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Elections & Politics Main File
Notes:
1. 2. The shells for most of the scenarios are in the Elections & Politics Scenarios file. There is a shell included here for an “October Surprise” scenario. The scenario assumes that a big Obama win is bad, because if Bush thinks Obama is inevitably going to win, he will attack Iran before he leaves office, and an attack on Iran would be bad. This scenario does not have a link in it – you need to tailor the link argument to the particular debate, arguing the plan would be enough to make an Obama win seem like it is inevitable enough for Bush to take action against Iran before his term runs out. The links to various cases are grouped together (for example, all climate & climate mechanism links are in one section). This means that the links in the section go in different directions – some of them work for Obama Good, some of them work for Obama Bad. Be careful to read the links to make sure you know which ones are applicable. While the majority of the aff answers appear at the end of the file, in order to find link offense (and in some cases defense), you need to consult the link sections of this file. The links are arranged by topic, NOT by direction of the disad, so you should make sure to check that the link arguments you are making go the correct direction to answer the disad (that is – don’t read “renewables controversial” to answer the argument that your renewables plan is unpopular. You should be reading “renewables popular”). You should also check in multiple link sections – some of the link cards in other sections may be relevant for your aff, depending on what combinations of harms, mechanisms, etc. you claim.

3.

4.

Elections & Politics Main File...............................................................................................................................................................1 ******** Uniqueness – Obama Good/McCain Bad ********............................................................................................................7 Uniqueness – Obama Win Now.............................................................................................................................................................8 Uniqueness - Obama Will Win...............................................................................................................................................................9 Uniqueness – Economic Issues  Obama Win Now.........................................................................................................................10 Uniqueness – Economic Issues  Obama Win Now..........................................................................................................................11 Uniqueness – AT – Racism Will Hurt Obama......................................................................................................................................12 Uniqueness and Link – Centrism Weakens Obama Support................................................................................................................13 Uniqueness & Link – Flip Flop Hurts Obama.....................................................................................................................................14 Uniqueness & Link – Environment Flip Flop Hurts Obama...............................................................................................................15 Uniqueness – Linkage to Bush Hurting McCain Now.........................................................................................................................16 Uniqueness – AT – Congress/Dems Unpopular Now..........................................................................................................................17 Uniqueness – Obama Winning Hispanic Voters Now..........................................................................................................................18 Uniqueness – AT – Uniqueness Overwhelms the Link – Obama Can Still Lose................................................................................19 Uniqueness – AT – Predictions Flawed/October Surprise Screws Up Disad.......................................................................................20 Uniqueness – AT – Predictions Flawed/October Surprise Screws Up Disad.......................................................................................21 ******** Uniqueness – McCain Good/Obama Bad ********..........................................................................................................22 Uniqueness – McCain Will Win Now..................................................................................................................................................23 Uniqueness – AT – Obama Will Win...................................................................................................................................................24 Uniqueness – McCain Winning Christians Now.................................................................................................................................25 ********** Key Issues **********..................................................................................................................................................26 Key Issue – Energy..............................................................................................................................................................................27 Key Issue – Energy..............................................................................................................................................................................28 Key Issue – Drilling.............................................................................................................................................................................29 Key Issues – Economy.........................................................................................................................................................................30 Key Issues – Economy.........................................................................................................................................................................31 Key Issue – AT – Foreign Policy Key..................................................................................................................................................32 Key Issue – AT – Immigration Key......................................................................................................................................................33 Key Issue – AT – Gay Marriage Key...................................................................................................................................................34 ********** Battleground States **********....................................................................................................................................35 Battleground – Swing States Key........................................................................................................................................................36

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Battleground – Colorado – Unaffiliated Voters....................................................................................................................................37 Battleground – Colorado – Favors Obama...........................................................................................................................................38 Battleground – Florida – Close............................................................................................................................................................39 Battleground – Florida – Close............................................................................................................................................................40 Battleground – Florida – Key to Victory..............................................................................................................................................41 Battleground – Florida – Support Offshore Drilling............................................................................................................................42 Battleground – Florida – Support Offshore Drilling............................................................................................................................43 Battleground – Florida – Support Offshore Drilling............................................................................................................................44 Battleground – Florida – Oppose Offshore Drilling............................................................................................................................45 Battleground – Florida – Oppose Offshore Drilling............................................................................................................................46 Battleground – Indiana.........................................................................................................................................................................47 Battleground – Indiana – Ethanol........................................................................................................................................................48 Battleground – Indiana – Alternative Energy.......................................................................................................................................49 Battleground – Iowa – Farm Bill/Flooding..........................................................................................................................................50 Battleground – Michigan .....................................................................................................................................................................51 Battleground – Michigan – Renewables..............................................................................................................................................52 Battleground – Michigan – Auto Lobby..............................................................................................................................................53 Battleground – Missouri – Close..........................................................................................................................................................54 Battleground – Nevada – Close............................................................................................................................................................55 Battleground – Nevada – Alternative Energy......................................................................................................................................56 Battleground – Nevada – Yucca Mountains.........................................................................................................................................57 Battleground – New Mexico – Iraq/Offshore Drilling.........................................................................................................................58 Battleground – New Mexico – Key to Hispanic Votes........................................................................................................................59 Battleground – New Mexico – Native Americans...............................................................................................................................60 Battleground – Ohio ............................................................................................................................................................................61 Battleground – Ohio – Energy Key......................................................................................................................................................62 Battlegrounds – Ohio & Pennsylvania – Obama Win Now.................................................................................................................63 Battleground – Virginia – Democrats Gaining Momentum.................................................................................................................64 Battleground – Virginia – Set Precedent for Red States......................................................................................................................65 Battleground – Virginia – Military Deployments................................................................................................................................66 Battleground – Wisconsin....................................................................................................................................................................67 Battleground – Wisconsin....................................................................................................................................................................68 Battleground – Wisconsin – Close.......................................................................................................................................................69 Battleground – Wisconsin – Wind & Solar Popular.............................................................................................................................70 Battleground – Wisconsin – Water.......................................................................................................................................................71 Battleground – Michigan/Ohio/Florida/New Jersey/Missouri.............................................................................................................72 Battleground – Obama Not Pursuing ..................................................................................................................................................73 ********** Key Voters **********..................................................................................................................................................74 Key Voters - Women............................................................................................................................................................................75 Key Voters - Hispanics.........................................................................................................................................................................76 Key Voters – Catholics.........................................................................................................................................................................77 ********** Links **********...........................................................................................................................................................78 ********** Links – Energy **********...........................................................................................................................................79 Link Uniqueness – Obama Edge on Energy Now...............................................................................................................................80 Link – Democrats Pushing Alternative Energy....................................................................................................................................81 Link – Obama Supports Renewables...................................................................................................................................................82 Link – Obama Will Link Energy Policy to Bush.................................................................................................................................83 Link – AT – Obama Won’t Spin the Plan.............................................................................................................................................84 Link – Renewable Energy Popular......................................................................................................................................................85 Link – Renewable Energy Popular – Special Interests........................................................................................................................86 Link – Renewables and Relief.............................................................................................................................................................87 Link Uniqueness – McCain Edge on Energy Now..............................................................................................................................88 Link – Energy/Environment Issue Hurts Obama.................................................................................................................................89 Link – Energy/Environment Issue Hurts Obama/Helps McCain.........................................................................................................90 Link – McCain Will Bash Obama on Energy......................................................................................................................................91 Link – Energy Policy Spends Political Capital....................................................................................................................................92 Link – Energy Policy Spends Political Capital....................................................................................................................................93

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Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital.................................................................................................................................94 Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital.................................................................................................................................95 Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital.................................................................................................................................96 Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital.................................................................................................................................97 Link – Energy Action is Partisan.........................................................................................................................................................98 Link – Alternative Energy Spends Capital...........................................................................................................................................99 Link – Energy Relief Popular............................................................................................................................................................100 ********** Links – Incentives **********....................................................................................................................................101 Link – Incentives Politically Popular.................................................................................................................................................102 Link – Renewable Portfolio Standard Controversial.........................................................................................................................103 Link – Obama Supports Renewable Portfolio Standard....................................................................................................................104 Link – Obama Supports/McCain Opposes Tax Incentives for Alternatives......................................................................................105 Link – Obama Supports Energy Efficient Buildings.........................................................................................................................106 Links – Obama Supports Redeveloping Brownfields........................................................................................................................107 Link – McCain Support for Renewable Incentives Weak..................................................................................................................108 Link – McCain Supports Energy Efficiency Tax Credits...................................................................................................................109 Link – McCain Supports Procurement...............................................................................................................................................110 Link – GOP Opposes Tax Credit Extension without Budget Offsets.................................................................................................111 Link – Republicans Oppose Tax Incentives.......................................................................................................................................112 Link – Spending Politically Unpopular..............................................................................................................................................113 Link – Regulation/Mandates Popular.................................................................................................................................................114 Link - Environmental Regulation Drains Political Capital................................................................................................................115 Link – Environmental Regulation Controversial...............................................................................................................................116 Link – Voluntary Measures Politically Popular.................................................................................................................................117 ********** Links – Environment **********................................................................................................................................118 Link – Public Split on Environment...................................................................................................................................................119 Link – AT – Environment Popular.....................................................................................................................................................120 Link – McCain Will Spin the Plan.....................................................................................................................................................121 ********** Links – Climate **********........................................................................................................................................122 Link – Narrow Cap-and-Trade...........................................................................................................................................................123 Link – Obama & McCain Differ on Cap and Trade...........................................................................................................................124 Link – McCain Supports Narrow Cap and Trade...............................................................................................................................125 Link – McCain Supports Expanding Carbon Capture and Storage...................................................................................................126 Link – Climate Hurts McCain with Conservatives ...........................................................................................................................127 Link – Cap and Trade Controversial..................................................................................................................................................128 Link – Climate Policy Spends Capital...............................................................................................................................................129 Link – Cap and Trade Politically Unpopular.....................................................................................................................................130 Link – Upstream Cap and Trade Controversial..................................................................................................................................131 Link – Fossil Fuel Industry Wants Federal Liability for Carbon Sequestration................................................................................132 Link – Climate Change Salient with Congress..................................................................................................................................133 Link – Climate Salient with Public....................................................................................................................................................134 ********** Links – Fuel Efficiency **********............................................................................................................................135 Link – Obama Critical of McCain Battery Prize...............................................................................................................................136 Link – Obama Supports Ethanol........................................................................................................................................................137 Link – Ethanol Popular with Public...................................................................................................................................................138 Link – Ethanol Lobby Has Clout.......................................................................................................................................................139 Link – Obama Supports Farm Bill.....................................................................................................................................................140 Link – McCain Opposes Tighter Fuel Efficiency..............................................................................................................................141 Link – SUVs Popular.........................................................................................................................................................................142 ********** Links – Fossil Fuel **********...................................................................................................................................143 Link – Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reductions Contentious ......................................................................................................................144 Link – Coal Lobby Has Clout............................................................................................................................................................145 Link – Coal Lobby Clout Weak.........................................................................................................................................................146 Link – Obama Opposes Drilling/Tar Sand.........................................................................................................................................147 Link – Obama Supports Fees for Un-drilled Land.............................................................................................................................148 Link – Obama Opposes Gas Holiday.................................................................................................................................................149 Link – Democrats Oppose New Drilling...........................................................................................................................................150

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Link – Democrats Support Tapping Strategic Petroleum Reserve.....................................................................................................151 Link – Obama Supports Energy Market Regulation..........................................................................................................................152 Link – Obama Campaigning Against Energy Special Interests Now................................................................................................153 Link – McCain Supports Expansion of Drilling................................................................................................................................154 Link – McCain Opposes Taxing Oil Companies...............................................................................................................................155 Link – Public Supports Expansion of Drilling...................................................................................................................................156 ********** Links – Nuclear Power **********.............................................................................................................................157 Link – Nuclear Power – Bush Would Push the Plan..........................................................................................................................158 Link – Nuclear Power Push Burns Political Capital..........................................................................................................................159 Link – Nuclear Power – Triggers Political Backlash.........................................................................................................................160 Link – Obama Opposes Nuclear Power Expansion...........................................................................................................................161 Link – Anti-Nuclear Lobby Will Hold Obama Accountable.............................................................................................................162 Link – Democrats Oppose Nuclear Power ........................................................................................................................................163 Link – Public Opposition to Nuclear Power......................................................................................................................................164 Link – Political Opposition to Nuclear Power...................................................................................................................................165 Link – Nuclear – Political Opposition to Reprocessing.....................................................................................................................166 Link – McCain Supports Nuclear Energy Incentives........................................................................................................................167 Link - Republicans Support Nuclear Power.......................................................................................................................................168 Link – Congress Supports Nuclear Power Loan Guarantees.............................................................................................................169 Link – Public Supports Nuclear Power..............................................................................................................................................170 Link – Nuclear Power Has Political Support.....................................................................................................................................171 Link – Nuclear Power Has Political Support.....................................................................................................................................172 ********** Links – Other **********............................................................................................................................................173 Link – McCain Supports Smart Metering..........................................................................................................................................174 Link – Greenwashing.........................................................................................................................................................................175 Link – Interest Groups.......................................................................................................................................................................176 Link – AT – No Perception.................................................................................................................................................................177 ********** Credit/Blame **********............................................................................................................................................178 Credit/Blame – AT – Dems Won’t Get Credit/Blame/Bush Would Push the Plan.............................................................................179 Credit/Blame – Democrats Would Be Accountable for Plan.............................................................................................................180 Credit/Blame – AT – McCain Gets Credit for Plan............................................................................................................................181 Credit/Blame – McCain Will Play the Energy Card..........................................................................................................................182 Credit/Blame – Democrats Get Energy Crisis Blame........................................................................................................................183 Internal Link – Flip Floppers Win......................................................................................................................................................184 ********** Obama Internals **********.......................................................................................................................................185 Internal Link – Political Capital Key to Obama.................................................................................................................................186 Internal Link – Base Support Key to Obama.....................................................................................................................................187 Internal Link – Centrism Hurts Obama..............................................................................................................................................188 Internal Link – Anti-Bush Key to Obama..........................................................................................................................................189 Internal Link – AT – Centrism Costs Obama Votes...........................................................................................................................190 ********** McCain Internals **********......................................................................................................................................191 Internal Link – Independent Framing Bolsters McCain....................................................................................................................192 Internal Link – Independence Key to McCain...................................................................................................................................193 Internal Link – Independence Key to McCain...................................................................................................................................194 Internal Link – De-linking From Bush Key to McCain.....................................................................................................................195 Internal Link – De-Linking from Bush Key to McCain....................................................................................................................196 Internal Link – De-Linking from GOP Key to McCain.....................................................................................................................197 Internal Link – McCain Must Attack Democrats to Win...................................................................................................................198 Internal Link – Framing Obama Liberal Key to McCain..................................................................................................................199 Internal Link – Democratic Disunity Helps McCain.........................................................................................................................200 Internal Link – Scapegoating Against Dems Backfires.....................................................................................................................201 Internal Link – McCain Winners Lose...............................................................................................................................................202 Internal Link – De-Linking From Bush Hurts McCain.....................................................................................................................203 Internal Link – “Average America” Key to McCain..........................................................................................................................204 Internal Link – Base Key to McCain.................................................................................................................................................205 *********October Surprise (Big Obama Win Bad).........................................................................................................................206 October Surprise 1NC........................................................................................................................................................................207

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October Surprise 1NC........................................................................................................................................................................208 Obama Bad Impact – October Surprise – Iran...................................................................................................................................209 Uniqueness – Too Close to Call.........................................................................................................................................................210 Uniqueness – Too Close To Call........................................................................................................................................................211 Uniqueness – Both Candidates Favorable Now.................................................................................................................................212 ********** Generic Bush Agenda Internal Links **********.......................................................................................................213 Link – Normal Means Spends Capital...............................................................................................................................................214 Link – Normal Means Spends Capital...............................................................................................................................................215 Link – Congressional Role.................................................................................................................................................................217 Link Booster – Political Capital Can Collapse Quickly.....................................................................................................................218 Link – AT – Our Plan Is Popular........................................................................................................................................................219 Link – AT – President Does Not Get Credit/Blame...........................................................................................................................220 Internal Link – Political Capital Key to Agenda................................................................................................................................221 Internal Link – Popularity Key to Agenda.........................................................................................................................................222 Internal Link – Winners Win..............................................................................................................................................................223 ********** Drilling/ANWR Bad Supplement **********............................................................................................................224 ANWR Drilling Bad – Oil Spills.......................................................................................................................................................225 Drilling Bad – Spills Devastate Fishing.............................................................................................................................................226 Drilling – Alternative Energy Solves Demand...................................................................................................................................227 ********** Elections Aff **********.............................................................................................................................................228 Non-Unique – Obama Flip Flop Now................................................................................................................................................229 Non-Unique – Obama Centrism Angering Left Now........................................................................................................................230 Non-Unique – Obama Centrism Angering Left Now........................................................................................................................231 Non-Unique – Obama Energy Market Regulation Now....................................................................................................................232 Non-Unique – McCain Flip Flop Now.............................................................................................................................................233 Uniqueness Answer – McCain Age Impacts Election........................................................................................................................234 Uniqueness Answer – McCain Low Now..........................................................................................................................................235 Uniqueness Answer – October Surprise Would Change Election......................................................................................................236 Uniqueness Unpredictable – World Events Influence Election.........................................................................................................237 Uniqueness Answer – Electoral Volatility Overwhelms the Link......................................................................................................238 Uniqueness Answer – Predictions Flawed – No Winner Yet.............................................................................................................239 Uniqueness Answer – Polls Flawed...................................................................................................................................................240 Link Answer – AT – Issues Key to Obama........................................................................................................................................241 Link Answer – AT – Energy Key Issue/Mobilization Link................................................................................................................242 Link Answer – AT – Plan Perceived As Economic Boost..................................................................................................................243 Link Answer – October Surprise Overwhelms the Plan....................................................................................................................244 Internal Link Answer – AT – Flip Flop..............................................................................................................................................245 Internal Link Answer – AT – Flip Flop Hurts Obama........................................................................................................................246 Internal Link Answer – AT – Flip Flop Hurts Obama or McCain.....................................................................................................247 Internal Link Answer – AT – Evangelicals Key.................................................................................................................................248 Housing Impact Answer – Neither Candidate Can Change Housing Market....................................................................................249 Energy Impact Answer – Neither Candidate Can Change Energy Policy.........................................................................................250 Foreign Policy Impact Answer – Neither Candidate Will Change Foreign Policy............................................................................251 Iran Impact Answer – Both Candidates Want Hardline on Iran.........................................................................................................252 Iran Impact Answer – AT – Obama Won’t Attack Iran......................................................................................................................253 McCain Impact Answer – Democrats Will Control Congress...........................................................................................................254 ANWR Impact Answer – AT – McCain Would Allow Drilling in the ANWR..................................................................................255 Obama Impact Answer – Can’t Predict Obama Agenda....................................................................................................................256 Obama Good Impact Answer – AT – Obama Solves US Leadership................................................................................................257 Obama Good Impact Answer – AT – Obama Solves US Leadership................................................................................................259 Obama Soft Power Impact Answer – AT – Obama Solves US Leadership.......................................................................................260 October Surprise Impact Answer – AT – October Surprise...............................................................................................................261 ********** Bush Aff - Generic **********...................................................................................................................................262 Non-Unique – Bush Is a Lame Duck.................................................................................................................................................263 Non-Unique – Bush Approval Low...................................................................................................................................................264 Non-Unique – Bush Approval Low...................................................................................................................................................265 Uniqueness – Approval with GOP Low.............................................................................................................................................266

