Today’s Barack Obama Digest

There’s so much news out there, too much to make multiple posts out of tonight, so I decided to condense them all into one.

—- As a follow-up to this morning’s news that BO’s senior economic advisor Austan Goolsbee did indeed have a little chit chat with the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago, where a memo taken during the meeting included an interpretation of alleged nod nod wink wink remarks Goolsbee made about Obama’s position on NAFTA, the BO campaign today continued their spin work in trying to downplay the whole scandal with this whopper:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Goolsbee’s visit was not as an emissary from the campaign, but as a professor from the University of Chicago. He was not authorized to share any messages from the campaign, Burton said.

LOL! Details of the memo are here in the two page article I referenced this morning. If Austan Goolsbee was there on behalf of himself and the UofC and not the BO campaign, then I’m the Prince of Wales.

—- Rick Moran reports that “NAFTAgate” seems to have legs in Ohio, where the O-mentum appears to have ground to a halt, and people are protesting:

Regardless of how the events transpired between Goolsbee and the Canadians, the view from the ground in Ohio from Scheiber is significant. Over the weekend, steel workers were picketing Obama’s headquarters in Toledo demanding clarification on his NAFTA policy. And newspapers, pundits, and local talk shows are filled with talk about the incident.

Will BO’s talking out of both sides of his mouth finally catch up with him, and give Hillary a surprise victory tomorrow night in OH? How delicious that would be.

—- On the heels of BO’s foreign policy gaffe last week where he not only falsely asserted that AQ had not been in Iraq prior to the start of the war but suggested that the US would reserve the right to go back into Iraq if AQ decided to create a base in Iraq in spite of the fact that AQ already has a base in Iraq, comes another gaffe related to the war in Iraq, this time involving questions of judgement on the vote to authorize the use of force. Karl at PW explains:

Yesterday, Barack Obama praised Jay Rockefeller’s vote against the Iraq AUMF after receiving a glowing introduction from the West Virginia Senator, contrasting it with Hillary Clinton’s “yes” vote:

“Obama ripped Sen. Hillary Clinton on Sunday for failing to read the National Intelligence Estimate before voting in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war. He said she should’ve followed the lead of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., contending that he, as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, did read the report and voted against the war.

“Jay Rockefeller read it, but she didn’t read it” Obama told a rally in Westerville, Ohio. “I don’t know what all that experience got her, because I have enough experience to know that if you have a National Intelligence Estimate and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says, `You should read this, this is why I’m voting against the war,’ you should read it.” ”

One problem: Rockefeller read the report and voted for the war. And Rockefeller was not the chairman of the committee at the time. Okay, two problems. Camp Obama is trying to claim that Obama really meant to refer to Bob Graham, who was the chairman, which makes no sense, given that he was being intoduced by Rockefeller. Okay, three problems. And Obama spokesperson Jennifer Psaki suggested the mistake was no big deal by saying, “I don’t think the people in the audience care who Jay Rockefeller is” though Obama was making a big deal out of Rockefeller’s endorsement. Okay, four problems.

They are not big problems, in part because much of the media is trying to pretend this did not happen, even though Obama constantly uses the Iraq vote to explain why he has better foreign policy judgment than Clinton.

Let’s add a couple more problems to the list with respect to whole debate about who voted for or against, who had the “good judgement” to speak out against the Iraq resolution, etc. First, let’s go to a claim BO made in his last debate with Hillary Clinton:

SEN. CLINTON: […] And every time the question about qualifications and credentials for commander in chief are raised, Senator Obama rightly points to the speech he gave in 2002. He’s to be commended for having given the speech. Many people gave speeches against the war then, and the fair comparison is he didn’t have responsibility, he didn’t have to vote; by 2004 he was saying that he basically agreed with the way George Bush was conducting the war. And when he came to the Senate, he and I have voted exactly the same. We have voted for the money to fund the war until relatively recently. So the fair comparison was when we both had responsibility, when it wasn’t just a speech but it was actually action, where is the difference? Where is the comparison that would in some way give a real credibility to the speech that he gave against the war?

SEN. OBAMA: Let me just follow up. My objections to the war in Iraq were simply — not simply a speech. I was in the midst of a U.S. Senate campaign. It was a high-stakes campaign. I was one of the most vocal opponents of the war, and I was very specific as to why.

Bzzzt. Wrong. Senator Obama gave his speech in October of 2002. He didn’t announce his candidacy for the US Senate until January 2003, and it wasn’t considered “high stakes” once his two toughest opponents were bumped out of the race due to marital scandals.

Something else he’s asserted about his Iraq war speech that is just flat out wrong: that it was took “courage” to give it. Watch one of the latest ads his campaign has run about the “courage” it took for him to oppose the Iraq war “from the start”:

I’m sorry, but can someone explain to me how it took “courage” for then-state Senator Obama to make a speech against the Iraq war, at a time when he wasn’t in the US Senate, and wasn’t privy to the intelligence others in the Senate had at their disposal? In fact, the speech he made in October 2002 was made at an anti-Iraq war rally. This is “courage”? Yeah, it’s about as courageous as it is to wade in a kiddie pool wearing a life jacket.

Something else that ad asserted was that BO understood that the “real threat” to the US was AQ in Afghanistan … yet he couldn’t manage to hold a single policy hearing last year on Afghanistan after he became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on European Affairs?

—- One word: Rezko.

—- And finally, to end this post on a somewhat amusing note, on the eve of the big primaries in Texas and Ohio we find out how Barack Obama is, in part, trying to make amends with the gay community after his campaign’s controversial decision back in October to invite “anti-gay” pastor and Grammy award winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to be a part of BO’s “Embrace the Change” tour in SC, which was a tour designed to shore up the black evangelical vote: He’s justifying his support of civil unions by invoking the Sermon on the Mount. Via the LAT’s Top of the Ticket blog:

While Obama said he does not believe in same-sex marriage, he argued strongly for civil unions that allow same-sex couples to visit each other in the hospital, let them transfer property to each other and protect them from discrimination. “If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which, I think, is, in my mind, more central than an obscure passage in Romans” Obama said.

That likely would be “Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy” over “Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves due penalty for their perversion.”

Keeping in mind BO’s faulty proclamation in October that we could “create a Kingdom right here on Earth,” I wouldn’t put too much stock in the validity of his Biblical rationale for supporting civil unions. Considering not only the McClurkin controversy, but the deliberate snub he gave to pro-gay marriage SF Mayor Gavin Newsom back in 2004, he’s got some ground to make up with the gay community, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to smooth ruffled feathers, stopping just short of announcing outright support of gay marriage. It’s part of his “triangulation” strategy, methinks.

Related: Could the MSM be turning on BO? MSNBC’s First Read reports that Obama “tangled” with the press today in what turned out to be a “contentious news conference.”

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