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Plan Helps McCain

Obama is pounding McCain on the need for alternative energy -- the plan provides McCain
political cover from those attacks

David Roberts, Grist staff writer Gristmill June 25, 2008

'It is now' Obama lays out an energy vision that's economics and security first

I just read the energy speech Obama gave on Tuesday in Nevada. I'd call it a TKO if I didn't sound so unconvincing
using boxing metaphors.
Watch what he leads with: "A green, renewable energy economy isn't some pie-in-the-sky, far-off future, it is now."
This is what the campaign, correctly in my judgment, has decided people need to hear first and foremost: It's
happening. People just like you, who live around here, are getting jobs doing this stuff.
The Obama campaign is way ahead of most pundits and politicians on this issue. They've realized that in the
fight for sane energy policy, you don't need the environmental message (climate change is mentioned just once, in
the context of criticizing McCain for empty rhetoric). You need economic competitiveness, security from scary
dictators, and a sense of collective purpose. It's about translating the "green economy" abstraction into nuts
and bolts.
There's nothing wrong with "the environment" of course, and Obama's called it out before, but he's casting a wide
enough net now that he pulls in plenty of people who don't give a frack about polar bears and icebergs.
And he just dismantles McCain. It's one jab after another. Like this one, about the $300 million prize McCain
proposes for new electric car battery:
When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the moon, he didn't put a bounty out for some
rocket scientist to win -- he put the full resources of the United States government behind the project and called on
the ingenuity and innovation of the American people.
Or this one, on the universally debunked claim from McCain that offshore oil drilling would bring "short-term
relief," which McCain has since ... modified:
Just yesterday, Senator McCain actually admitted this. In a town hall he said, and I quote, "I don't see an immediate
relief" but "the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial."
Psychological impact. In case you were wondering, that's Washington-speak for, "It polls well."
That's going to leave a mark. Thing is, none of this is mudslinging. He's hitting McCain on legitimate policy
differences. He's just doing it with a little flair.
Now listen to McCain's return blow:
"On this energy issue, yeah, it's easy to say 'no' to everything," Mr. McCain said. "That's what Senator Obama is
doing. We've got to come forward with bold proposals, innovative ones, and ones that will bring this nation to
energy independence for national security reasons as well as others."
Feeble and off-key. This is what you get when you ask your granddad about a new rock band. It becomes pretty
clear he can't follow the tune. And the tune voters just heard from Obama is full of Yes: new energy, new jobs,
new opportunities, new leadership. Meanwhile, as for "bold" and "innovative" proposals, it's tough to see
how drilling for oil and serving pork to the nuclear industry, whatever their merits, fit that bill. That's singin'
to the oldies.
McCain and Obama agree on high-toned energy rhetoric, but this is just like when Democrats used to try to finesse
the national security issue by going Bush-lite. A choice between Bush and Bush-lite will always go to Bush. A
choice between two guys who agree on the need for new energy policy will go to the guy who's offering it up,
not the guy who's lip-syncing the words.
I don't know if this stuff will register in the polls -- there still aren't enough people paying attention to it -- but as far
as I can tell Obama is completely outflanking McCain on the energy issue, and winning on substance to boot.
He's got an increasingly honed message while McCain is being buffeted about the demands of his base, tripping over
his inch-deep grasp of policy, and flip-flopping so fast he's already done on both sides. And it's only June.
Obama is campaigning on Washington's failure to act on energy -- the plan would take that
issue away from him

Foon Rhee, Globe Staff / Boston Globe April 26, 2008
Barack Obama said that Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain are
part of a Washington establishment that has failed to stand up to oil companies. McCain and the Republican
National Committee are accusing Obama of flip-flopping on the idea of suspending the federal gas tax to help
consumers. And Clinton is bashing Obama for voting for an energy bill that included tax breaks for oil companies.
Obama stoked the back-and-forth by appearing at a gas station in Indianapolis to say that gas prices are "bordering
on a crisis" and to press his argument that he is the only candidate who can bring meaningful change because he is
not beholden to lobbyists and special interests.
"The candidates with the Washington experience - my opponents - are good people," he said. "They mean
well. But they've been in Washington for a long time, and even with all that experience they talk about,
nothing has happened. . . . So what have we got for all that experience? Gas that's approaching $4 a gallon."
"It's time to free ourselves from the tyranny of oil," he added.
The Illinois senator cautioned that "there's no easy answer to our energy crisis" and that it wouldn't come overnight,
but rather from long-term changes and investments in clean energy and energy efficiency.

Bush administration action on energy would provide political cover for past GOP failure on
the issue

Teddy Davis and Gregory Wallace ABC News 7-25-08 Source attributed
[Minnesota Governor Pawlenty]
But all that being said," he added, "we gotta come in as Republicans and say, 'Here are the things that we can
do from a Republican perspective and translate it into progress in your lives,' and I don't think we've done a
great job of that."
So how does Pawlenty propose reaching the "Sam's Club" set?
He says the GOP needs to do three things: First, Republicans must address voters' concerns on issues like the war
and the economy. Second, if the GOP is going to say that government is not the complete solution, then Republicans
need to show that their market-oriented ideas work. Last, the GOP needs to be better at "getting ahead of
emerging issues."
Bottom of Form
"Health care and energy would be examples of where the Republican Party could have been more aggressive
and more prospective over the last 10 or 15 years," said Pawlenty.

McCain is linked to Bush's policies -- the plan would help address the Bush failures

Paul Krugman 6-23-08 St Louis Today
But I very much doubt that McCain's gambit will work. In fact, it's almost certainly self-destructive. To have a
chance in November, McCain has to convince voters that he isn't just "Bush continued." Energy policy is one
of the areas where he could have made that case best.
Instead, he has ceded the high ground on energy to Obama and linked himself firmly to the most unpopular
president on record.
Action on an issue can take it out of the campaign -- guns example proves

Taegan Goddard | June 26, 2008 Political Wire

Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the District of Columbia's 32 year ban
on handguns as incompatible with the 2nd amendment is not exactly a win for Republicans --
even though it went farther than even the Bush administration hoped.
By re-affirming that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting, the
court effectively takes the gun issue out of the fall campaign. Republicans will now have a
very hard time arguing that if you elect Democrats they will take away your guns.