Thursday, October 9, 2008
Obama's opposition to NAFTA "should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."
For the Canadians, a key point of concern was Obama's sharp criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement. DeMora wrote Wilson that in the Chicago meeting, Goolsbee "candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign" but reassured Rioux that Obama's NAFTA-bashing "should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."
Three weeks later, Canada's CTV News reported that a "senior member" of Obama's campaign had phoned Wilson personally to advise him to "not be worried about what Obama says about NAFTA." The Obama campaign denied that story, which (if you believe DeMora's account) was only slightly off the mark, and declined to elaborate. On March 3 the Associated Press released the DeMora memo, which by then had circulated widely within the Canadian government. Asked once again to comment, Obama said his campaign provided Canada no such reassurance while Goolsbee maintained that DeMora "misinterpreted" his comments. For its part, the Chicago consulate smoothed things over with a statement saying, "there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private." It looks like President Obama may owe one to our friendly neighbors to the north.
Hat tip Slate.com where they have a photocopy of said document.
Of course the above mentioned occurred 7 months ago, however, it's a good reminder that what Obama says is not necessarily what he'll do. He will do and say anything to get elected. We Americans are supposed to be smart enough to look at previous actions to determine future behavior. A leopard can not change its spots.