Presidential candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bush's lack of progress on human rights. In paticular he criticized President Bush's decision to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing. He said,
"In the absence of some sense of progress, in the absence of some sense from the Dalai Lama that there was progress, I would not have gone," the presidential candidate told reporters at a news conference.
Barack Obama also said,
"It strikes me that although some meetings have been taking place, that we were not aggressive in encouraging the Chinese government to make serious concessions there,"
Fast forward to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to China. She said,
"Our pressing on those issues" -- issues she didn't identify any more fully -- "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."
This is quite a turnaround in a few short months. Now, human rights are secondary to global warming and economic concerns. The Obama team has went from "How dare George Bush ignore the suffering in Tibet," to " Can we sell you some US shackles made with recycled materials?"
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