I want to say up front that it was stupid for Obama to deny this happened, when it in fact did. The "I was dealing with the facts as I knew them" defense doesn't cut it. Bush would say the same thing about Iraq. What I've loved so far about Obama's campaign is the cat's willingness to, as we say in the old country, Man Up. I hope he continues in that tradition and takes responsibility for his mistakes, and remains willing to
Now that that's out of the way, it also seems clear that Obama was basically set-up. Here's a piece in TNR on Canadian conservatives attempts to influence the election:
First and foremost, the U.S. media has identified his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, as the leaker of the diplomatic cable written by the Chicago consulate reporting on the Goolsbee meeting. Harper's domestic political foes are advancing a narrative that has already angered Democrats, and would be bad news for bilateral relations: that Harper was trying to do a favor for the GOP by tossing a piece of political dynamite in front of Obama's train as it was barreling down on Ohio.
"They will do what is necessary to help Republicans. They're a nasty, unprincipled bunch, who are incompetent to boot," Bob Rae, foreign affairs critic and member of the opposition Liberal party, wroteasked on his blog. "Is it possible that the prime minister himself knew about this information and authorized the leaks in order to discredit the campaign of Mr. Obama for president of the United States?" New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton
And also from Talking Points Memo:
Seems the NAFTAgate leak started with -- surprise, surprise -- the Chief of Staff to Canada's conservative PM Stephen Harper. Only the first hint wasn't about stuff the Canadians had heard from the Obama camp. It was about reassurances the Canadians got from the Clinton campaign. According to a reporter who heard the original conversation, Brodie said "someone from (Hillary) Clinton's campaign is telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt. . . That someone called us and told us not to worry."
Only somehow this evolved into a story about the Obama campaign giving such reassurances.
Nasty stuff. But Obama better get used to it, and fast.