We’ve seen it once before. While Obama and Hillary were out excoriating anyone who believed in free trade, members of their respective campaigns were practicing doublespeak. In fact, this is nothing new at all. Consider….
#1: Hillary Clinton, before the campaign was in full swing, decried the Dubai Ports deal (I wasn’t a big fan either). Quietly, her husband was lobbying for the United Arab Emirates in an apparent conflict of spousal interests. Bill got away with this since, at the time, the media was still firmly in the court of HRC. The MSM never fully made the Clintons account for the fact that her husband was pushing for UAE interests while Hillary was feigning her indignation. The UAE was very kind to Bill (and, consequently, Hillary).
#2: Obama and Hillary both went on anti-NAFTA tirades in order to woo Midwestern voters in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania. They both declared that NAFTA had hurt American workers and cost our nation jobs. This was their tip-of-the-hat to the union base. The media gave little attention to the fact that A) Bill Clinton was the Pres of record who made NAFTA possible (with little argument from Hill), or B) one of Obama’s economic advisers quickly rushed to Canada to assure the Canadians that Obama’s anti-NAFTA rants were merely posturing during an election.
#3: Hillary’s main man, Mark Penn, was basically kicked off the Clinton bus when it was revealed that he had met with Colombian officials in his capacity as a professional lobbyist to chart a strategy for promoting a free trade deal between Washington and Bogota. This was a deal that HRC opposed (again, as a tip-of-the-hat to the unions). Again, her husband Bill had also taken money from the Colombians to give speeches in Latin America advocating free trade with the US.
Aside from the obvious fact that Hillary needs to check out Bill’s ties before lambasting foreign nations and free trade, both Democrats need to acknowledge their hypocrisy, explain their statements (and doublespeak) or lay-off criticizing free trade. Both Obama and Hillary seem to understand the importance of free trade. But both are so desparate for votes that they sell their souls to the unions by regurgitating hypocritical, protectionist rhetoric.
This is one of those areas where you can draw a bright, defined line between the Dem candidates for President and John McCain. When it comes to free trade, McCain is all “straight-talk.” He understands the importance of free trade and the positive impact that it can have on friendly democracies like Colombia. It’s time for the Dems to make up their minds and be upfront with voters. As long as they continue this hypocrisy, they will only dig a deep hole that will leave them out of sorts with both the unions and free traders.