Skip to comments.(Candian)PM's Chief Of Staff Was Obama leak (NAFTA)
Posted on 03/05/2008 7:43:28 PM PST by jveritas
OTTAWA If the prime minister is seeking the first link in the chain of events that has rocked the U.S. presidential race, he need look no further than his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, The Canadian Press has learned.
A candid comment to journalists from CTV News by Prime Minister Stephen Harpers most senior political staffer during the hurly-burly of a budget lock-up provided the initial spark in what the American media are now calling NAFTAgate.
Harper announced Wednesday that he has asked an internal security team to begin finding the source of a document leak that he characterized as being blatantly unfair to Senator Barack Obama. .
The former university professor found himself in a room with CTV employees where he was quickly surrounded by a gaggle of reporters while other journalists were within earshot of other colleagues.
At the end of an extended conversation, Brodie was asked about remarks aimed by the Democratic candidates at Ohios anti-NAFTA voters that carried serious economic implications for Canada.
Since 75 per cent of Canadian exports go to the U.S., Obama and Clintons musings about reopening the North American free-trade pact had caused some concern.
Brodie downplayed those concerns.
Quite a few people heard it, said one source in the room.
He said someone from (Hillary) Clintons campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt ... That someone called us and told us not to worry.
Government officials did not deny the conversation took place. They said that Brodie sought to allay concerns about the impact of Obama and Clintons assertion that they would re-negotiate NAFTA if elected. But they did say that Brodie had no recollection of discussing any specific candidate either Clinton or Obama. CTV News Vice-President Robert Hurst said he would not discuss his journalists sources. But others said the content of Brodies remarks was passed on to CTVs Washington bureau and their White House correspondent set out the next day to pursue the story on Clintons apparent hypocrisy on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Although CTV correspondent Tom Clark mentioned Clinton in passing, the focus of his story was on assurances from the Obama camp.
He went to air on Feb. 27 with a report that the Democratic front-runner had given advance notice to Canadian diplomats that he was about to engage in some anti-NAFTA rhetoric, but not to take it too seriously.
The report wound up on YouTube and caused an uproar in the U.S. race influencing the final days of the critical Ohio primary, with every indication it will also play a role in the upcoming Pennsylvania vote.
Obama has been pilloried by his opponents and faced the most aggressive questioning of his heretofore smooth-sailing campaign.
Clinton used the story to cast him as a double-talking hypocrite winking and nudging at Canadians while making contrary promises to American voters.
Republican nominee John McCain who proudly dubs himself a straight-talker has also seized on the incident to paint the Democratic front-runner as anything but.
When Obamas campaign and the Canadian government denied the allegation, a leaked document was obtained by The Associated Press written by a Canadian diplomat. It chronicled a conversation between Obama economic adviser Austan Goulsbee and diplomats at Canadas Chicago consulate.
The Obama aide has challenged the wording of the memo and says it characterized the conversation unfairly. A government official said that memo was initially emailed to over 120 government employees.
Harper has rebuffed opposition requests to call in the RCMP and also investigate the source of the original tip that led to the CTV report that triggered the diplomatic tempest. But a team of internal security agents has begun an investigation that will see dozens of bureaucrats and political staff questioned about their knowledge of the leak.
This kind of leaking of information is completely unacceptable. In fact, it may well be illegal, Harper told the House of Commons.
It is not useful, it is not in the interests of the government of Canada and the way the leak was executed was blatantly unfair to Senator Obama and his campaign.
So the conversation was about Hillary Clinton contacting the Canadians regarding NAFTA but Candian TV (CTV) chose to focus on Obama.
Bill Clinton has associated with a woman named Melinda, also from that office. Coincidence?
WOW!!! is that true?
Harper. Man up a bit. It’s not unfair to tell the truth about something that should not even be remotely classified or confidential.
There’s never been a tomorrow Americans weren’t eager to greet. There’s never been a problem Americans couldn’t solve. The courage, patriotism, ingenuity and industry of our forbears earned the reverence we hold for our storied past. But we have never been a country that substitutes nostalgia for optimism. We have never been a country that would rather go back than forward. We are the world’s leaders, and leaders don’t fear change, hide from challenges, pine for the past and dread the future. We make the future better than the past. That’s why I resent demagogues who preach the false virtues of economic isolationism. Opening new markets for American goods and services is indispensable to our future prosperity. We can compete with anyone. You wouldn’t know that by listening to the protectionists. They think we’re licked. They think we should hide behind walls, bury our heads and industries in the sand, and hope we have enough left to live on while the world passes us by. That’s not leadership, and that’s not American.
“Here’s what the demagogues don’t tell you. America is the world’s biggest exporter, importer, producer, saver, investor, manufacturer, and innovator. Americans don’t run from the challenge of a global economy. We are the global economy. Any confident, competent government should embrace competition - it makes us stronger - not hide from our competitors and cheat our consumers and workers. We can compete and win, as we always have, or we can be left behind. I’m not running for President to preside over our decline.
“Lowering barriers to trade creates more and better jobs, and higher wages. It keeps inflation under control. It keeps mortgage and other interest rates low, and it makes goods more affordable for low and middle income consumers. Protectionism threatens all those benefits.
Rush: "Nothing about the Clinton's is a coincidence"
I’m coming up dry with searches on
But I believe I recall correctly.
Paging a little help....
Belinda! That’s it. Thank you.
Thanks for the info, that is really amazing. Another Bill Clinton affair.
One of the Democrat candidates is America’s most-cheated-on woman.
Talk about codependent, love-hate relationships!
Belinda was a Conservative and in a cliff hanger of a vote, the ruling Liberals faced a new election. This if the Conservatives could muster up another vote from a maverick independent Member of Parliament.
A prominent Liberal "just happened to bump into Belinda" a few days before the big vote. Suddenly she crossed the floor and joined the Liberals. Her price? A cabinet ministers position. The liberals survived with her vote and( oh boy a big furore in Canada now) the maverick (Chuck Cadmam), went with the Liberals. Belinda was dancing in a night club that night with a Liberal fancy man. The tune "Material Girl".
Alas the Liberals eventually lost power anyway, when the general election was called. Belinda lost her big job.
Belinda Stronach was an MP and minor Cabinet member in the short-lived Paul Martin minority government (2004 -06).
She’s now retired from politics (officially).
Stronauch? Wasnt that her name?