The Canadian affairA Canadian Embassy memo on the eve of the Democratic Primaries in Ohio and Texas is causing a huge stir:
Barack Obama's threat to withdraw from NAFTA should be viewed as "political positioning," according to a memo written after the U.S. presidential hopeful's senior economic policy adviser met with Canadian officials.
The memo, obtained by the Associated Press, was written by Canadian consulate staffer Joseph DeMora, after a meeting in Chicago last week between Austan Goolsbee and Canadian Consul General Georges Rioux.
"Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign," the memo said.
"He cautioned that this message should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans."
If an Obama campaign advisor met with Canadian diplomatic officials and said that Obama's words about NAFTA were mere political posturing, that is a major development which could have a real impact on tomorrow's voting. Barack Obama is denying that the exchange took place, but the non-event sure had quite a life of its own in the Commons today in a heated exchange between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton, in which Layton accused Harper and the Conservative Government that he leads of trying to exert influence over the Democratic primaries.
This could prove to be a long-term stink that Obama could have trouble getting rid of.