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Internal Link Answer – AT – Popularity Key to Agenda...................................................................................................................267 ********** Bush Aff – India Deal **********..............................................................................................................................268 India Deal Impact Answer – Won’t Pass Now...................................................................................................................................269 India Deal Impact Answer – Next Congress Solves Impact..............................................................................................................270 India Deal Impact Answer – Failure of Deal Won’t Collapse Relations............................................................................................271 ********** Bush Aff – Drilling & ANWR **********.................................................................................................................272 Drilling Impact Answer – Congress Won’t Reverse Ban on Drilling................................................................................................273 Drilling Good – Key to Economy......................................................................................................................................................274 Drilling Good – Key to Energy Independence...................................................................................................................................275 Drilling Good – Key to Energy Independence...................................................................................................................................276 Oil Key to National Security..............................................................................................................................................................277 Drilling Good – Lowers Oil Prices....................................................................................................................................................278 Drilling Good – Drilling Key to New Oil..........................................................................................................................................279 Drilling Good – Drilling Safe/Lowers Gas Prices/Strengthen National Security..............................................................................280 Drilling Good – AT – Oil Spills.........................................................................................................................................................281 Drilling Good – AT – Oil Spills.........................................................................................................................................................282 ANWR Drilling Good – AT – Environment/Caribou........................................................................................................................283 ANWR Drilling Good – AT – Environment/Caribou........................................................................................................................284 ANWR Drilling Good – Environment...............................................................................................................................................285 ANWR Drilling Good – AT – Oil Spills............................................................................................................................................286 ANWR Drilling Good – Economy ....................................................................................................................................................287 ANWR Drilling Good – Energy Security..........................................................................................................................................288 ANWR Drilling Good – Energy Security..........................................................................................................................................289

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******** Uniqueness – Obama Good/McCain Bad ********

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Uniqueness – Obama Win Now
Obama ahead on critical issues and key states for election Luce, Washington bureau chief of the Financial Times, 08
Edward, ft.com (financial times), “Hunger for Victory Defines Obama” july 8 2008, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4f8b6f72-4d1211dd-b527-000077b07658,s01=1.html accessed 7-10-8 When Democrats criticize John McCain, they first praise his honorable military record. When Republicans do the same to Barack Obama, many begin by conceding that he is an “attractive and talented candidate”. Recent history says that Mr Obama will have to fight a bitter campaign if he is to scrape a narrow victory for the White House. But a number of independent operatives believe an Obama landslide is a growing possibility. They cite a barrage of advantages. Mr Obama is expected to outspend his opponent by at least two-to-one. The economy is far and away the biggest issue of concern to voters – and looks likely to become more so as oil prices and home foreclosures mount. Only 4 per cent of Americans cite terrorism as their greatest concern – a massive shift from 2004, when it was near the top of the list. And the proportion of voters identifying with Democrats versus Republicans has widened to 51-33 per cent. Even those who believe the race will be as narrowly settled as the last two agree that the Republican party faces a probable meltdown in all the other elections that will be staged in November. “This election is Obama’s to lose,” says a senior Republican strategist who is not working for the McCain campaign. “Of course anything can happen – events could overturn the climate of this race. But if you look at their strengths I would say a large Obama victory is more likely than a narrow victory for McCain. You can rule out a large McCain victory.” Because he is black, many still treat Mr Obama as the underdog. Were he white and all other things were the same, Mr Obama might be seen as a stronger favorite. Opinion polls reflect this discrepancy. While the Democrats as a party have an 18-point lead over the Republicans, Mr Obama’s poll advantage over Mr McCain is just 5.8 per cent, according to the poll average by Real Clear Politics. But a breakdown suggests that Mr Obama’s lead is more significant than that. For example, Mr Obama is ahead of Mr McCain in his most vulnerable swing states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania while drawing almost even with Mr McCain in Republican-leaning swing states such as Florida and Virginia. In-Trade, the online betting site that has a far better record this year than the pollsters, gives Mr Obama a 64 per cent chance of winning. In addition, Mr Obama’s campaign is as well-managed as Mr McCain’s appears to be in disarray. The latter is on his third or fourth campaign manager depending on how you define the job. There has been speculation that he may appointment of Mike Murphy, a controversial Republican strategist, to a senior role on the campaign, Mr Murphy played down the idea on Tuesday. In contrast, Mr Obama’s two key senior figures – David Axelrod, his senior strategist, and David Plouffe, his campaign manager – have been in place since the start. The two Davids have recently been supplemented by a string of hiring’s from Hillary Clinton’s campaign in what has proved a far less awkward merger than many had feared. “I am very impressed with the campaign Obama has run – it is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent in American history,” said Jim Leach, a former Republican congressman, now head of the Harvard Institute of Politics. “I would caution against any big predictions because we have a long way to go and Obama still has many cultural obstacles to overcome. But the economy is so stuck and foreign policy is so awkward that it could point to a big Obama victory. That is a real possibility.” Mr Obama is also aided by a single-minded hunger for victory. In the last 10 days he has come under attack for a series of policy shifts. These include his vote for a bill that renewed George W. Bush’s eavesdropping powers as well as U-turns on public financing, gun owners’ rights and his decision to back Mr Bush’s office for faith-based charities. Many liberals were disappointed by Mr Obama’s indication last week that he would “refine” his pledge to withdraw all US combat troops from Iraq within 16 months. The candidate’s clarification did little to mollify them. But what is disquieting to liberals has proved heartening to centrists. “If you look at the leads Obama has built on the economy and healthcare, then he goes into this election with a big advantage,” says Tad Devine, a veteran Democratic operative. “John McCain has had a hard time sustaining his reputation as a maverick because he supports Bush on all the big issues – foreign policy, tax cuts and healthcare. This is way too early to be confident but the odds for an Obama victory are growing.”

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Uniqueness - Obama Will Win
Obama will win – voters will choose the “change” candidate Bandy, South Carolina Insider editor, 7/10/8
(Lee, SouthCarolina Insider, “South Carolina Democrats Excited About Being Real Players”, 7-10-8, http://www.southernpoliticalreport.com/storylink_710_467.aspx, accessed 7-17-8) Based on early polls, Obama should easily beat Republican candidate John McCain, the Arizona senator. After all, he leads the Republican in every measurement. Believing the nation is headed in the wrong direction, these voters want a change. “Obama could win in a landslide,” says Charles Dunn, a political scientist at Regents University in Virginia. But this will not be the first time the public will be voting for change, or had a deep desire for change. They had it in 1980 when Ronald Reagan challenged Carter and in 1992 when Bill Clinton opposed President Bush. Reagan and Clinton won, running on a platfom of change. So, if 2008 repeats the history of 1980 and 1992, Obama will win in a landslide, Dunn predicts.

Obama will win – independents decrease McCain support CTV Canada, 7/16/8
(CTV Canada Online, 7-16-8, “Obama leads McCain in new election poll”, http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080716/us_poll_080716/20080716?hub=Politics , accessed 7-17-8) A new poll suggests Barack Obama has a seven-point lead over John McCain in the race to the White House, but nearly 10 per cent of voters have yet to make up their minds. The Zogby poll, released Wednesday, also suggests independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr would draw votes away from McCain, thereby extending Obama's lead even further.

Obama will win – he consistently leads in polls Gallup Daily, 7/14/8
(Gallup Daily, “Presidential Race Remains Steady”, 7-14-8, http://www.gallup.com/poll/108814/Gallup-Daily-Presidential-RaceRemains-Steady.aspx, accessed 7-17-8) The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows voter preferences holding steady, with 46% saying they would vote for Barack Obama and 43% for John McCain if the presidential election were held today. The figures are unchanged from Sunday's report, and in general reflect the remarkable stability in the numbers for the past two-plus weeks. Over this time, Obama's support has ranged between 46% and 48%, while McCain's share of the vote has been in the 42% to 44% range. Thus, Obama has consistently held a modest, but consistent, advantage over McCain for the past two weeks, and for all but three days since early June.

Obama will win – campaign attitudes prove Bookman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer, 7/13/8
(Jay, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Democrats coming out of the woodwork”, 7-13-8, http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/bookman/entries/2008/07/13/obama_winning_the_intensity_fa.html, accessed 7-17-8) While most of the polls show a fairly tight presidential race, it doesn’t feel that way. As I mentioned in comments a while back, the body language and attitude of the Obama campaign indicate they believe Obama’s going to win, while the language and attitude of the McCain camp also indicate they believe Obama will win.

