two pinocchios

04Mar08

What seemed like a wild unsubstantiated rumor last week has now blown up overnight. AP has a memo. Names, dates, and the written summation by the Canadian official of the substance of his meeting with the Obama campaign’s economic adviser. This latest aspect of the story hasn’t even hit the web versions of the New York Times or CNN, although CNN, MSNBC, is reporting it, CNN, at least, in detail, with the text of the memo.

Huge story here. Obama campaign reassures nervous Canadian officials that his NAFTA campaign rhetoric about renegotiating is just that, campaign rhetoric and they shouldn’t be concerned that he would attempt to initiate a change in policy if he were to be elected. Flies in the face of Obama’s stated posture regarding, not only the status of NAFTA, but his promise of a new kinds of politics, wherein politicians are straight with the American people and do what they say they’re going to do.

This is reliable and not a fake story or meeting in the least.

This may not have broken in time to change Texas. Ohio is already turning in Hillary’s favor and this story will spread like wildfire from CNN into the craw of everyman (and woman) in the Buckeye State. But this a blow like no other to the Obama campaign. Pennsylvania is out of reach after this and national polls are probably going to reflect the duplicity of the Obama campaign within a week or so. At any rate, if you thought Hillary was going to bail if she lost Texas, guess again. This is exactly what they’ve been hoping for. Something big, thrown at Obama, that finally stuck.

Here’s the New York Times story for tomorrow, election day. From the headline to the last line, it’s beyond grim in tone and content. Starting with the characterization that it the memo gives “Canada’s Account”. lol! The press cracks me up but it’s about time this started going the other way so I’ll take it.

March 4, 2008
Memo Gives Canada’s Account of Obama Campaign’s Meeting on Nafta
By MICHAEL LUO

++The denials were sweeping when Senator Barack Obama’s campaign mobilized last week to refute a report that a senior official had given back-channel reassurances to Canada soft-pedaling Mr. Obama’s tough talk on Nafta.

++On Monday, a memorandum surfaced, obtained by The Associated Press, showing that Austan D. Goolsbee, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago who is Mr. Obama’s senior economic policy adviser, met officials last month at the Canadian consulate in Chicago.

++According to the writer of the memorandum, Joseph De Mora, a political and economic affairs consular officer, Professor Goolsbee assured them that Mr. Obama’s protectionist stand on the trail was “more reflective of political maneuvering than policy.”

++It also said the professor had assured the Canadians that Mr. Obama’s language “should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.”

++the controversy, which drew fierce attacks from Mrs. Clinton and Senator John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, put Mr. Obama’s campaign on the defensive at a crucial moment.

++The memorandum exposed Mr. Obama to accusations of hypocrisy on a touchstone issue…

++The memorandum raises questions about the transparency and the ability of the campaign to address problems before they grow.

Not to be outdone, the Washington Post has banished this story to the Fact Checker page where the Obama campaign earns two of the highly coveted Pinocchio noses.

The Facts:

Courtesy of Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press, we now have a contemporaneous account of what took place at the Feb. 8 meeting between a senior Obama campaign official, Austan Goolsbee, and the Canadian consul-general in Chicago, Georges Rioux. The AP obtained a 1300-word memo describing the meeting by a Canadian consulate official, Joseph DeMora.

In an interview with the AP, Goolsbee contested a portion of the DeMora memo that quotes him as saying that campaign rhetoric “that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy.” He acknowledged telling the Canadians that Obama’s position on NAFTA “is less about fundamentally changing the agreement and more in favor of strengthening/clarifying language on labor mobility and environment and trying to establish these as more ‘core’ principles of the agreement.”

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