After much brouhaha and bickering over "NAFTAgate," the truth--or as much of it as we are going to get--is out. It turns out, Senator Obama was not Janus, the two-faced Roman god. I should say, at least in this case. The scope of this diary is fairly narrow; I will be dealing only with the claims of Obama's impropriety regarding NAFTA and the Canadian Embassy.
It was conventional wisdom, at least among the more outspoken supporters of Senator Clinton, that the CTV story showed Obama to be duplicitous, double-talking, even fraudulent. A quick look over the rec lists from last week shows that, right from the get go, people were quick to crucify Obama.
Now, not only do we have a copy of the actual memo showing the initial allegations were off base, but the Canadian embassy admitted that the language there might be too strong. There's an excellent diary showing just how wrong the initial claims were here. There was an utter lack of solid evidence either exonerating or condemning Obama when the story broke, but instead of suspending judgment, Obama was immediately branded a hypocrite. Whoops.
I think it's safe to say that the turmoil surrounding the so-called "NAFTAgate" played into Hillary's strong performance tonight. On the heels of "Super Tuesday II", CBC, Canada's Public Broadcaster, has done a piece on the NAFTA scandal.
The CBC piece details the involvement of the conservative Harper government in creating a sensationalized leak, which itself had almost no resemblance to the actual memo, which itself is now being disclaimed as perhaps not accurate at all. We peel off layers of deception, and there is nothing left at all, except a successful attempt to promote bloodletting among Democrats.
Okay, this is just funny (I'll post the whole diary here in a second). This diary about CTV and the new AP report was posted on Daily Kos, and made the Recommended List for a little while? Why? Was it interesting? Was it well written? Did it have relevant information? NO!! It made the Recommended List because it was part of a "coordinated attack" by Hillary supporters. Yup, I was leading a conspiracy and I did not even know about it.
Well, now it's off the Recommended List. Having been accused of conspiring, I figure "what the fuck, let's conspire." Go on over. Give it a "Recommend." Get it back on the list. That should really piss some people off. Normally, I wouldn't do anything like this, but I've been on dKos for years now, and I DO NOT LIKE having my integrity questioned. Have fun. and now for the diary in question.
Disclaimer: I support Hillary Clinton. However, I try to be as objective as possible when understanding the news. No doubt a lot of people will disagree with my conclusions, or my objectivity. I hope we can keep it polite, however. Also, apologies for the length.
There's been a lot of news these last two days about Barack Obama's position on NAFTA, started when CTV, a generally respected Canadian network, reported that a senior Obama campaign official had privately warned the Canadian government via its US ambassador that while Obama would criticize NAFTA, his words shouldn't be taken seriously.
Since then, there's been much back and forth between the Canadian government, the Obama campaign, CTV, a few other news sources, and to a lesser extent, the John McCain campaign and the Clinton campaign. Getting all of this sorted out is difficult, but since this is potentially important, I thought I'd try to assemble and summarize what is known.
There is now more coming out of CTV on the Obama NAFTA matter.
The Obama campaign told CTV late Thursday night that no message was passed to the Canadian government that suggests that Obama does not mean what he says about opting out of NAFTA if it is not renegotiated.
However, the 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. He also said he has been told to direct any question to the campaign headquarters.
Please rec this up, since it is a pretty important development in this evolving story. Still, as I have tried to say throughout today, we need to be careful in our responses to these things. Jumping to conclusions and slinging mud around only gets people in trouble and when future facts come out makes them regret statements made due to their rush to judgement. Let's be measured in our response to this new information.