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Uniqueness – Economic Issues  Obama Win Now
Economic issues giving Obama the edge over McCain now
Braverman, CNNMoney.com contributing writer, 6-12-8 (Beth, CNNMoney.com, “Voters favor Obama's economic policy – poll, Democratic presidential candidate holds slight edge over GOP rival McCain on key election issue.”, http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/12/news/economy/president_poll/index.htm, accessed 73-8) NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Barack Obama has a slight edge over presidential rival John McCain on the economy, according to a poll of registered voters released Thursday. The CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows that 50% of voters polled believe Obama will better handle the economy, while 44% favor McCain's economic policies. The poll reflects telephone interviews with 921 registered voters June 4-5. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. Obama's slight lead in the poll reflect his edge in general polls, as well as his perceived strength on domestic issues versus McCain's perceived strength in foreign policy, said Andrew Taylor, chairman of the political science department at North Carolina State University. "We have a Republican administration, and there are people who blame the administration for the current economic situation," Taylor said. "They think the Democrats would be better for the economy right now."

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Uniqueness – Economic Issues  Obama Win Now
Economic climate bolstering Obama support now
Goldman, CNNMoney.com, 7-1-8 David, CNNMoney.com, “Americans say they'll vote with their wallets, The battered economy is the top issue for voters, and that isn't expected to change by November.” http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/01/news/economy/election_issue_poll/index.htm, accessed 7-3-8) Economists say that the economic pain will not ease for voters come the November election. "The next two quarters are likely to see a bit of an improvement, mainly because of the tax rebates, but there really isn't anything out there on the horizon that's going to change the economic landscape in a meaningful way," said Vitner. "Consumers are likely to be very concerned about the economy come election day." That may be good news for Barack Obama. "When the economy is bad, it tends to favor the party that's out of power," said Vitner. "It's going to be very difficult for the Republicans to take the White House." [Note – Vitner = Wachovia economist Mark Vitner]

Economy will drive the election and produce a Democratic victory
USA Today, 2-5, 8, p. A1 Voters usually blame the party that holds the White House for hard times. In a USA TODAY survey taken Jan. 23-25, 47 top economists predicted by 77%-4% that the economy would help Democrats over Republicans in the fall elections. "This is a clear plus for the Democrats going into the fall campaign, so I think that the Democrats will certainly subscribe to the view that 'It's the economy, stupid,'" says Greg Valliere, chief political strategist for the Stanford Financial Group. "And this economy is not going to turn around anytime soon." A year ago, the 2008 election seemed likely to be dominated by the war in Iraq, but economic concerns gradually have become a stronger focus of debates, campaign ads and voter queries. Now, voters' views of the economy help define each candidate's support.

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Uniqueness – AT – Racism Will Hurt Obama
Obama will win – racism is not an issue Plain Dealer editorial board, 7/12/8
(Plain Dealer, “Barack Obama and Carl Stokes: Political lessons from Arnold Pinkney, Lou Stokes and George Forbes”, 7-12-8, http://blog.cleveland.com/pdopinion/2008/07/barack_obama_and_carl_stokes_p.html, accessed 7-17-8) Do you think Obama will win the election? Stokes: The whole nation has watched as he has shown what a superb candidate he is. Nothing that they've thrown at him has been able to stop him. He has turned young, black voters and young, white students out in a way the nation has never seen. Young students have left their college campuses and followed him around the nation like the Pied Piper. These young people have put racism in the past. Color, to them, is not an issue. And so the country has already changed. I think we're in a state where nobody can stop this from occurring. I don't think racism, in the final analysis, is going to be able to stop this. I think he's going to be president of the United States. [Note: “Stokes” = Carl Stokes, former Ohio congressman (D)]

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Uniqueness and Link – Centrism Weakens Obama Support
Further tilt to the center will cost Obama votes
Shipman, Telegraph Washington Bureau, 7-5-8 (Tim, The Telegraph, “Barack Obama’s shift on Iraq draws fire from the left”, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/2253313/Barack-Obama%27s-shift-on-Iraq-draws-firefrom-the-Left.html, 7/6/08) His firm stance against his conservative critics and his claim to represent a new kind of politics won him an almost religious following from Democratic activists during the primary campaign, enabling him finally to overcome his rival, Hillary Clinton. Last week The Wall Street Journal burst that bubble by joking in an editorial that Mr Obama – not John McCain, the Republican candidate – is the one running for Bush's "third term". Mr Obama is urgently courting the independent voters he will need to win the election. But last night a prominent polling analyst told The Sunday Telegraph that unless Mr Obama treads more carefully on Iraq, he could lose the support of grassroots workers – and with it the election. Prof Robert Blendon, director of the Harvard University's Opinion Research Programme, said: "The candidate needs to hold the enthusiasm of a large block of activist voters. What would keep thousands of college students from not working for him? His announcing that he would stay in Iraq for five more years – that would do it."

Obama centrism hasn’t cost him votes yet – but further aggravating base will cost him
Lambro, Washington Times Correspondent, 7-5-8 (Don, “Obama’s move to center irks left”, The Washington Times, July 5, 2008, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/05/obamas-move-to-center-irks-left-wing/ accessed 7/6/08) Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has come under fire from his party's liberal base for moving toward centrist positions on such issues as free trade, domestic surveillance and the war in Iraq. Mr. Moulitsas said he was withholding a maximum $2,300 contribution to the Obama campaign because, "I simply have no desire to reward bad behavior," but acknowledged at this point, "I'll still vote for him." Another Web site, Democrats.com, a liberal-advocacy group not formally tied to the party, said "progressives were shocked last week" when Mr. Obama supported a Bush-backed bill granting legal immunity to communications companies who cooperate with federal surveillance efforts to intercept terrorist calls or e-mails. Web site president Bob Fertik is asking its supporters to put money they plan to give to the Obama campaign into their own escrow accounts "until he demonstrates progressive leadership on issues we care about, like warrantless wiretapping." Over at the Huffington Post Web site, blogger Joseph A. Palermo said progressives were outraged by his push for a faith-based program "blurring the line between church and state," warning the Obama camp that its candidate "is treading on thin ice." "If he continues to move to the right, he's going to alienate his most enthusiastic supporters. He will lose precinct walkers, phone bankers, voter-registration campaigners, and other activists who were responsible for catapulting him this far," Mr. Palermo wrote. "It's time for Obama to dedicate a little of his time to the care and feeding of his base," he said. "He's going to need those people in November."

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Uniqueness & Link – Flip Flop Hurts Obama
Uniqueness and link – politicized shift away from previous position would hurt Obama
(William, New York Times, “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin, accessed 7-14-8) Still, others warned that Mr. Obama risked being viewed as someone who parses positions without taking a principled stand. “I’m not saying we’re there yet, but that’s the danger,” said David Sirota, a liberal political analyst and author. “I don’t think there’s disillusion. I think there’s an education process that takes place, and that’s a good thing. He is a transformative politician, but he is still a politician.”

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Uniqueness & Link – Environment Flip Flop Hurts Obama
Positions on core Democratic issues key – a flip flop would weaken him
(William, New York Times, “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin, accessed 7-14-8) Some of Mr. Obama’s supporters say he is less vulnerable to accusations of flip-flopping on issues because his campaign ultimately has been built on his biography and philosophy. “I don’t think the test on him is in an explicitly narrow set of check boxes that have to get filled,” said Kevin Looper, executive director of Our Oregon, a liberal advocacy group. “I think it’s about do his campaign and his message embody serious changes for the direction of the country?” Mr. Looper and many other supporters said Mr. Obama was solid on core Democratic concerns like the environment, social and economic justice and how to balance taxes among economic groups. Of course, his stands on more specific issues appeal to many supporters, too.

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Uniqueness – Linkage to Bush Hurting McCain Now
Linkage to Bush hurting McCain in the polls
Froomkin, Washington Post White House Watch columnist, 7-16-8 (Dan, Washingtonpost.com, “The 28 Percent President”) And are you looking for a simple explanation of why John McCain is trailing Barack Obama in the polls? The AP poll finds that by a 2-1 margin, Americans believe McCain would generally continue Bush's economic policies. And by a more than 4-1 margin, they believe he would generally continue Bush's Iraq policies.

McCain linked to Bush now, hurting him
Huffington Post, 7-16-8 (Huffington Post, “Pollsters Say McCain Yoked To Legacy Of President Bush,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/16/newpoll-mccain-yoked-to_n_113134.html, accessed 7-16-8) Buried in the latest NY Times/CBS poll that focuses on race and the presidential race, is a nugget on how many Americans associate presumptive GOP candidate John McCain with President Bush: The poll found that Mr. McCain is yoked to the legacy of President Bush -- majorities believe that Mr. McCain, as president, would continue Mr. Bush's policies in Iraq and on the economy. Mr. Bush's approval rating on the economy is as low as it has been in his presidency, 20 percent; and even while there has been an increase in the number of Americans who think the war is going well, there has been no change in the significantly large number of people who think it was a mistake to have invaded.

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Uniqueness – AT – Congress/Dems Unpopular Now
Linkage to Bush drags congressional approval down, voters blame him – not Dems
Todd, MSNBC First Read, 6-12-8 (Chuck, Mark Murray, & Domenico Montanaro, “First Thoughts: Obama’s Bump”, http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/12/1134992.aspx, accessed 7-14-8) *** Congress' new low: The most underreported number out of the new NBC/WSJ poll is going to be Congress' job rating. A miniscule 13% of those surveyed approve of the job Congress is doing, compared with 79% who disapprove. Both are all-time records in this poll. But despite the relatively low standing in which Congress is held, the majority party is not being punished. Consider that in the generic congressional ballot: Democrats lead by a whopping 19 points, 52%-33%. Also, the Democratic Party has a fav/unfav of 43%-32%; the GOP’s is 28%-47%. So what gives? Our pollsters believe Congress is suffering from the overall negative view the country has from the country in general. How can you approve of Congress' job when you believe the country is headed in the wrong direction? More importantly for this exercise, why can't Republicans benefit? The other answer is Bush. Clearly, the country isn't happy with the president, but now they are angry that there is a branch of government that appears to be doing nothing about it either.

