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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hillary in a box

Despite the vague (perhaps not so vague) hints by the Clinton campaign that the American public might get a chance to vote for a Clinton/Obama ticket, she has effectively shut Obama out as a running mate. The red phone ads (ironically, the baby in the video, which was taken years ago, is now grown up and an Obama supporter) that suggest Obama is not up to the task of being commander -in-chief, make it almost impossible for her to pick Obama as a running mate unless she backs off from the ads.

A further irony is that the more she defines herself as the national security candidate the more likely she is to be crushed by John McCain should she become the nominee.

I was disappointed that Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell, was forced to resign from the Obama campaign for the "monster" remark. Obama should have said that he values opinions from all the spectra and that Power is a dedicated human rights advocate, a professor at Yale, and that while her remarks did not perhaps reflect his, she was certainly entitled to them. We need more free speech, not less. The Goolspee NAFTA remark falls in a different category, because he was apparently speaking for the candidate about an issue that concerns many of us.

Another irony, in a year filled with them, is Clinton's antipathy toward NAFTA, viewed as one of the crowning jewels of her husband's term in office. Both candidates are being disingenuous. NAFTA has provided a net surplus of jobs in the US since it was enacted and has immeasureably helped workers in other countries. It has hurt US manufacturing jobs, but you win some and lose some. Clinton and Obama need to be more honest about that. McCain admits he knows nothing about economics so he's irrelevant.
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