Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Punjab, Schmumjab! Face the Facts: Clinton's Funding Comes at the Expense of U.S. Workers!

Illinois Senator Barack Obama is taking heat lately for a piece of opposition research released by his campaign last week. The memo, which you can read in full here, criticizes New York Senator Hillary Clinton for her lucrative personal and political ties to India.

Here is the introduction to the memo. I've taken the liberty to add some bold print.


The Clintons have reaped significant financial rewards from their relationship with the Indian community, both in their personal finances and Hillary’s campaign fundraising. Hillary Clinton, who is the co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, has drawn criticism from anti-offshoring groups for her vocal support of Indian business and unwillingness to protect American jobs. Bill Clinton has invested tens of thousands of dollars in an Indian bill payment company, while Hillary Clinton has taken tens of thousands from companies that outsource jobs to India. Workers who have been laid off in upstate New York might not think that her recent joke that she could be elected to the Senate seat in Punjab is that funny.

Loud-mouths on both the left and the right side of the fence have been lapping up this opportunity to point out a rare "mistake" in Obama's campaign. Supposedly, the inference that Clinton could be the democratic senator from Punjab (a state in India) makes his campaign and, by implication, Obama himself, racist.

Obama, sometimes too quick to apologize, took full responsibility for the memo and any harm that it caused, despite the fact that he hadn't even seen it yet.

But let us point out, for anyone who is paying any attention at all, that Hillary Clinton made the same "Punjab" comment herself!

For your consideration, from a report in the March 17, 2006 Des Moines Register: At a fundraiser at the Maryland home of Dr. Rajwant Singh, Clinton began her address by joking "'I can certainly run for the Senate seat in Punjab and win easily." These comments came after Clinton was introduced by Dr. Singh as the senator not only from New York, but also Punjab.

So, hold on to your keyboards while we follow the logic of Obama's critics:

  1. The Obama campaign released a thoroughly researched and startling memo detailing the myriad ways in which the Clinton family is in bed financially with businesses and business people who are directly responsible for U.S. jobs moving to India.

  2. The Obama campaign gives the memo a title that plays directly off a joke that Clinton herself made when referring to her support from Indian donors.

  3. Obama is a racist.

Hmm...something here doesn't quite fit. Maybe it's the fact that, once again, the media has managed to criticize Obama as a means of drawing attention away from a major campaign issue.

We've seen this sort of empty, distracting criticism before. Let's not let it turn our attention from the fact that Hillary Clinton loves the support of businesses that move American jobs, and in some cases entire industries, overseas.

While these mothers and fathers come home to their families without a paycheck, Clinton is thrilled to cash in on donations from the business people who essentially laid them off.