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Uniqueness – Obama Winning Hispanic Voters Now
Obama leading McCain with likely Hispanic voters
Nagourney & Thee, New York Times, 7-16-8 (Adam & Megan, The New York Times, “Poll Finds Obama Isn’t Closing Divide on Race,” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/us/politics/16poll.html?_r=3&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&adxnnlx=1216268 711-qXv1mm6X2dNyFG+NavOatg, accessed 7-16-8) After a Democratic primary season in which Mr. Obama had difficulty competing for Hispanic votes against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Obama leads Mr. McCain among Hispanic voters in the likely general election matchup by 62 to 23 percent. Mr. Obama is viewed favorably by more than half of Hispanic Americans, compared with Mr. McCain, whose favorability rating is just under one-quarter. By significant margins, these voters believe that Mr. Obama will do a better job of dealing with immigration; Mr. McCain has been trying to distance himself from Republicans who have advocated a tough policy on permitting illegal immigrants to stay in the country.

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Uniqueness – AT – Uniqueness Overwhelms the Link – Obama Can Still Lose
Uniqueness doesn’t overwhelm the link – Obama will win now, but plan could change that – history proves
CNN.com, 6-25-8 (McCain says being the underdog suits him, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/25/campaign.wrap/index.html, accessed 625-8) Keating Holland, CNN's polling director, notes a substantial lead in June does not always translate into a decisive victory in November. "Historically speaking, when June polls show a tight race, the race usually remains tight all the way through November. But when June polls have shown a big lead for one candidate, that lead has often melted," Holland said. "Bill Clinton was leading Bob Dole by up to 19 points in June 1996; Clinton won by eight. Michael Dukakis had a 14-point lead over George Bush the elder in June 1988; Bush won by seven. Jimmy Carter was up nearly 20 points in June 1976 but in November eked out a two-point win. And Richard Nixon managed an even smaller victory in 1968, even though he had a 16-point margin that June," Holland noted.

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Uniqueness – AT – Predictions Flawed/October Surprise Screws Up Disad
October Surprise predictions flawed – they assume 9/11 all over again – context has changed, so history wouldn’t repeat itself
Tomasky, Guardian America editor, 6-25-8 (Michael, Guardian, “9/11's fading force,” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/25/uselections2008.usa, accessed 714-8) Everyone seems to agree that Charlie Black, the McCain campaign advisor who told Fortune magazine that a terrorist attack between now and election day would help his candidate, spoke the truth. An impolitic and impolite truth, perhaps, one that visited some grief upon his candidate, who had to denounce the remark, but the truth all the same. I say: not necessarily. My argument has nothing to do with the merits or lack thereof of Barack Obama as anti-terrorist warrior. Obama can't beat John McCain on the terrorist-fighting barometer. A poll out this week gave McCain a 14 percentage-point edge over Obama on the issue among independents. The best Obama can probably do is chip that down to 10 points or lower and count on his massive leads on domestic questions and his draw with McCain on Iraq to see him through. My argument, rather, has to do with the reaction of the people, with the standing of the Bush administration, and with how the media might deal with a new attack. It begins with this question: If the United States were attacked again this fall, would the response be essentially identical to the response to September 11, 2001? Black's statement - and the conventional wisdom that has congealed around the idea that Black was expressing an unutterable truth - assumes that it will be. The assumption is that the nation will be shocked and will rally around its president, and that the media will respond to another attack in much the same way it did to 9/11. I'm not sure any of those things is true. Of course, the people will be shocked. But it's a general rule that the second time is never the same as the first time. This all depends to some extent on the nature of the attack. Since it's thought to be in bad taste to speculate on the precise nature of such things, I won't do it. But let's just say that, since 9/11, some percentage of the collective American mind is conditioned now to expect that we might be hit again. It probably won't be quite the shock that the first one was. I'm not counting the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 because that was largely botched – it was planned to be far more devastating – and didn't hammer itself into American consciousness the way 9/11 did. Now, let's consider the state of the Bush administration and the possible media response, which are intertwined. In September 2001, Bush still had credibility. True, he was not overwhelmingly popular. On September 10, Bush had a 52% approval rating – far from gaudy, although a number he'd kill for now. But he'd been president only eight months, and most Americans hadn't yet grasped the degree of willful ignorance and ideological rigidity that governed his thinking. The level of shock and the goodwill accorded Bush at the time – we needed a leader, a Churchill, all that – combined to ensure that Bush could set the terms of the fight against this new menace virtually unfettered. That, in retrospect, was a tragic development (actually, some of us knew at the time it was a tragic development, but there was little to be done about it). But it was impossible at the time to challenge that view and gain any traction in the mainstream. Which leads us to the media. The media, taking their cues from public opinion and from some among its number who had an ideological interest in seeing Bush transformed into Churchill (i.e. the Murdoch-owned media), simply refused to ask any questions for nearly a year. It was May 2002 before the US media – Newsweek, most notably, in a tough package of cover stories that I remarked on at the time – began to ask difficult questions about what the Bush administration knew before 9/11 and what it might have done to prevent the attacks. That issue of Newsweek faded into the woodwork, and the media – including Newsweek itself – set up the bowling pins for the march into Iraq. Would they do the same this time? I'm not so sure. There would be a period of national unity, of insisting that politics stops "at the water's edge," in which even Obama would be obliged to participate. But I suspect that this time around it would be a matter of days or at best weeks, certainly not months, before the country's best investigative and intelligence reporters – Sy Hersh, Mike Isikoff, Mark Hosenball, Eric Lichtblau, James Risen, Dana Priest and a handful of others – would start turning over rocks. And this time, their editors would let them roam.

Card continues, no omissions

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Uniqueness – AT – Predictions Flawed/October Surprise Screws Up Disad
Card continued, no omissions
Also, this time, Democrats in Congress would stand up and ask some questions. They were cowardly in the extreme in 2001 – to their eternal shame. But politicians are quite adept at kicking a man while he's down. A president with a 29% approval rating, in whom most of America has lost confidence, isn't very scary, even after a terrorist attack – that might take him up to, say, the old 52%? McCain, as I said, would have an advantage over Obama mano a mano. That's a given. And it may be that the fear factor would move meaningful percentages of voters in swing states over to McCain. But suppose the context of a second attack were that it didn't carry the shock that 9/11 did, that the Bush administration could not assert without explaining as it was able to do back then, and that the media did some reporting and demonstrated that Bush and his officials should have been more on the ball? That just doesn't strike me as a far-fetched scenario. And since presidential elections are decided state-by-state – that is, 30% of Alabama voters might rally to Bush and McCain, but only 3% of Michigan voters might, and voters in Oregon might on the whole turn against the Republicans – it is by extension not far-fetched that a second attack might not change the electoral map that dramatically. The media always believe that things will happen in conformation with the patterns of the past. But if that were true, Barack Hussein Obama would not be the Democratic nominee. For that matter John McCain wouldn't be representing the GOP. Life changes. And usually before the narrative does.

NOTE: This is a continuation of this card:
October Surprise predictions flawed – they assume 9/11 all over again – context has changed, so history wouldn’t repeat itself
Tomasky, Guardian America editor, 6-25-8 (Michael, Guardian, “9/11's fading force,” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/25/uselections2008.usa, accessed 7-14-8)

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******** Uniqueness – McCain Good/Obama Bad ********

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Uniqueness – McCain Will Win Now
McCain will win now
Fouhy, Associated Press writer, 7-3-8 (Beth, The Associated Press, McCain: Staff shake-up part of "natural evolution", Lexis) McCain began the day at the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico's holiest Roman Catholic site, where he viewed the famed portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe and received a blessing from the Basilica's monsignor. McCain laid a wreath of white roses at the altar and stood atop the Papal balcony. He was accompanied by President Bush's brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was in Mexico on business. "I think he's going to win," Jeb Bush said of McCain's chances against Democrat Barack Obama. "He just needs to be himself and not let Sen. Obama redefine himself." McCain's visit to the Basilica had clear political overtones as Catholic and Hispanic voters are expected to be key swing voters in the November election. Obama also has worked to woo Catholics and Hispanics after those groups voted heavily for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton during the primary season.

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Uniqueness – AT – Obama Will Win
McCain has momentum now – Obama should be polling higher
The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), editorial, 7-17-8 (“The signs aren't good” SECTION: EDITORIAL; Pg. A08) This should be an easy year for Democrats. A record percentage of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction - and after years of mostly Republican rule, that should help Democrats. Meanwhile, the media hype surrounding Democratic nominee-to-be Barack Obama is unprecedented and often unquestioning. National media have set him up as some sort of messiah. And after a pitched primary battle in which he emerged victorious, you would think Obama would appear unbeatable by now. By contrast, after an anti-climactic fizzle of a Republican primary, John McCain has sort of stumbled out of the gate for the general election, appearing unable to find his footing and to define his campaign clearly. Yet, a recent Rasmussen poll amazingly has the two candidates tied at this point. The Obama campaign plans a football-stadium acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in August. And his speech will coincide with the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Obama is sure to get a huge bounce from all that. But by all rights, he should be starting from a stronger position than he seems to be. That can't be good news for Democrats. And consider: A Washington Post/ABC News poll says 72 percent think McCain would be a good commander-in-chief, but only 48 percent think Obama would. Moreover, despite Obama's reputation for oratory, runners-up from the Republican primary can tell you what a savagely effective debater McCain is. Polls at this point don't mean much. But they are signposts on a long journey. Directions can change quickly on a political odyssey. But right now, the signs aren't good for Obama.

