The general campaign is on, independent voters are up for grabs, and Barack Obama is toning down his populist rhetoric - at least when it comes to free trade.I'm not sure I've ever found such a transparent political ploy reassuring.
In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine's upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn't want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.
"Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified," he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake," despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.
Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? "Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself," he answered.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
From Fortune, via the Plank: So, Nafta isn't so bad after all: