Monday, March 03, 2008


Me thinks the Obama campaign is losing the magic touch:

Okay, scratch what I said about Goolsbee and Canada. I still don't think it's substantively a big deal, but between hearing CNN's reports from Ohio this morning, and listening in on a Clinton conference call just now (and hearing reporters' questions on the subject), I think they're getting some significant traction with this story today.

Two things make it problematic for the Obama campaign: 1.) The sudden appearance of this lurid-sounding memo written by a Canadian consular official. I don't think it's particularly revealing--as I said this morning, it reflects what the Canadians thought they heard from Goolsbee; there are, significantly, no direct quotes. But the term "memo" just sounds bad--as though there were some cover-up that's now falling apart. 2.) Certain Obama officials denied last week that there was any contact between the Obama campaign and the Canadian government about NAFTA. That's clearly no longer "operative," as Howard Wolfson pointed out on the call.

No longer "operative", eh? Now, there is a handy little euphemism. ("A lie?? Of course not!! It's merely a statement that is no longer operative. Call a repairman.")

I was in and out of the subsequent Obama campaign call, but campaign manager David Plouffe took 2-3 questions about this that I heard. The campaign's position is that Goolsbee was having a conversation with the Canadians in his capacity as an economics professor at the University of Chicago, not as a campaign adviser.

So, we have went from, "I wasn't even there!!" to "I was there, but they misquoted me!!" to "I was there, I wasn't misquoted, but I wasn't there for any particular reason. Why just the other day I wandered into the Belgian embassy to see if they needed anybody to muse about the Euro."

Stop digging already.


No, they haven't stopped digging yet. They have called for a backhoe.

Canada on Monday denied it had tried to sway the U.S. presidential election by misrepresenting Democratic candidate Barack Obama with the suggestion that he didn't really believe his criticisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.


The report was leaked to the U.S. media, prompting some Democrats to accuse Canada's right-leaning Conservative government of trying to interfere in the election -- a charge dismissed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"I certainly deny any allegation that this government has attempted to interfere in the American election," he told Parliament.

Yeah, right. So now this is Canada's fault.

And some complain that Bush has problems admitting to mistakes. Yikes.


Ken said...

This incident is the first out of possibly many foreign policy debacles Barack Obama will commit if he is elected because of his lack of experience and candor. If he messes up like this with a friendly nation just imagine the damage he can do with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea? This also makes you wonder which words Barack Obama speaks are sincere or just political rhetoric? We don't need a charismatic rock star to be president, we need a cool head that can lead the greatest country in the world.

This has given Hillary Clinton some much needed ammunition against Barack Obama at the perfect time before tomorrows primaries in Texas and Ohio. Polls are close and Hillary needs a win tomorrow if she has any hope in staying in the race. This could turn out to be a major blunder for the junior Senator from Illinios. We will see tomorrow if it has any impact.

Anonymous said...

So this is Obama's big plan to "restore the tattered US reputation": Disarm the US; kiss Iran's ass; abandon Israel; and lie about Canada (and call the Canadians liars when he's caught lying about the Candians). With the exception of the dexterity in molding the operative reality, I'm not terribly impressed. And I see a disturbing pattern emerging: treat US friends and allies like crap, and suck up to enemies. I suspect we can expect that Great Britain, Australia, Israel, and France, being rational agents, will bomb several major cities in the first week of the Obama Administration. Naturally, President Obama will retaliate by sending them and Valentine's card and a box of chocolates.

An unrelated note, aren't liberals the audacious, shameles liars? Right-wing Canadian press?? Really???

Anonymous said...

I think Hillary squeaks by in TX, and wins OH in a blowout (10-15 percentage points).

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

It's hard not to chalk this up to his inexperience. His foreign policy guru is an academic not out of her 30's, so her inexperience is JUST as sadly explicable.

Hell, technically speaking, I'M an academic not out of his 30's, and any candidate would be ill advised to rely heavily on MY advice. What makes Powers any better?

And yes the complaint about teh Canadian press was priceless. The South Park guys are probably howling tonight. "Blame Canada!"