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Uniqueness – McCain Winning Christians Now
McCain winning evangelicals and other Christians now
Rasmussen Reports, 7-16-8 (“Daily Presidential Tracking Poll” http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll, accessed 7-16-8) Currently, McCain leads by a 60% to 26% margin among Evangelical Christians and holds a very slight edge over Obama among other Protestant voters and Catholic voters. Obama holds a thirty-five point advantage among all other voters. Most voters who attend Church at least weekly support McCain and most who rarely or never attend services prefer Obama (crosstabs available for Premium Members).

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********** Key Issues **********

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Key Issue – Energy
Energy is a voting issue – it will impact 9 of 10 votes
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Now that there is consensus that global climate change is happening, the real debate is how the next president will address it. Several recent developments, including record oil prices, rapidly rising energy demand, and a growing awareness of the impact of fossil fuel use on the Earth, have provided ample evidence that energy and environment challenges are intimately connected and require a coordinated response. Voters, meanwhile, are growing more concerned. In June, a Gallup Poll found that 9 of 10 voters say that high energy costs will influence their vote in November.

Energy emerging as key issue in the election
Victor, Stanford law professor & Spogli Institute Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David, Newsweek.com, “The Energy Trap, Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, 3-8-8, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087, accessed 6-29-8) Democrats voting in Ohio and Texas may well decide the shape of the U.S. presidential election. Regardless of who they choose to run against Sen. John McCain, the all but certain Republican candidate, it is likely that energy issues will figure more prominently in the election than at any time in the last generation. High prices are sapping economic growth, the No. 1 concern across most of the country. Gasoline is now approaching $4 a gallon; natural gas and electricity are also more costly than a few years ago. Global warming has become a bipartisan worry, and solving that problem will require radical new energy technologies as well. All this is good news in the rest of the world, which is hoping that a new regime in Washington will put the United States on a more sustainable energy path.

Energy policy is a hot button election issue
Beschloss, Desert Sun contributor, 6-27-8 (Morris R., Desert Sun, “Energy policy hinges on election,” Lexis) With energy development rapidly becoming the presidential campaign's critical issue, there are several happenings bringing the collision between the environmentalist partisans and the "Energy Now" protagonists to a rapid showdown. Thursday morning, the OPEC chief minister predicted crude oil per barrel to rise to $170 later this summer. He also added that U.S. gasoline could rise to $6 per gallon. The crude oil target is $20 more than what I had predicted at the first of the year, along with $125 per barrel by Memorial Day.

Energy policy a focal point of the election
Aspen Daily News 7-7-8 (Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News staff writer, “Election loomed at large at Ideas Fest”, http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/127924) When asked for his take on the race, JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO James Dimon agreed it is historic — but not for any of the reasons listed above. “I don’t think it’s historic because it’s a man or a woman or a black or an elderly person,” Dimon said in a public interview with Charlie Rose, adding that the faltering state of the nation is the historic importance of 2008. “We don’t have energy policy, education policy, infrastructure policy — these are not partisan (issues).”

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Key Issue – Energy
Economy, particularly energy prices, key to voters
Goldman, CNNMoney.com, 7-1-8 David, CNNMoney.com, “Americans say they'll vote with their wallets, The battered economy is the top issue for voters, and that isn't expected to change by November.” http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/01/news/economy/election_issue_poll/index.htm, accessed 7-3-8) NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The slumping U.S. economy has become the top issue on voters' minds, according to a new poll and that concern is likely to carry on up through election day. According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research Poll released Tuesday, 93% of voters say the economy is "extremely" or "very" important to their vote for president this November.84% of the more than 900 registered voters surveyed from June 26 to 29 said the situation in Iraq was their top concern. In January, the economy was virtually tied with the Iraq war as the top concern for voters. "With the poor economic environment right now, it's not surprising at all," said Wachovia economist Mark Vitner. As bad news out of Iraq has taken a back seat to dour economic news, Americans say the economy has become the issue that may decide the election in November, according to the survey. Economic bad news continues to mount, with the S&P and Dow suffering their worst June since the Great Depression. Adding to the pain, more than 324,000 jobs have been lost so far in 2008, and the mortgage and credit crises have crushed consumer confidence. Also, rising food and energy costs are hurting Americans in the pocketbooks. Accordingly, 77% of those polled felt gas prices were "extremely" or "very" important to their vote, making fuel costs the third most important issue for American voters.

Energy is the hot election topic
Cermak, Editor for German Press Agency, 6-18-8. (Chris, June 18, "McCain scolds oil nations, touts US reserves; Obama cries flip-flop", US News, http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/usa/news/article_1411853.php/McCain_scolds_oil_nations_touts_US_reserves_Obama_ cries_flip-flop) accessed July 6th Washington - Republican presidential hopeful John McCain blasted US dependence on foreign oil for effectively bankrolling undemocratic regimes and called Tuesday for the United States to allow greater exploration off its own shores. McCain said that money for oil was going to hostile states and supporters of terrorism in the Middle East, leaving the US in a dangerous and vulnerable position. 'Oil revenues are enriching the enemies of the United States and potentially limiting our own options in containing the threat they present,' McCain said in a broad speech on energy policy in Houston, Texas. Energy has quickly become a hot topic in the US presidential race, as security concerns have linked up with economic worries. Americans are feeling the pinch of high petrol and utility costs in an already- slowing US economy.

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Key Issue – Drilling
Drilling has emerged as a presidential issue
CNN.com 7-14-8 (CNN.com, “Bush lifts executive ban on offshore oil drilling”, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/14/bush.offshore/index.html, accessed 7-14-8) "In the short run, the American economy will continue to rely largely on oil, and that means we need to increase supply here at home," Bush said, adding that there is no more pressing issue for many Americans than gas prices. Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, signed the executive order in 1990 banning offshore drilling. The issue has gained prominence in the presidential race. Sen. John McCain recently announced he supported offshore oil drilling, reversing his previous stance. Sen. Barack Obama wants to keep the ban in place.

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Key Issues – Economy
Economy key to the election
Braverman, CNNMoney.com contributing writer, 6-12-8 (Beth, CNNMoney.com, “Voters favor Obama's economic policy – poll” http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/12/news/economy/president_poll/index.htm, accessed 7-3-8) As the economy continues to sputter, it has become a central issue in the November presidential election. ""The media is increasingly focusing on the economy and indicators that we are in or on the verge of a recession," Taylor said. "The economy moves slowly and it's unlikely we will have a massive change in the economy before November, which is only five months away." [Note: Taylor = Andrew Taylor, chairman of the political science department at North Carolina State University]

Economy is top issue in November election
Sabar, Christian Science Monitor, 6-10-8 (Ariel, Christian Science Monitor, “Economy is top priority for Obama, McCain, and voters”, June 10 2008, http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0610/p01s06-uspo.html?page=2, accessed 7-6-08) Washington - Gasoline prices at $4 a gallon. Home foreclosures at record levels. Most Americans saying they are financially worse off than they were a year ago, the highest number (55 percent) in more than three decades of Gallup polling. And on Friday, a onetwo punch: a stock market plunge and a government report showing the steepest jump in the jobless rate in 22 years. With the general election at last under way, no policy issue is likely to dominate the presidential race as much as the economy. The implications for both candidates are huge: President George H.W. Bush lost a second term in 1992 to a Democrat – Bill Clinton – who reminded himself of voters' priorities with a sign at his campaign headquarters that has served as a guidepost for candidates ever since: "It's the economy, stupid."

Economy key to the election
Trumbull, Christian Science Monitor, 8 (Mark, “On U.S. economy, voter concern runs deep”, 2-6-8, p. 1, Lexis) American voters aren't just concerned about getting through a near-term slump. Today's uncertainty also reflects growing concerns about long-term opportunities and financial security. Lou Preston, an organic farmer in Healdsburg, Calif., says he hopes the next generation of Americans can enjoy economic progress the way previous generations have. But he sees a host of problems to confront, notably the loss of manufacturing jobs and a widening divide between wealthy and blue-collar Americans. "A healthy middle class is a very important part of our economic base and that seems to be eroding," he says. Such concerns have come to the forefront in recent public opinion polls. A survey released last month by the Pew Research Center, for example, found that the economy has overtaken Iraq in recent weeks as the most important problem facing America. But the poll also reveals that an undercurrent of unease on economic issues has been strong for several years. Even a year ago, the same Pew survey found that more than half of Americans listed securing Medicare and Social Security, "dealing with energy problems," "reducing the budget deficit," and confronting poverty on their short list of priorities for the president and Congress. Those same issues loomed large again in last month's poll, even as worry about the economy rose higher on the list. "You basically have had a perfect storm" of challenges that affect American pocketbooks, says Peter Morici, a University of Maryland economist.

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Key Issues – Economy
Economy key issue for Americans
Page & Risser, USA Today, 8 (Susan & William, USA Today, “Economy's slide has voters on edge; Americans' rising anxiety 'a clear plus for the Democrats'” 25-8, p. A1, Lexis) Americans are increasingly downbeat about the economy and deeply worried that their standard of living is at risk, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll that shows family finances battered by a rise in fuel prices, the loss of jobs and a housing bust. In all, 42% of those surveyed from Wednesday to Saturday rate the nation's economic conditions as poor, the most negative outlook since 1992 -- another presidential election year, and one defined by economic angst that contributed to a Democratic takeover of the White House.

