NAFTAGATE II -- Now it's her turn!
I have been a critic of NAFTA from the very beginning.

-- Hillary Clinton, February 26, 2008

Anyone remember Barack Obama's NAFTAGATE? Hillary's Texas and Ohio victories were made possible in no small part because she hammered away at Barack Obama for being secretly in favor of NAFTA, or at least, not as opposed to it as he claimed he was in public.

Well, it turns out that Hillary has now been caught in a bald-faced lie. It's all in the White House documents released this week:

Now that we know from the 11,000 pages of Clinton White House documents released this week that former First Lady was an ardent advocate for NAFTA; now that we know she held at least five meetings to strategize about how to win congressional approval of the deal; now that we know she was in the thick of the manuevering to block the efforts of labor, farm, environmental and human rights groups to get a better agreement. Now that we know all of this, how should we assess the claim that Hillary's heart has always beaten to a fair-trade rhythm?

Now that we know from official records of her time as First Lady that Clinton was the featured speaker at a closed-door session where 120 women opinion leaders were hectored to pressure their congressional representatives to approve NAFTA; now that we know from ABC News reporting on the session that "her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA" and that "there was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time;" now that we have these details confirmed, what should we make of Clinton's campaign claim that she was never comfortable with the militant free-trade agenda that has cost the United States hundreds of thousands of union jobs, that has idled entire industries, that has saddled this country with record trade deficits, undermined the security of working families in the US and abroad, and has forced Mexican farmers off their land into an economic refugee status that ultimately forces them to cross the Rio Grande River in search of work?

Obviously, the Nation (a left-wing, anti-NAFTA outfit) is extremely pissed off, and while I'm a bit puzzled by the moral indignation (as if it's a shock that Hillary Clinton would lie), I'm glad to see that she's not getting away with it.

Not that Obama is in much of a position to criticize her, so I don't expect him to. I'm pro-NAFTA, so I didn't think much of Obama's "NAFTAgate." Sure, it revealed a sneaky side of him that he'd make covert reassurances to the Canadians through a proxy, and I didn't like the way he ditched Goolsbee.

But Hillary made it sound as if opposition to NAFTA was not only a huge part of her populist ethos, but got away with attacking Obama as pro-NAFTA -- all the while with the gullible voters buying into it.

Obama had his NAFTAGATE, now Hillary has hers.

I think she's done a lot more to earn it than Obama did.

(Now if only I can figure out which candidate really and sincerely hates NAFTA more in his or her heart of hearts....)

Well, Hillary was for it first, and for it longer, even though she says she was against it first, and against it longer. So I think she wins the Pinnochio nose contest.

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post, and welcome all! I'm proud to say that this is my very first "UH OH"! (Well, not the first UH OH in my life, but the first from Glenn!)

Comments welcome, agree or disagree.

posted by Eric on 03.20.08 at 05:13 PM


Her John Kerry moment:

Before she was against NAFTA, she was for it!

Joe Jones   ·  March 21, 2008 8:43 PM

Only Hillary can lead this country out of the morass created by CheneyRove. If she must use a nuanced approach that you don't understand, so be it. Her term(s) in office will vindicate this campaign made worse by pro CheneyRove shills that have insinuated themselves into BHO's core group of advisors.

Gary   ·  March 21, 2008 8:53 PM

I think they now have medicines that can help you with the problem you're having with reality. It's NUANCED to LIE now?

Braincramp   ·  March 21, 2008 9:31 PM

Nuanced? What's that? Pying in Clintonese? Kerry was nuanced, too, according to nitwits like Gary. Nuanced in his case just meant he didn't think clearly.


Joe Fotch   ·  March 21, 2008 10:13 PM

Nuanced? What's that? lying in Clintonese? Kerry was nuanced, too, according to nitwits like Gary. Nuanced in his case just meant he didn't think clearly.


Joe Fotch   ·  March 21, 2008 10:13 PM

Nuanced? What's that? Lying in Clintonese? Kerry was nuanced, too, according to people like Gary. Nuanced in his case just meant he didn't think clearly.


Joe Fotch   ·  March 21, 2008 10:14 PM

I'm going to guess that the Nation isn't really as much "anti-NAFTA" as they're in favor of NAFTA, they just want the pillows to be fluffed up a bit.

Meanwhile, no one else who's discussed "NAFTAGate" ever discussed that Obama recently came out in support of Bush's SPP scheme (, aka "NAFTA on steroids". Details at my name's link.

And, he also spoke in code when he announced his support for that program. It's certainly odd how no one else has picked up on that, almost like they've got a blindspot when it comes to semi-secret Bush administration schemes.

Obama's hidden NAFTAGate   ·  March 21, 2008 10:40 PM

Hmmm, wow, that improves my opinion of her.

Maybe she wouldn't really be as toxic as she's claiming.

Dishman   ·  March 22, 2008 12:36 AM

I thought Gary was a parody. No?

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  March 22, 2008 12:52 AM

> semi-secret Bush administration schemes.

SPP has farging website, so it's not much of a secret, semi or otherwise.

We really only have two choices in regards to Mexico: a) a Berlin style wall or b) an EU style border with common documentation.

The current closed border concept isn't working, so exploring our commonality isn't such a bad idea.

BJ   ·  March 22, 2008 6:26 AM

Hey BJ, can we close the borders before you declare the "closed border concept isn't working"?

And the Berlin Wall kept people in, not out. We need a fence/wall/manpower deployment to keep people out.

joated   ·  March 22, 2008 8:37 AM

Bare-faced lie. Bare-faced! Bold face is a type face.

John Russell   ·  March 22, 2008 11:58 AM

I see no surprise in this. It's now Standard Operating Procedure for Democratic Presidential candidates to vote for something before they vote against it!

Shoebox   ·  March 22, 2008 1:45 PM

Perhaps BJ would be kind enough to point to media coverage of the SPP, other than the occasional attempts at using government spokespeople to debunk obviously likely proposals. Perhaps he'd also like to point to congressional oversight of the scheme. Perhaps he'd also like to explain why a few FOIA requests have been necessary to find out even basic details about the scheme. Perhaps he'd also like to point to the public debate we've been having about the "merger" he promotes.

Obama's hidden NAFTAGate   ·  March 22, 2008 2:09 PM

I saw this report last week. I may have missed, it but where is the media coverage.

amr   ·  March 22, 2008 4:59 PM

Post a comment

April 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30


Search the Site


Classics To Go

Classical Values PDA Link


Recent Entries


Site Credits