So, it wasn't the Obama Campaign that was speaking to the Canadians it was the Clinton Campaign. One wonders if the lazy press will ever get around to informing us of that fact?
The Canadian Press
March 5, 2008 at 8:53 PM EST
OTTAWA — If the Prime Minister is seeking the first link in the chain of events that has rocked the U.S. presidential race, he need look no further than his chief of staff, Ian Brodie, The Canadian Press has learned.
A candid comment to journalists from CTV News by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's most senior political staffer during the hurly-burly of a budget lock-up provided the initial spark in what the American media are now calling NAFTAgate.
Mr. Harper announced Wednesday that he has asked an internal security team to begin finding the source of a document leak that he characterized as being "blatantly unfair" to Senator Barack Obama.
What is now a swirling Canada-U.S. controversy began on Feb. 26, when the usually circumspect Mr. Brodie was milling among droves of Canadian media on budget day in the stately old building that once housed Ottawa's train station.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff Ian Brodie watches from the back of the room during a photo op before the government caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday.
Mr. Brodie wandered over to speak to Finance Department officials and chatted amiably with journalists — who appreciated this rare moment of direct access to the top official in Mr. Harper's notoriously tight-lipped government.
The former university professor found himself in a room with CTV employees where he was quickly surrounded by a gaggle of reporters while other journalists were within earshot of other colleagues.
At the end of an extended conversation, Mr. Brodie was asked about remarks aimed by the Democratic candidates at Ohio's anti-NAFTA voters that carried serious economic implications for Canada.
Since 75 per cent of Canadian exports go to the U.S., Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton's musings about reopening the North American free-trade pact had caused some concern.
Mr. Brodie downplayed those concerns.
"Quite a few people heard it," said one source in the room.
"He 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."
Government officials did not deny the conversation took place.
They said that Mr. Brodie sought to allay concerns about the impact of Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton's assertion that they would re-negotiate NAFTA if elected. But they did say that Mr. Brodie had no recollection of discussing any specific candidate — either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama.
As always with the Clintons this just serves to remind us all - things are never quite what they seem to be -