Another "Super Tuesday" Beckons
Here are some thoughts ahead of Super Tuesday Part II.
First, NAFTA. I hadn't bothered to write about the CTV story about the alleged comments of one of Obama's top advisors Austan Goolsbee to Canadian officials because I believed the blanket denials of the Obama campaign that no such meeting ever took place during the stated timeframe where trade policy/NAFTA was discussed. Now, the AP has obtained a memo that was distributed within the Canadian Government which documents the discussion during a meeting with Goolsbee on February 8th. So, why would the Obama campaign deceive the public about this meeting - something they must have known they might get called on easily? Sure, they are challenging the accuracy of the portion of the memo that is unfavorable to them, but after having believed their previous denials, let's just say I'm not about to believe their latest denial.
Second, foreign policy and judgment. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson has another piece up on the Huffington Post taking on Sen. Obama's foreign policy "judgment". On a related topic, both Sen. Obama and David Axelrod made stuff up during the weekend about one of the Senators supporting Sen. Obama (Jay Rockefeller) who they claimed voted against the AUMF after reading the NIE. Actually, he voted for the AUMF. Frankly, I find Sen. Obama's whole misleading attack on Sen. Clinton using the NIE to be nothing less than crass politics, to say the least. He himself said on more than one occasion that Democrats who were aware of the intelligence that he never saw might have had valid reasons to vote for the AUMF. On top of that he himself never read the NIE before proclaiming what was or what wasn't the case in Iraq in Oct 2002. So, if someone could have great "judgment" without reading the NIE, then according to Sen. Obama's Rules for the Democratic PrimaryTM, why in the world would anyone else need to read the NIE? I have had enough with this nonsense from Sen. Obama about the Supreme ImportanceTM of reading the NIE when he was the one actually making proclamations of certainty - the kind of certainty that even the UN did not have in Oct 2002 - without reading the NIE. If he keeps on with this farce, I will be forced to keep reminding everyone about an actual President who didn't wait to read the NIE before declaring his certainty about what was or what wasn't the case in Iraq. Let me throw Sen. Obama's sentiment right back at him - his declarations of certainty in Oct 2002 without reading the NIE will never, in my view, be proof of "good judgment". Good luck and good guessing perhaps, but NOT "good judgment". Certainly not from a person who displayed Great JudgmentTM by declaring the following in 2001:
...I dont think that soon-to-be-Secretary Rumsfeld is in any way out of the mainstream of American political life. And I would argue that the same would be true for the vast majority of the Bush nominees, and I give him credit for that.
(I actually happen to believe in the importance of politicians reading documents like the NIE. Sen. Clinton says she was briefed on it - so I'll take her word for it. However, I'm not going to sit around and hear hypocritical lectures about the importance of reading an NIE before making important judgments - from someone (Sen. Obama) who never read the NIE and made judgments anyway.)
Third, media. Marc Ambinder:
Walter Shorenstein, a prolific Democratic donor, long-time friend of the Clinton family, benefactor of the Shorenstein Center on the Press and Politics at Harvard University, has written a memo to Democratic superdelegates urging them to be aware of the "blatantly biased and irresponsible journalism" that has marked the campaign so far.
Regardless of whether Sen. Clinton wins or loses tomorrow and regardless of whether she wins the nomination, the Shorenstein memo is a positive sign for the Democratic party because it reflects the fact that even major Democratic fundraisers are beginning to truly understand how the deck is stacked against top Democrats in the American media. This might make it easier for those who are trying to create progressive infrastructure and alternative media in this country to make their case to wealthy Democrats in the future. Additional data points - like this one cited by Greg Sargent - make it clear that a huge chunk of the Democratic base is beginning to understand that the media is stacked against Sen. Clinton. This, in turn, might make it easier for us to convince the Democratic base about the expected media bias in the general election (regardless of who the eventual nominee is). I would guess that a number of people who are donating to Sen. Clinton over the internet are motivated both by their support for her and by their disgust at the media - so, I hope Sen. Clinton preserves her supporter email list because it could help build a broader coalition against the corruption in the American media.
Finally, endorsements. All I can say is that it is nice to see so many senior (retired) officers from the Armed Forces proactively support a woman - i.e., Sen. Clinton - for President. (Alegre at MyDD has some partial transcripts from a conference call).