In her interview with the candidate, Fortune's Nina Easton reminded Obama that earlier this year he had called NAFTA "devastating" and "a big mistake" and suggested that he would use an opt-out clause in the trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico to demand changes that would be more favorable to workers and farmers in all three countries.
Obama replied, "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified" -- which would have been enough of an indication that he was backing off the stance that contributed significantly to his success in the Feb. 19 Wisconsin primary that proved to be a critical turning point for his campaign.
Now Obama is saying NAFTA is not such a bad thing after all. The sad part is that Hillary would not have done any better, her campaign had contacted the Canadians months ago to assure them that nothing she says about destroying NAFTA is true so don't worry. It was ironic that she later accused Obama of doing this very thing.
NAFTA is one of the main low points of Bill Clinton's presidency. In many other ways he was damn good president but unfortunately someone put economic ideas in his head that made him follow right-wing economic policies, which meant deregulation and NAFTA and generally being corporate friendly instead of worker friendly. Now Obama seems to be following the same path.
This is very disappointing but not unexpected. David Sirota has written before about the indicators that showed Obama was far more corporate friendly than I was comfortable with. Which is one of the big reasons I was for Edwards first, Kucinich second, and Obama was a distant third. I knew Edwards and Kucinich were against NAFTA and weanted to protect the American worker and American jobs. But once the race narrowed down to Hillary and Obama the choices were too limited to vote for a true progressive candidate and I had to settle for the least corporate of the two, though there isn't much difference between them.
Frankly, this doesn't make much sense since McCain would be even more for the corporation and against the workers than Obama could ever be. At the very least Obama will likely raise taxes on the wealthy which will bring our debt down and hopefully allow the dollar to gain back a little of the ground it's lost. McCain doesn't even want to do that.
The sad part is that rather than be an agent of change or someone who brings a new kind of politics to Washington he's quickly turning into just another politician.