Hilary Clinton (D-Punjab)

The Economist has said that Barack Obama has free trade instincts, but his staffers don’t seem to be on the same page. Here’s a headline they circulated to reporters:

HILLARY CLINTON (D-PUNJAB)’S PERSONAL FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL TIES TO INDIA

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.

Obama has apologized for the memo, but he ought to also explain why the zero-sum, ‘us vs them’ perspective on outsourcing embodied in the memo is wrong.