Obama's appeal to the "uneducated white male" is no more apparent then on the subject of NAFTA.
Both Hillary and Barack stepped in it when they sat together condemning NAFTA (Bill Clinton's claim to fame). Not only did they get an important trading partner and allie on the war on terror (Canada) upset (so much for "improving relationships with our friends"), but their nonsensical approach to politics only highlights their appeal to the ignorant and uneducated amongst us. Unfortunately, this is so often the so called, "blue collar worker". But it's not limited there. There are many, many "white collar" workers whom kid themselves into believing that some how they are above the chaos. A college education is no guarantee that someone has a lifetime of common sense. In fact, we have many, many examples of the opposite. Just look at the folks attending college today. Their ability to reason is no greater then the distance to the nearest bar.
Barack Obama is at his best when he's playing to the choir:
"we know that the status quo in Washington just won't do. Not this time. Not this year. We can't keep playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expect a different result - because it's a game that ordinary Americans are losing....
It's a game where trade deals like NAFTA ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart. That's what happens when the American worker doesn't have a voice at the negotiating table, when leaders change their positions on trade with the politics of the moment, and that's why we need a President who will listen to Main Street - not just Wall Street; a President who will stand with workers not just when it's easy, but when it's hard."
Now for the REALITY:
"I think the decision to support NAFTA was a crucial one because it was really a watershed as to whether America was going to stand for larger markets, was going to stand for forward defense of our interests by trying to have a more integrated global economy [in] which countries were growing. So [a] watershed in our relations with Mexico and establishing a real partnership with a country with whom we had a 2,000-mile border. I think it resulted in a profound change in the internal political dynamics in Mexico in favor of the progressive forces that believed in the market and friendship with the United States as opposed to the forces that believed more in socialism and opposition to the United States. And NAFTA didn't cost the United States a penny. It contributed to the strength of our economy both because of more exports and because imports helped to reduce inflation. It didn't cost the budget anything. It was a very worthwhile investment for our country." ~ Larry Summers [A professor of economics at Harvard University from 1983-1991, Lawrence Summers served as chief economist of the World Bank and secretary of the Treasury before returning to Harvard University as its president in 2001. ref: http://tinyurl.com/ys25gj ]
Obama on his position: "I don't think NAFTA has been good for Americans, and I never have."
Obama on her [Senator Clinton] position: "She was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for president."
Obama campaign mailer in Ohio: "Hillary Clinton believed NAFTA was a 'boon' to our economy," and "Only Barack Obama consistently opposed NAFTA."
Obama has been consistently ambivalent.
In his 2004 Senate campaign, he said the U.S. should pursue more deals such as NAFTA, and argued more broadly that his opponent's call for tariffs would spark a trade war. AP reported then that the Illinois senator had spoken of enormous benefits having accrued to his state from NAFTA, while adding that he also called for more aggressive trade protections for U.S. workers.
"We need free trade but also fair trade," he said, taking the dodge.
Obama is correct that Clinton has praised NAFTA in various ways, but he leaves out the qualifications she's expressed along the way.
And she did not say NAFTA was a "boon," as the mailer states on its ominous cover, depicting a locked factory gate.
"Boon" was a newspaper's characterization of her position, which is reprinted inside the mailer. "
[ref: http://tinyurl.com/yq65cl ]
And while thinking of Hillary:
"Her implication that NAFTA was simply a spillover from the first President Bush and passively made law under President Clinton ignores the fierce lobbying Bill Clinton engaged in to get the deal ratified by Congress. Hillary Clinton helped him in that effort." [ref: http://tinyurl.com/yq65cl ]
FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday, citing his record on trade.
''Senator Obama has never felt ... that NAFTA was good for America,'' Dorgan said in a campaign conference call with reporters. ''He's always been a supporter on key trade issues.''
[ref: http://tinyurl.com/25orgt ]
Apparently NOT the case. :O) Obama is flip-flopping .. again. What Senator Obama does is actually very simple. He likes to get his feet wet just enough so that he can in turn claim that he supported an issue IF IT'S PERCEIVED TO BE SUCCESSFUL but not so wet that he can't denounce it if it is PERCEIVED to have failed. It is the oldest political trick in the book that dates back to the earliest days of politics. It will be most interesting to see how it works on the larger American population.
From other quarters we find the following:
The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1994. It's known as TLCAN in Mexico and ALENA in the French-speaking parts of Canada. NAFTA eliminated most tariffs - or import taxes - on goods moving from one of the three countries to another. Most economists believe this has been good, overall, for the U.S. economy. But like all trade agreements, NAFTA has hurt some industries, particularly some in Rust Belt states - which brings us to present-day Ohio.
Are Obama and Clinton right? Has NAFTA hurt Ohio's economy?
"Oh, absolutely not," says Ned Hill, economic development professor at Cleveland State University. "NAFTA is more political theater than an economic event."
Hill says Ohio is suffering economically; unemployment is high.
"But that is not due to NAFTA," he says. "That is because of the failed strategy of three companies" - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
U.S. automakers are suffering - largely, Hill says, because they don't make cars people want. So, their workers suffer, which means an auto state like Ohio suffers. Hill says NAFTA has helped the state - the agreement has, on balance, helped increase employment and raise Ohio's gross domestic product.
Hill is a centrist Democrat and supports NAFTA and free trade. Rob Scott, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor, anti-NAFTA think tank, despises the agreement.
But as much as he doesn't like NAFTA, Scott says it's just not that important.
"More important was the formation of the WTO in 1994," he says. "And the entry of China into the WTO in 2001."
[ref: http://tinyurl.com/yqqbrc ]
And so it goes on and on and on.
This is but a very small sampling. Hillary and Obama going back and forth arguing over who supported what and when and both hoping to twist it all into a Bush mistake. Very laughable. But to be expected. After all this is politics. And if uneducated white men, or any other class, want to fall for this nonsense I say more power to you. The ONLY difference between Hillary Clinton's record and Barack Obama's is this: Senator Clinton has been around longer to make more mistakes.
In any case, all of this is inspiring me to write a book on how to get elected President of The United States. Maybe a handbook on double-talk, lies and deceptions used by every President to win the coveted seat. I think, after it's all summed up, we will gather a deeper clarity into the way Americans love to be bullshitted into feeling better about themselves and their situation. Because if the REAL "truth" be known, we just don't like to think that any of this crap could be our fault, therefore it HAS to be the other guy's fault!
Surely, we are worthy of a political Savior. :O/