Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Question 3

A debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot? Something about us getting out in six months? Where did that come from?

Hillary says she would renegotiate NAFTA, that we will "opt out if we cannot renegotiate it." She is trying to have it both ways, standing by the agreement for the places where it's worked and saying it's been deficient for the places it's hurt.

(Has there ever been a federal policy that was good for everyone, especially when it comes to trade? I would have to say no.)

Hillary tries to hit Obama on his farm position and is pushed back by Tim Russert, who redirects her back to the original question about her position on NAFTA. She is getting visibly angry. Watch her jaw, which is clenching, and her eyes, which are opening wider.

She recovered well, though.

Now to Obama: "You have been consistently ambivalent" on the issue, Russert says. Obama says we should use the "hammer of potential opt-out" to renegotiate and that Hillary has the right position on this issue.

(As a general rule, candidates are discouraged from saying that their opponents are "correct" or "right," out of fear that those comments will be misconstrued as an endorsement of the opponent's position. I don't necessarily believe in a hard-and-fast rule on that ... I think it makes the candidate look silly. Everyone is right at some point; it's silly to pretend otherwise.)

Round 3 to Clinton.