Monday, March 03, 2008

Tell me the Harperites aren't Republicans again...

From ABC News:
On Wednesday, the Canadian Television network reported that two unnamed Canadian sources said a "senior member" of Obama's campaign team had called Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador in Washington, in the last month to warn him that Obama would be ratcheting up rhetoric against the North American Free Trade Agreement, but that he should "not be worried about what Obama says about NAFTA," adding, "It's just campaign rhetoric. … It's not serious."

Both the Canadian Embassy and the Obama campaign have repeatedly denied the CTV report.

However, a source close to the Canadian prime minister's office tells ABC News that the original communication was between Austan Goolsbee, Obama's senior economic adviser and an economics professor at the University of Chicago, and Georges Rioux, Canada's consul general in Chicago, about Obama's rhetoric against NAFTA.

According to the source, Wilson exaggerated the communication between the Obama campaign and the Canadian official during discussions this week with Ian Brodie, the prime minister's chief of staff, who leaked the story to CTV.

And now... from Susan Delacourt:
A "source close to the Prime Minister's Office" has told ABC News who leaked some misinformation to CTV News this week about conversations between the Canadian government and Barack Obama's campaign. The alleged leaker? None other than Ian Brodie, chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


But let's also pause and look again at that ABC News item for a second. Someone close to the PMO is outing Ian Brodie as an anonymous leaker. Hope that "source's" job is secure.

And now, let's also look at what this "source close to the Prime Minister's Office" is saying about how all the misinforming happened.

Apparently, Brodie was the victim of some "exaggeration" by Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Wilson. Ah yes, that notorious exaggerator, Michael Wilson, former finance minister in Brian Mulroney's government, one of the straightest, most understated cabinet members in those times. Does this sound a bit familiar? Didn't "sources" in the PMO try to blame the military for misinformation around the issue of Afghan detainees a few weeks ago? Blame that later had to be retracted? And isn't it interesting how "sources" close to this government are quick to turn on old Mulroney Conservatives when the going gets tough?

It would probably be very interesting to hear conversations going on this afternoon inside the PMO and between Ottawa and Washington. Unless we're reading the ABC News item incorrectly, someone "close to the Prime Minister's Office" has managed to smear the PMO chief of staff and Canada's ambassador to the U.S in one fell swoop.

So, our guys are playing games across the border. How fucking quaint. How fucking Rovian of them.

Further, it shows how Harper and his knee-capping political coalition of wannabe baby elephants doesn't give a red-rat's-ass about the direction of Canadian public opinion. Or are they going to try to tell you they missed this:

Both Democratic nominees remain far and away the preferred option among Canadian respondents to become the next American president when compared to Republicans - a trend that holds true even among Conservative party supporters.
Of course... maybe it's just all of us "out of step" with the movement. Kady explains:
I'm not sure which aspect of this story will thrill Canadian voters more: that the Stephen Harper's chief of staff is allegedly playing electoral silly buggers south of the border, or that he's apparently doing so to help the Republicans. Then again, this is the smartest prime minister in the history of ever, so I'm probably just missing the strategic brilliance.

Cross posted from The Galloping Beaver

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