I Want Ohio Back

With merely days to go before the March 4th primaries, Obama was leading in Texas and he had closed Ohio to single digits.  Both were herculean efforts, particularly the one in Ohio where Obama had been down by over twenty just weeks prior.  He looked poised to crash through Hillary’s firewalls and thankfully put to rest this already fatigue-inducing primary season.

But then something happened.

Two somethings actually.  In Texas, it is looking as though Clinton’s lead in the popular vote there was wrangled in strong part by the last minute “red phone” ad.  Virtually every premise of that ad was laughable and misleading, but that is a discussion for another time.

But the real story of the day was happening in Ohio where what is now being termed as NAFTAgate blew up in Obama’s face.  Ohio, one of the states that is among the hardest hit by the current economic crunch, is not the state to make a NAFTA misstep in.  Some of it is blame games, but a lot of it is based on workers watching their jobs get shipped elsewhere unduly.  Anti-NAFTA is the way to go if you want to win the hearts of Ohioans, and at the eleventh hour a news report hit that literally killed Obama.

The notoriously biased CTV (at least this is how some of our Canadian friends characterize the network, not being Canadian I wouldn’t know) dropped a damning report that the Obama campaign was the primary party that had gone to the Canadian government and preemptively warned them that Obama would engage in anti-NAFTA rhetoric it was not really serious about.

This is the worst story to happen at the worst time if you’re Barack Obama.  One can reasonably assume that this story and this story alone allowed Clinton to turn what was a neck and neck race into a double digit victory.  And now that the story has unfolded a little, I want Ohio back.

For one, let’s look at the Obama aide’s statement which he claims was misrepresented in a memo.  Even if you aren’t willing to buy his claim that he was misrepresented, the Washington Post’s factchecker, though not alleviating the Obama campaign of total culpability, points to the fact that the Goolsbee’s presentation to the Canadian government was far more nuanced than the media, and Clinton’s campaign, were giving him credit for, and not necessarily just the wink and nudge it was painted to be.

But how about that comment from Clinton, huh?

Clinton said Monday that Obama’s campaign gave the Canadians “the old wink-wink.”

“I don’t think people should come to Ohio and tell the people of Ohio one thing and then have your campaign tell a foreign government something else behind closed doors,” she said in a statement. “That’s the kind of difference between talk and action and that I’ve been pointing out in this campaign.”

Uh-huh.  At this point I’m all kinds of filled with images of pots, kettles, and glass houses.  Specifically, I want to know how Clinton thinks it is particularly appropriate to attack her opponent so viciously for doing something that her campaign was also doing.  Indeed, it would seem as though the Clinton campaign started it.

The actual birth of the story was centered around its mother, Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Ian Brodie who had told a gaggle of reporters that, regarding the heated rhetoric against NAFTA, to take such things with a “grain of salt”.  In fact, paternity tests show that the Clinton campaign was the father of this story as Brodie cited the Clinton campaign ringing up the Canadians and saying not to worry about it.

It started with the Clinton campaign, and Obama ended up shouldering the story and losing Ohio.  Even more interesting, though, is the fact of how this came to be–a leaked and potentially mischaracterized memo which could point to Canadian attempts to actually influence the American election.

Sully asks the right question:

Will the press take this back to the Clinton campaign? Or is the one unvetted candidate in this race going to get a pass again?

Clinton dodged a bullet in Ohio, and Obama lost because of it.  But that doesn’t mean the bullet’s not still floating around out there waiting to hit its mark.

3 Responses to “I Want Ohio Back”

  1. Bostondreams says:

    I was just going to send ya that link. Think this will get bigger play at all? I hope so.

  2. eRobin says:

    They’re both so miserable on trade that when I think about it, I have to remind myself that I’m opposed to staying home on election day. We deserve so much better than this.

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