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Hoffa damage control. Obama backer Hoffa takes backs words about Austan Goolsbee


Teamster president and Obama backer James Hoffa says he takes it all back...His statement just in....

"To clear up any misunderstanding about my statements, the Obama campaign and Austan Goolsbee have already clarified Professor Goolsbee's meeting with representatives from the Canadian government, and as confirmed by the Canadian government, Sen. Obama's position on NAFTA has not changed. As I said on a conference call with reporters earlier today, Sen. Clinton has a credibility problem with the working men and women across this country on the issue of trade. This problem is only underscored by Mark Penn's continued role in her campaign."


Hoffa is sitting on the wrong horse and is crossing the stream.
How can he get off now? Not possible. Obama's NAFTA position is
one issue that he can't get the press to let him off the hook. Now the hook has Hoffa and Obama caught on the same line. Hoffa's statement is right from the Obama campaign. Neither men show leadership on this issue. Obama's lack of depth regarding issues is apparent. He can make a great speech, but there's nothing behind his statements, no history, no leadership.

'"The president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, James Hoffa, said through an aide tonight that the change is of little significance, since Mr. Penn will continue to advise and poll for Mrs. Clinton's presidential bid. "Demotion doesn't answer General President Hoffa's concerns. Mark Penn is still on her payroll and Burson-Marsteller's payroll," a spokeswoman for Mr. Hoffa, Leigh Strope, said. "Title demotion doesn't indicate loss of influence."' "In a statement on Friday, Mr. Hoffa called for Mr. Penn's ouster. "Someone like Mark Penn should not be dictating strategy, and possibly legislation, for a Democratic candidate for president," the Teamster leader said."

Hari Sevugan, spokesman for Obama for America, released the following statement in response to the Clinton campaign’s attempts to distance themselves from long-time strategist Mark Penn: “Even though Senator Clinton said she’d distance herself from her chief strategist for meeting with the Colombian government, we later found out that he’s still very much part of her strategy team. The comparison Senator Clinton tried to make today is laughable, but also typical of a candidate who has said one thing but done another this entire campaign.”

Anyone with any Political smarts and savvy, should know that the Clintons are not REALLY getting rid of Penn and that this is just a smoke screen -- he is far too valuable to them and knows WAY too much for them to push him under the bus. He will still be pulling the strings behind that Wizard of Oz Curtin, as they say,polling and advising! This is just more double talk, double speak, misstate, misspeak and misspoke moment. Mark Penn should step down for Real!

I am increasingly dismayed at the tenor of the Barack Obama supporters on this blog, and others toward those expressing fact-based opinions of support for the campaign of Hilary Clinton.
It is something worth studying, I believe.
I don't know if this is reflected in the news media's relatively more favorable treatment of Obama versus Clinton, or in the Op Ed diatribes male and conservative female writers are inflicting upon Clinton.
But I would not be surprised.
It would be the sign of a campaign and supporters who are TRULY interested in 'unity' if the nasty comments could be curtailed. This is particularly important, since the campaign staffers and supporters must certainly recognize the far better treatment, the 'benefit of doubt' that Obama, the junior national figure receives compared to Clinton, the senior national figure.
Hilary's Bosnia 'problems' are easily explained, and yet this is discussed in the most inflammatory terms (i.e. the use of 'lie' or 'lying'). Hilary's off the cuff anecdote about the woman having problems getting health care is similary spoken of in the most inflammatory terms, even though it's actually a fairly accurate account of what occured.
Obama has been given largely a free ride by the news media on a number of issues:
*apparent double standards regarding negative or stereotypical terms concerning women's roles versus possibly racist utterings;
*red herring cries of 'she's a warmonger' toward Clinton when Obama himself has an identical record of support for Iraq funding resolutions, and, had he been at the national level, would have possibly NEEDED to vote for the war (not that it mattered anyway given the votes in the Senate);
*lackluster and rambling performance yesterday with Gen'l Petreus versus Clinton's masterful, economic, concise and statesmanlike questions. Hilary truly and gently either BOXED THE WARMONGERS INTO THE CORNER over the issue of bringing Congress in on any possible peace pact or allowed good public servants a chance to do the same to the illegitimate Bush Administration.
Where Hilary deserves our criticism is the lack of a ground game to police the voting that has already taken place in the primary. There are reports of not necessarily chicanery but youthful over-exuberance in some of the primary votes.
The lack of media attention to these issues is yet another sign of the bias against Hilary Clinton's campaign.
If Obama ends up being the candidate, this media treatment will be remembered by the Republicans who cynically voted him 'up the ticket' and will work against the Democratic party's seemingly stellar chances of taking back the White House (and Congress with it) from the people who stole the futures from wee common folks.
While I appreciate the sentiment in the latest Obama campaign ad that he truly wants our children to have all the benefits his kids have--most of us know that's just not going to happen.
We do have a ruling class in this country. And both Barack and Hilary are part of it. And always will be. To tell us otherwise, by refusing to release 30 years of tax returns, or all the earmarks, or to label earmarks in a confusing manner is something which seems very condescending to those paying attention to it right now.
And, while many are not paying attention right now--they will in the Fall.
That is why we need to support a candidate who has learned or already knew how to survive the buffeting received due to who they are or what they have done.
And it is clear, at least to me--that candidate right now is Hilary Clinton. With the help of the Clintons--in eight years--I believe that person will be Barack Obama.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 8, 2008 2:22 PM.

Penn was like an "editor-in-chief" says Wolfson. Still important, not in charge. Shines light back on Goolsbee. was the previous entry in this blog.

President Bush and boycotting some of the China Olympics. Is his position clear? is the next entry in this blog.

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