Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Obama's Weakness

The fallout over his NAFTA comments actually presents a threat to Barack Obama. The fact is, matters of policy do not really affect his support, it is doubtful that most of his supporters could even identify any specifics of his policy stands beyond such vague platitudes such as "End the war in Iraq!" His attraction though is based entirely on the charismatic "Messiah" appeal, that he is someone different who will transcend the standard political process. If it comes out that he is nothing more than the average cynical politician who will say anything to get elected, than that is gone entirely.

On that note, the Wall Street Journal today probably had the best line on this controversy:

Mr. Goolsbee maintains that he did say that Mr. Obama recognizes the benefits of free trade. But, Mr. Goolsbee adds, he also emphasized that Mr. Obama's objective is to strengthen Nafta's labor and environmental provisions. The accommodating Canadian Embassy nonetheless tried to smooth things over yesterday with a statement saying that "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, including about NAFTA." Which is too bad, because the apparent revelation that Mr. Obama doesn't believe his own trade rhetoric is the best news we've heard about the Illinois Senator's economic policy.