Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Pope of Hope or Common Liar?

Well interesting development on the campaign trail today. It seems our buddy Mr. O'Bama may have been caught in quite the lie. You know who I'm talking about, the Pope of Hope, the man who is going to change politics as we know it?

See, as the story goes, and it remains to be seen if it is true:

" a member of Mr. O'Bama's staff telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources.The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value."

Well this is interesting as far as it goes, and of course all politicians shade the truth from time to time, but it seems to me that there is a little more here. It is one thing to say, "I'll reduce your taxes" and never mean it, and quite another to call a foreign minister and say, "I'm going to lie to the American people and it involves my country's relationship with yours, but don't worry because I don't mean a bit of it".

If true, this belies both an inherent dishonesty, which is natural for an Illinois politician, and a complete misunderstanding to the importance of candor and truth in dealing when it comes to permanent treaties with your allies and neighbors.

By the way, as a side note, I happen to know Micheal Wilson quite well. In a previous life he and I were on opposite sides of a business transaction and I found him to be a charming, honest and very engaging man. Quite famous in his country as well which became apparent the night of our closing dinner. I was host and arrived at the restaurant a bit early to make sure everything was just so, and noticed that a lot of the restaurant's staff were milling around - far more than we needed to handle the 15 or so people in our room. Finally I asked a waitress what the deal was, and she said in her McKensie Brothers accent, "Oh, Michael Wilson is in your room tonight, we all would like to see him".

Can you imagine a restaurant staff in America standing around to see Henry Paulson? Me either.

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