWAYS the people with the least economic power.  

    Income and wealth disparity are most certainly looming problems for us.  HOWEVER I don't believe that NAFTA has had any negative impact in this regard.  

    Free trade benefits everyone.  The problem is that free trade benefits the wealthy in clearer ways than it does the poor and the middle classes.

    The biggest problem with the NAFTA criticisms is that they are almost ALWAYS anecdotal arguments and not empirical arguments.  With or without NAFTA this country will ALWAYS have winners and losers.  That is how a free market operates.  We can try to mitigate against that but it will always happens.  When the southwest states boom the midwest states may wane.  When the southeast booms the northeast may wane.  Just the way it is.

    Neither Hillary or Obama promises to do ANYTHING other than vague promises to "negotiate" a better deal.  That means almost nothing so I don't think either is lying or deceiving when they tell Canada that they aren't going to impose any major changes to NAFTA.


    excuse me! putting nafta ahead (none / 0) (#115)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:35:06 PM EST
    of the american worker benefits the corporations. that is about it. so please stop with the generalites. many of us had economics and many of us run our own companies.

    a la Reaganomics? (none / 0) (#148)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:37:31 PM EST
    a la Reaganomics? (none / 0) (#149)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:38:47 PM EST
    meant that for Flyerhawk.

    ala Macroeconomics 101 (none / 0) (#158)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:00:35 PM EST
    You guys can wail about the evils of corporations if  it makes you feel better.  Doesn't change my point in any way.

    More trickle down hooey (none / 0) (#184)
    by jondee on Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 05:26:07 PM EST
    trussed up as farsighted policy.

    Just because an economic policy is based on "macroeconomic" theory, it dosnt follow automatically that the motivation behind the implementation of the policy is to "benefit the greatest number".


    Macro and micro economics (none / 0) (#174)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:16:40 PM EST
    are about as close to exact science and as susceptable to contamination by the selfish interests of the practioners and their patrons as conficting schools of alchemy were in the 16th century.

    Witness how the billionaire Koch brothers lobbied for, and for all intents and purposes, bought, the Nobel Prize in Economics for their favorite (militantly lasse faire) economist and his (and theirs) "ascendent", "influential" theories a few years back.

    Theres a big element of voodoo in all economic theory.


    If true (none / 0) (#81)
    by rilkefan on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 11:49:09 AM EST
    I'm pleased to see Obama is separating policy from politics on this issue.

    It also helps reassure me re his right-wing framing.

    OT (none / 0) (#103)
    by Josey on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:19:45 PM EST
    Did Obama vote for Tort reform - and Hillary vote against it?

    S 5 yes she voted against and he voted for.

    thanks (none / 0) (#125)
    by Josey on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:43:56 PM EST
    No Smoking Gun Here - Move On People (none / 0) (#111)
    by AdrianLesher on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:27:27 PM EST
    Politico brings some clarity to this story. First of all, CTV has changed its story. Originally they said an Obama staffer spoke to the ambassador. Now they say Goolsbee spoke to someone in the Chicago consulate. Moreover, that person at the consulate says he may have been mistaken. Additionally, as Politico points out:

    One other footnote here: CTV is citing high-level Canadian government sources, and it's probably worth keeping in mind that the conservative Canadian premier prime minister is getting his own share of mileage out of this confrontation.

    Politico? (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:33:33 PM EST
    given their spotty history lately, I'll take ABC News and CTV. there are more details and more names coming. See this:

    ABC news reported this morning it had contacted Senior Economic Advisor Austen Goolsbee in regard to the report by CTV that he contacted the Canadian consulate in Chicago to warn of Barack Obam's statements regarding NAFTA.

    Goolsbee according to the CTV story told the Canadian Government that Barack Obama might engage in some tough talk regarding NAFTA during the campaign since that was a major issue in Ohio. But the report claimed Goolsbee told the Canadian Consulate not to worry that NAFTA was safe with Obama.

    ABC reports in any update this morning:

    "ABC News' Jennifer Parker spoke to Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economics professor, Thursday who would not confirm or deny that he had a conversation with Georges Rioux, the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago. Rioux, in meetings this week in Ottawa, would also neither confirm nor deny any conversation took place. Both men did say that they know each other"

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/ 2008/02/more-on-that-ca.html


    I am with you (none / 0) (#119)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:37:55 PM EST
    Politico is a JOKE lately.

    Goolsbee issues flat denial (none / 0) (#130)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:54:07 PM EST
    Goolsbee says:

    "It is a totally inaccurate story," he said. "I did not call these people and I direct you to the press office."

    Only four more days of friendly fire left.  Meanwhile, Hillary, McCain, Bush and SNL all fire away at Obama....


    So... (none / 0) (#133)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:02:36 PM EST
    he only talked to the New York Observer and not CNN...who asked, CTV...who asked, ABC...who asked. To all of them he refused to confirm or deny that a call had taken place as did the Consul General in Canada.

    That is a weak denial and to then send people to the campaign office before clearing the whole mess up?

    Sorry. Smoke>Fire


    The "source" (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:15:39 PM EST
    only re-confirms a telephone call--not the substance of the call, and now says there may have been a "misunderstanding"...

    You have a lot of innuendo, and a weak and eroding confirmation.


    people that would mean the source is outright lying. Right?

    It appears so, and (none / 0) (#150)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:40:22 PM EST
    is backpedaling furiously.  

    quoting politico? sorry, no sale! (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:38:09 PM EST
    And BTW... (none / 0) (#116)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:36:24 PM EST
    the consulate is a part of the Embassy.

    From Larry Johnson, and whether you like him or not, he knows the structure of government.

    "It is important to help readers understand that Goolsbee's conversation with the Counsel General (CONGEN in State Department speak) is a senior Canadian Embassy official.  A Consulate is a place where folks go for a visa or to work on immigration problems.  The Consulate is subordinate to the Embassy in Washington.  Best to think of it as a branch of the Embassy.  Clearly the CTV report confused Embassy with Consulate.  Bottomline is the same-a senior Obama advisor told a representative of the Government of Canada (in this case, the CONGEN) to ignore Obama's rhetoric."


    Agreed (none / 0) (#143)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:26:48 PM EST
    To americanincanada, I want to read more on this. Where did the Larry Johnson quote come from?

    Actually therre is a bullet (none / 0) (#124)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:43:39 PM EST
    not a smoking gun.

    Austin Goolsbee in Chicago.


    It's not the Bullet, it's the hole (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:29:51 PM EST
    that kills ya in the end.

    I'm waiting (none / 0) (#126)
    by spit on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:44:34 PM EST
    to see how the story develops before I really judge it one way or the other, but I have to say that the fact that CTV switched from "ambassador" to "consul" doesn't exactly strike me as a debunking.

    CTV is sticking by the story, and that doesn't mean they might not have it wrong -- but the Obama response since Goolsbee was named has been pretty underwhelming, too, and gives a bad appearance to the thing, if nothing else.

    I'm awaiting greater clarity, but so far all of the "debunkings" I've seen have been less than convincing.


    Goolsby did it (none / 0) (#134)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:04:36 PM EST
    Who are we kidding here?

    He flatly denies it n/t (none / 0) (#141)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:17:49 PM EST
    Sort of (none / 0) (#151)
    by spit on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:45:31 PM EST
    he calls the report "inaccurate". That could mean a lot of things, honestly.

    Again, I'm not jumping to any conclusions, but I also fail to see what CTV's motivation would be in playing up the story and releasing some names, etc. The line I'm seeing -- that the conservatives in Canada are toying with our election -- seems a little tinfoil to me at this point.

    We'll see.


    "Totally" (none / 0) (#152)
    by MKS on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:54:12 PM EST
    inaccuarte, and "I did not call these people."

    What wiggle room that leaves is beyond me.....


