Wednesday, March 5, 2008

First thoughts on the Primaries' Outcomes

by Norman Markowitz

As a follow-up to Joel Wendland's excellent blog analysis of the primaries yesterday, it is really important to remember that Bill Clinton was directly responsible for the NAFTA treaty, which has harmed U.S., Mexican, and Canadian workers. He pushed the treaty through against the majority of Democrats in Congress, twisted arms and offered rewards to those Democrats who broke ranks with labor and a large majority of Democrats to pass NAFTA. This "victory" had the political consequences of dividing the Democratic party and played a major role in the
Republicans 1994 victory.

Certainly, Barack Obama is more trustworthy when it comes to advancing labor's rights against those who see NAFTA and NAFTA-like trade agreements that benefit large corporations as producing prosperity for the people--the de facto trickle down theory behind NAFTA and similar agreements, which have had disastrous consequences.

Barack Obama has run a very upbeat and "clean" campaign. He pointed yesterday to the differences between what he stands for and what John McCain, who officially gained the majority to make him the Republican candidate, represents. He defined McCain, whatever personal qualities he may have, as carrying the flag for the Bush administration in 2008. These are the issues which will win in 2008.

Hillary Clinton has so far not run a "clean" campaign. Hopefully, she will not be encouraged by her success yesterday in Ohio and Texas to continue to push her "3 in the morning" red phone attack ad, and to use dishonest and (in my opinion) coded racist attacks on Obama's credentials and positions. To use a sports metaphor, that is playing both for herself only and for John McCain's team.

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