Economy key
Herdt, Ventura County Star, 8 (Timm, Ventura County Star, “Focus has changed since 1992 campaigns”, 2-5-8, p. , Lexis) That was a presidential election year in which the United States was just coming out of a recession and voters had little else on their minds. Advisers to candidate Bill Clinton famously broke down the campaign to a single, fundamental element: "It's the economy, stupid." As Californians go to the polls today, presidential politics and the economy are once again on their minds. This time around, experts don't expect voters to be so narrowly focused. To be sure, the economy is weakening and concern about jobs and financial security has climbed to the top of American voters' menu of concerns. A January survey conducted by CNN/Opinion Research Corp. found 35 percent of Americans citing the economy as "the most important issue" in the presidential campaign. The Iraq war, which dominated the 2006 midterm elections, had slipped to second, at 25 percent. Last spring, when the 2008 presidential contenders were just beginning this marathon campaign, respondents were telling the Gallup Poll that the economy was tied with immigration in third place behind Iraq and healthcare among the concerns they wanted Congress and the president to address. Today -- after months of subprime mortgage defaults, large-scale layoffs in the financial services industry, a rising unemployment rate and a stock market tumble -- things have dramatically changed. But that doesn't mean the candidates who win today will necessarily be the ones who have the best five-point plans for creating jobs, stimulating the economy and steering the housing industry out of the mortgage foreclosure mess.

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Key Issue – AT – Foreign Policy Key
Foreign policy no longer relevant to the election
Ward, Star foreign affairs columnist, 8 (Olive, The Star, “The vanishing election issue: foreign policy”, 2-4-8, http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/300134, accessed 7-15-8) Iraq is in tatters, Afghanistan is embattled, Pakistan is melting down along with the Arctic ice. But you'd scarcely know it by listening to the presidential candidates stumping the United States with rhetoric they hope will persuade voters to mark an X next to their names. Ever since the stock market slide that followed the sub-prime mortgage scandal, "it's the economy, stupid" is the slogan on every Washington campaigner's desk. And in spite of global warming, the "war on terror," and the dire news coming out of countries strategically important to America, the 2008 battle for the presidency is being fought on home turf. "Early on in the campaign, it was the foreign policy issues that dominated," says Beth Fischer, an assistant professor of political science at University of Toronto. "Now with the sub-prime mess, and a looming recession, it's just about vanished." It was a different story months ago, when the candidates tabled their foreign policy platforms and analysts squinted to read between the lines. All the leading hopefuls published their views in lengthy essays in the journal Foreign Affairs.

Foreign policy issues won’t determine election outcome
Dubase, South African Broadcasting Corporation News, 7 (Manelisi, SABC News, “US foreign policy won't determine election outcome”, 12-5-7 http://www.sabcnews.com/world/north_america/0,2172,160398,00.html, accessed 7-15-8) Top American foreign policy experts say the US foreign policy is unlikely to determine the outcome of next year's election. Last year the Democrats won both chambers of the US Congress on the basis of their opposition to the war in Iraq. Many analysts agree that the deaths of American troops in Iraq and the amount of money Americans are spending on that war had literally ensured that Democrats won the legislative elections in 2006. However, Peter Beirnart, a senior Fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations, says: "I think the reason is pretty simple. The single biggest foreign policy issue in the campaign is certainly Iraq, that is the driver for a lot of attention of foreign policy and Iraq is not as big an issue in American politics as it was a few months ago

Voter prioritization of Iraq and war on terror declining
Zenilman, Politico Editorial Assistant and political journalist, 7-6-8 (Avi, Politico, “Iraq not top in Obama’s war on terror agenda” 7/6/08, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11547_Page2.html, accessed – 7-6-08) It’s not clear that voters are concerned with the answer. According to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, the war in Iraq still is still the top issue for 19 percent of voters—more than any other issue, but down significantly from previous years—while only four percent identified terrorism and national security as their top concern. A CNN poll released last week showed voters’ concerns about terrorism at a post-9/11 low, and a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll conducted in mid-March asking which of a list of potential threats voters were most concerned with showed the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan as next to last. Nor is it clear that voters agree with the campaigns’ sense of which issues benefit which candiate. A June 15 ABC News/Washington Post poll shows voters evenly split as to which candidate they trust to handle “the war in Iraq,” while McCain leads by six points on ‘international affairs” and 14 points on “The U.S. campaign against terrorism.” The war in Iraq itself, however, remains deeply unpopular, with just 30 percent of adults favoring it, and 68 percent opposing it in a CNN poll conducted in late June.

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Page 33 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Key Issue – AT – Immigration Key
Immigration isn’t a decisive issue any more – it’s lost its edge
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) The third cause of McCain's 2007 problems was the immigration issue. Although the United States in general and the Republican Party in particular is of at least two minds on immigration, the pro-immigration reform side--the side most open to immigration and the side that McCain and Bush shared--was distinctly not where the passion and the zeal in the GOP was to be found. The loudest and most heartfelt emotions in the Republican Party were to be found on the anti-immigration side. As immigration rose as an issue, it became more and more of a problem for McCain. McCain was not able to move beyond immigration until it subsided as an issue. Although it remains a deeply divisive issue in some parts of the country and in some corners of the party, it seems to have lost a bit of its edge.

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Page 34 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Key Issue – AT – Gay Marriage Key
Gay marriage issue won’t hinder election Hunt, Wall Street Journal Editor, 08
(Albert, International Herald Tribune, “This Time, Gay Marriage Won't Galvanize Voters,” June 1, 2008 http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/01/america/letter.php?page=1, Date Accessed: 7-8-08) Desperate times, it is said, call for drastic measures. In the United States, the Republican Party is certainly desperate; it's in fundamentally worse shape in this presidential election than in probably any since Watergate. It's not surprising, therefore, that some conservatives want to capitalize on the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court overturning a ban on gay marriage to galvanize voters in the presidential election. The court decision will deliver a generation of children "straight into the arms of the homosexual activist community," warned James Dobson, the Christian evangelical leader. Dobson is calling on citizens in California and elsewhere to mount a protest. That dog, as they say in the American South, won't hunt this time. The gay marriage issue, seized on by President George W. Bush's former political guru, Karl Rove, may have been moderately helpful to Republicans in 2004; but it won't distract voters from other concerns - like the economy, health care and the war in Iraq - in 2008. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, seems to have little interest in trying to take advantage of the ruling; he opposes gay marriage, yet has no inclination to demagogue the issue and knows this is a bigstakes, big-issues election, not one for focusing on peripheral matters. He also knows it's a long-term loser for Republicans. One reason that the party's fundamentals are so bad in this election is the overwhelming shift of younger people - those between 18 and 29 - away from being swing voters and toward the Democratic Party; they are also turning out to vote in higher numbers. They're driven by concern about the economy and the war, as well as by revulsion at what they see as Republican intolerance. National surveys by groups like the Pew Research Center indicate that a growing number of voters support gay marriage. A Field Poll last week showed that California voters favor it, 51 percent to 42 percent, while 68 percent of people aged 18 to 29 feel that way.

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********** Battleground States **********

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Battleground – Swing States Key
National polls irrelevant – swing states key
Aspen Daily News 7-7-8 (Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News staff writer, “Election loomed at large at Ideas Fest”, http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/127924) Although the presumptive presidential nominees were not here to speak for themselves, Barack Obama and John McCain were an ever-looming presence at the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival, which wrapped up yesterday at the Aspen Institute. The fourth annual weeklong Woodstock of the wise — the first held during a presidential election year — included presentations on the next president’s impact on America’s children, how the candidates might approach climate change and the economy, the role of race and religion in voter choices, campaign media coverage, separate sessions on polling and “prognosticating,” and one titled “The Bard & the Ballot: Shakespeare and Politics ’08.” Pollster Douglas Schoen said Friday that his numbers indicate that the horse race is in a near dead heat — with Obama garnering 45 percent of the potential national vote and McCain attracting 42 percent. But the common political wisdom at the festival was that national sentiment will not necessarily decide the election — that role will be played by a handful of swing states, including Colorado, just as they did in 2004. “You people in New York and New Jersey are awful nice,” pundit Stuart Rothenberg said at a media panel, “but you guys just don’t matter.”

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Page 37 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Battleground – Colorado – Unaffiliated Voters
Colorado has transformed into a battleground state-unaffiliated voters Allen, Channel 7 News Reporter, 08
(Jaclyn, 7 News: the Denver Channel, “Candidates Court Colorado’s Unaffiliated Voters: State Party Leaders Say Independent Spirit Makes State Key,” July 7, http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/16805753/detail.html, Date Accessed: 7-6-08) It is not just the Democratic National Convention that has all political eyes on Colorado. State party leaders say the independent spirit of the west is getting nationwide attention during this 2008 presidential campaign. “We’ve gone from being sort of that swing state that someone might pay attention to at the last minute to being one of the battleground states,” said Pat Waak, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. Analysts believe the battle may be decided by voters not affiliated with either candidate’s party. “Unaffiliated voters have always swung elections in Colorado,” said Dick Wadhams, chair of the Colorado Republican party. “Sen. McCain has a unique appeal with unaffiliated voters in Colorado, and that's why he will win against Sen. Obama." Current polls, however, show Obama several points ahead in the state, and Democrats said they are working to make sure unaffiliated voters swing their way. “Clearly, Barack Obama is going to be campaigning in every state,” said Waak. “But as he said to me a few weeks ago when he was here, ‘I’m going to be here a lot.'” Republicans, meanwhile, said McCain is coming to Denver Monday for a town hall meeting to speak directly to unaffiliated voters, and that is just the beginning. "The amount of money, the amount of resources, the amount, the number of volunteers that will be working on the campaign will be unbelievable," said Wadhams.

