- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2008

Misleading ad

“In the days leading up to the March 4 Ohio primary, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign aired a TV ad that featured a man named Steven Schuyler standing in front of a Delphi Packard Electric plant in Warren, Ohio,” Stephen Spruiell writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“In the ad, Schuyler says he worked for Delphi, an automotive supplier, for 13 years until NAFTA enabled the company to ship his job to Mexico. ‘Barack Obama was against NAFTA,’ Schuyler says, adding, ‘We need a president that will bring work into this country.’

“The Delphi ad might qualify as the most deceptive of the 2008 race,” Mr. Spruiell said.

“First, Delphi did not exist as an independent company when Congress passed NAFTA in 1993. It was part of General Motors until it was spun off as an independent supplier in 1999. Second, foreign competition did not drive the company to eliminate American jobs. It declared bankruptcy in 2005 because the legacy labor costs it inherited from GM made it impossible to compete against other U.S.-based suppliers. Third, workers at the Warren, Ohio, plant were offered generous buyouts and early-retirement packages. Its employees were not just kicked to the street.

“When Delphi became an independent company in 1999, it inherited GM’s high-wage, high-benefit autoworkers’s union contracts. Addressing reporters after Delphi declared bankruptcy in 2005, then-CEO Robert S. ‘Steve’ Miller explained, ‘Other U.S.-based suppliers, many of which were organized by the same unions … were paying less than half the automaker wages and benefits [that Delphi was paying].’ Contrary to Obama’s ad, domestic competition played a bigger role in Delphi’s downfall than did competition from Mexico.”

More from Wright

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. is the gift that keeps on giving; every day seems to bring some new racist or otherwise embarrassing words from the spiritual father of Sen. Barack Obama.

Newsday blogger Glenn Thrush cites a eulogy that Mr. Wright wrote in the November/December issue of Trumpet magazine comparing Jesus and Asa Hilliard, a scholar of Afrocentrism and melanin-based black superiority who stated that composer Ludwig van Beethoven was black.

“[Jesus’] enemies had their opinion about Him,” Mr. Wright wrote. “The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.”

“After calling Jesus’ crucifixion ‘a public lynching Italian style’ executed in ‘Apartheid Rome,’ [Mr. Wright] goes on to claim that white supremicists run the U.S. government: ‘The government runs everything from the White House to the schoolhouse, from the Capitol to the Klan, white supremacy is clearly in charge, but Asa, like Jesus, refused to be defined by an oppressive government because Asa got his identity from an Omnipotent God,’ ” Mr. Thrush wrote.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Mr. Obama suggested he would have left his Chicago church had Mr. Wright, who married Mr. Obama and baptized his children, not stepped down.

“Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church,” Mr. Obama said yesterday during a taping of the ABC talk show, “The View.” The interview will be broadcast today.

Mr. Obama attempted last week to quell the national furor over Mr. Wright, who has said government scientists invented AIDS as an anti-black genocide weapon, with a speech on race in Philadelphia.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the fray for the first time Tuesday, saying she would not have had Mr. Wright as a pastor.

Rival joins McCain

John McCain was getting some help yesterday from former Republican rival Mitt Romney, a pairing that two months ago seemed improbable as the two fought bitterly for the party’s presidential nomination.

In their first campaign swing as allies, Mr. Romney planned to meet Mr. McCain at the airport in Salt Lake City and appear with the likely Republican nominee at a fundraiser. The two then were traveling to Denver for a second fundraiser, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. McCain, who has struggled to raise campaign money, is on a weeklong western fundraising swing. Mr. Romney is popular in Utah and Colorado, states with large numbers of residents who, like Mr. Romney, are Mormons.

The former Massachusetts governor dropped out of the race last month after it became apparent it would be nearly impossible to topple Mr. McCain in the convention delegate race. A week later, he endorsed the Arizona senator.

Route to victory

“It is improbable but, yes, still mathematically possible that New York Sen. Hillary Clinton could win the Democratic presidential nomination,” Jake Tapper writes at abcnews.go.com.

“What Democratic officials across the country fear is what Clinton will have to do to party rival Illinois Sen. Barack Obama — who leads in pledged delegates and the popular vote — to make that happen,” Mr. Tapper said.

“ ’I don’t think she has no chance, but the route for her to victory is so bad for the Democratic Party — it’s to damage Obama so much that people feel he’s not electable,’ said ABC News political contributor Matthew Dowd, a former adviser to President Bush.

“One Democratic Party official called Clinton’s strategy ‘The Tonya Harding Option’ — the idea that Clinton’s only path to the gold medal is to destroy her leading competitor.”

Singing her song

“Sorry, Celine Dion fans, but there weren’t a lot of people crying inside or outside the Hillary Clinton campaign when the Democrat dumped the singer’s ‘You and I’ as her presidential theme tune after a short run,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“Yes, fans supposedly chose it in a Clinton online contest, but it was a loser from the start. Well, as it turns out, the effort to find a unique theme song didn’t have to go sour. That’s because a California group of backers, Latinas for Hillary, had a catchy tune, ‘Oye Hillary,’ written and recorded for her, and now it’s going national as ‘Hey Hey Hillary.’ ”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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