    Well then... (none / 0) (#156)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 02:03:22 PM EST
    why not tell CNN or ABC that? Why refuse to confirm or deny to them?

    it sounds to me Like the Observer actually got through to him in a frustrated moment, he yelled his crappy deniel into the phone. that's all.

    it's weak, especially when CTV confirmed they have more than one source for the information.


    maybe they can make a commercial? (none / 0) (#182)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 08:05:53 PM EST
    folks were so impressed that Obama's camp so quickly managed to spin out a commercial countering Clinton's 3am call.  I guess writing, editing, cutting and posting a new commercial is easier than taking two seconds to give an official, unequivocal statement to one of the 100 or so reporters on the plane?

    obama's denial did not leave me (none / 0) (#165)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:41:05 PM EST
    with a great deal of trust either. his response was something to the effect about what the canadian ambassordor said. senator, the question was to you and your campaign. that sounds like spinning to me.

    BTD, doing great work here today. (none / 0) (#147)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 01:34:57 PM EST
    Lot's of people participating and the dialogue keeps progressing.

    The story isnt made in the allegations.. (none / 0) (#170)
    by Chisoxy on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 05:17:36 PM EST
    its made in the initially tepid denial, and the now refusal of the obama advisor to answer simply yes or no, did the conversation take place.

    and it helps Hillary, thx McLame! (none / 0) (#112)
    by thereyougo on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:28:39 PM EST

    CNN (none / 0) (#128)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:53:51 PM EST
    has now picked it up as well.

    If Lou Dobbs is in today I can just imagine what his show will be like this afternoon.

    You know what I'm waiting for..... (none / 0) (#131)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:57:03 PM EST
    the non-denial denial talk we kept getting about the garb pic.

    Strength of denial... (none / 0) (#159)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 03:20:43 PM EST
    ..was put forth as evidence as I recall. Strong denial = true. Cautious or ambiguous denial = false.  My kids are really, really good at the strong denial tactic, which is why I don't generally buy it without digging a little deeper.

    How about when a denial (none / 0) (#166)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:45:45 PM EST
    isn't one at all. New details are coming out from ABC. Goolsby denied it to the Observer but tells ABC the following:


    ABC News spoke to Goolsbee, Thursday, and who denied calling the Canadian embassy in Washington, or calling Rioux, but wouldn't confirm or deny whether he had spoke to Rioux about Obama's NAFTA rhetoric.

    "It's not correct that I contacted them," Goolsbee told ABC News Thursday. "They contacted me at one point to say 'hello' because their office is around the corner but it is not correct that I contacted them at all," he said.

    "I am not confirming or denying any meetings with anyone," Goolsbee told ABC News, directing queries to Bill Burton, Obama's campaign spokesperson.


    Now this update from ABC:

    Both the Canadian Embassy and the Obama campaign have repeatedly denied the CTV report.

    However, a source close to the Canadian prime minister's office tells ABC News that the original communication was between Austan Goolsbee, Obama's senior economic adviser and an economics professor at the University of Chicago, and Georges Rioux, Canada's consul general in Chicago, about Obama's rhetoric against NAFTA.

    According to the source, Wilson exaggerated the communication between the Obama campaign and the Canadian official during discussions this week with Ian Brodie, the prime minister's chief of staff, who leaked the story to CTV.


    So, there was a call. We just don't know what happened on it. This stinks to high heaven. If this was Clinton it would be the end of her campaign. let's see what the Obama loving MSM will do.


    So, (none / 0) (#167)
    by americanincanada on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 04:49:17 PM EST
    I guess we are supposed to believe that Michael Wilson, the ambassador, exagerated the meaning of the call to his chief of staff in private.

    Right. Sure. His chief of staff leaked it and now there is egg on everyone's faces.

    Wonder who Obama will hang out to dry for this. Guesses anyone?


    Evening broadcast news coverage Fri? (none / 0) (#178)
    by jawbone on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 06:41:57 PM EST
    I dipped in and out, but didn't catch anything about the NAFTA thing at any time I was watching.

    Interesting--waiting to nail down actual story?

    Or...letting it pass....