Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama Watch

While we wait to see if Obama shall be baptized the annointed nominee of the left, here are some Obaminations to enjoy. Obama may be divine, but his honesty is a bit questionable. And under his first baptism of fire from the press, he decided that he didn't want to play any more.


First up is, as the WSJ labels it, Obama's "Border Incident." A few days ago, Obama had plausible deniability on his campaigns back channel communicaitons to Canada. CTV was reporting that whilst Obama was promising to trash NAFTA to Ohio voters, his senior economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, was telling our largest trading partner, the Canadians, not to worry, Obama had no intentions of actually rescinding NAFTA. Obama denied everything, stating during a television interview on Feb. 29:

Yet lo and behold - not only did the meeting take place, but the Canadians had created a paper trail - a memo of the meeting which reads in pertinent part:

Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign.

. . . He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.

So, with plausible deniability no longer an option, Obama has opted for just plain deniability - i.e., that the meeting with Canadian officials was just casual conversation and denying that Goolsbe was speaking on behalf of Obama. Goolsbee for his part claims that what the memo says on that one issue was not what he had said. When asked about his previous denial, that such a meeting had taken place, Obama said: "That was the information I had at the time." As John Podhoretz has summed up this episode, its the "politics of disingenuousness."

That is not the only issue Obama is playing fast and loose with. There is an excellent post at Just One Minute by Tom Maguire discussing Obama's claim in a recent speech:

Senator Clinton got it wrong. She didn't read the National Intelligence Estimate. Jay Rockefeller read it, but she didn't read it. I don't know what all that experience got her because I have enough experience to know that if you have a National Intelligence Estimate, and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says, 'You should read this, this is why I'm voting against the war,' that you should probably read it," Mr. Obama said to thunderous applause.

Great political theater, just completely wrong on the facts, as Tom explains in his post. Given the substantive half-truths and untruths we've been seeing of late from Obama of late, I do wonder if he makes this stuff up on the fly.

It appears that Obama can't take the heat in the kitchen. He finally had a hostile news conference and left the stage in a huff when the reporters did not swoon. HotAir has the story, as does WaPo. At Protein Wisdom, Karl ponders who it was that dared to question the Obamamessiah.

And can Obama be judged by the questionable company he has kept in Chicago?

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