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Battleground – Colorado – Favors Obama
Colorado has tipped to battleground state for 08 election -favor Obama Loven, Associated Press Reporter, 08
(Jennifer, Associated Press, “Obama Focuses on Turning Red States Blue,” July 3, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jkrKhyha4srQZZC_2M721Wfln8mwD91MICVG0, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) FARGO, N.D. (AP) — It will be a red-state Fourth of July for Barack Obama, who hopes to find votes as well as fireworks in places that blue-state Democrats often bypass in presidential elections. During the long holiday weekend, Obama is making an All-American swing from picnics to parades in reliably Republican corners of the country, states such as North Dakota and Montana. Both have voted Republican for the White House by hefty margins for almost four decades. Neither state offers many electoral votes — three apiece — but appearances there give Obama the opportunity to argue that he can appeal to voters of all stripes. "It may have been Woody Allen who said 90 percent of success is showing up," Obama told a small but enthusiastic crowd of donors at a fundraiser Wednesday in Colorado Springs, the conservative heart of conservative Colorado. "If I didn't show up, I wouldn't get many votes around here. If I did show up, I might get something going." Upon arrival here in North Dakota on Thursday, he repeated the theme of the importance of showing up to play. "I believe the American people across ideological spectrum ... are hungry for something new," he said on the airport tarmac. Colorado has unexpectedly tipped from a GOP stronghold into the battleground column this year. Ohio and Missouri, which also went Republican in 2004 but are considered swing states, got Obama attention this week. A second trip to Missouri is scheduled for Saturday.

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Page 39 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Battleground – Florida – Close
Florida is a battleground state with no clear winner Parker, Fort Myer News Political Columnist, 7-7-08
(Betty, Fort Myers News Press, “Obama, McCain face Fla. Battle,” July 7, http://www.newspress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080707/NEWS0107/80707008/1075, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) Florida Capital Bureau Sure bets are few for a strategy to win Florida's presidential electoral stakes: Polls are mixed, experts put the state in the toss-up category and even Republican Gov. Charlie Crist — mentioned as a possible VP pick and popular even with Democrats — says it's going to be a hard, close fight. Still, advice for Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain on what they need or should do to win Florida is plentiful. Every expert has an idea, and there's widespread agreement, even among opponents. But like most advice, giving it is easy. The skill comes in doing it. Solidifying various coalitions and geographic areas, and ensuring supporters turn out to vote, are major issues for both candidates. Exactly where they do that, and with whom, are the key. So is money, a critical element for anyone running in a state as large and diverse as Florida. In that regard, Democrats have something of an edge. Florida donors pumped about $14.5 million into Democratic campaigns, while McCain picked up $6.1 million. McCain has led Florida in most polls, especially when matched against Obama, which may make some GOP voters overconfident, some experts said. 'HILLARY FACTOR' Nationally, Democratic candidates have fared better than the GOP in this cycle. But the top Democratic recipient in Florida was Hillary Clinton, with $8.9 million, while Obama got $5.6 million. Clinton also won the primary, even though neither Democrat campaigned here. What that means, several experts say, is that Obama must give Florida more of the personal touch that's inspired so many voters elsewhere, and he especially needs to bring former Clinton backers to his side. "The Hillary factor" is especially important with older women voters, said Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida professor who specializes in Florida politics. "So many of them still want Hillary on the ticket," MacManus said of something that's now generally considered unlikely at best. "They won't vote for McCain, but the danger is that they might stay home. Putting her on the ticket would go a long way to helping him win in Florida." VOTING BLOCS Older Jewish voters, who make up a significant bloc of Democratic votes on the southeast coast, are also wary of Obama, said longtime state Sen. Steve Geller, D-Cooper City — both because many supported Clinton, and because they're concerned about Obama's positions on Israel. The former Hillary voters who threaten to stay home are now realizing the potential impact of that action, he said. "You ask them if they want the war to continue, if they want to see more ultra-conservative judges appointed to the Supreme Court, if they want to do something about the economic situation that's developed under Republican leadership, and they realize how important it is" to vote for Obama, said Geller. Turning out the black vote in high numbers is also essential, said Brad Coker, a pollster with the independent Mason-Dixon research organization. Black voters make up about 14 percent of the state's registered voters, but their turnout in most elections has been substantially lower, he said. Obama also appeared slow to get behind Florida's efforts to have all Democrats seated at the national convention, Geller and Coker said. That's caused some lingering resentment as well. "Florida Democrats, especially in Southeast Florida, are activists, and activists don't like hearing their votes might not count," Coker said. Like Obama, McCain also has specific demographic groups and geographical areas which he needs to win. Keeping the veteran and military votes solid is a must, said MacManus and Coker, especially in North Florida, where registered Democrats have for years voted Republican in national elections. Maintaining an edge there, and getting an even larger turnout in other traditional GOP areas is a must for McCain to offset Democratic votes — Democrats still hold the majority in Florida — elsewhere, especially given that Democrats turned out in record numbers for the primaries. Hispanic voters are particularly in play this election. For the first time, Hispanic Democrats outnumber Hispanic Republicans in Florida. But Obama has had trouble attracting even Democratic Hispanics, and McCain may be a beneficiary. His position on immigration also helps him with that group, although it's angered other, more conservative GOP voters.

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Page 40 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Battleground – Florida – Close
Florida is a battleground state – Election could go either way Detroit Free Press, 7-6-08
(Detroit Free Press, “October Surprise: Attack? More Mideast Strife?,” July 6, 2008, http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/NEWS07/807060621/1009/NEWS07, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) Experts put battleground state Florida in the toss-up category. And advice for Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain about winning the state is plentiful. Solidifying coalitions and geographic areas and ensuring supporters turn out to vote are major issues for both candidates. So is money, a critical element for anyone running in a state as large and diverse as Florida. Democrats have something of an edge there. Florida donors pumped about $14.5 million into Democratic campaigns, while McCain has picked up $6.1 million. But McCain leads in Florida in most polls, especially when matched against Obama, which may make some GOP voters overconfident, some experts said.

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Page 41 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Battleground – Florida – Key to Victory
Florida is a battleground state key to Obama or McCain’s victory O’Keefe, The Washington Post Trail Blogger, 7-7-08
(Ed, The Washington Post: The Trail, “McCain Continues Aggressive Spanish Radio Play, Targeting Obama in New Spot”, July 7, 2008, http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/07/04/mccain_continues_aggressive_sp.html, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) John McCain's staff shakeup earlier this week came amid concerns that his campaign lacked a consistent message and had made few attempts to contrast himself with Barack Obama. A new Spanish-language radio ad released yesterday by the Arizona senator shows McCain's campaign beginning to take a more aggressive approach. The 60-second spot, "Our Values," stars McCain's former college roommate, Frank Gamboa, who tells listeners that McCain "wants the best for Latinos," and "has always been with us, even in the bad times," while "the other candidate has just discovered the importance of the Hispanic vote." The spot, released yesterday, will air in Nevada, and New Mexico. Another McCain campaign Spanish-language spot released earlier this week addresses Latinos on the economy -- which remains the top issue of concern among all voters. In the ad, McCain ties his support of the Colombia Free Trade Deal to economic growth in Florida. The ad, which is airing in Florida, stars Tony Villamil, the state's former head of tourism, commerce and economic affairs. He says in the ad that business with Colombia and all of Latin America is crucial to the state's economy. Last month McCain aired a 60-second Spanish radio spot about the economy in Nevada and New Mexico, and later targeted Florida Cuban Americans, leading the Obama campaign to promise an "aggressive Spanish-language media outreach campaign." "The Obama campaign will begin airing Spanish ads by mid-July," explained the campaign's Vince Casillas, "but, more importantly, we will have a strong presence on Spanish media all the way through November." The Obama campaign responded to the Gamboa radio ad with a statement from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa contesting the ad's premise. "Barack Obama has long been a champion of the Latino community and the issues that matter to us and all of the American people," he said. "From educational opportunities, voting rights, immigration reform to equal access to health care, Barack has been at the forefront of fighting for our families. Barack's advocacy and long record of fighting to ensure voting rights for Hispanic Americans and other minorities demonstrates his understanding of how important it is to have all of our voices heard." The Latino vote could tip the scales for McCain or Obama in several battleground states this November. Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, says that Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico will be key to either candidate's victory. McCain has run ads in three of those states, but the tone and words used in the new ads suggest they're designed in part to introduce McCain to Latino voters. That's a problem, some argue, because Latino voters in South Florida and the Southwest should already be familiar with a senator from the Southwest who's a member of the political party most popular with Latinos in South Florida.

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Page 42 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Battleground – Florida – Support Offshore Drilling
Influential Politicians in Florida including the Governor and the voters are open to offshore drilling Nelson, Associated Press Reporter, 7-5-08
(Melissa, The Associated Press, “Companies Begin Quest for Oil, Gas Off Florida”, July 5, 2008, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iAmaMKv9dF1vMEghI_Y9HKQruRnAD91NIT680, Date Accessed: 7-5-08) PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Oil companies once viewed drilling in the deep waters off Florida as cost prohibitive. Politicians feared even the slightest sign of support would be career suicide. No more. Record crude oil prices are fueling support for oil and natural gas exploration off the nation's shores. In Florida, movement was underway even before President Bush called on Congress last month to lift a federal moratorium that's barred new offshore drilling since 1981. The early activity here stems from a 2006 Congressional compromise that allows drilling on 8.3 million acres more than 125 miles off the Panhandle — an area that had been covered by the moratorium, which was enacted out of environmental concerns. In exchange, the state got a no-drilling buffer along the rest of its beaches. Florida may turn out to be a prelude for other coastal states. If oil or natural gas deposits are found in the newly opened region, experts say it could further the push to explore other once-protected areas everywhere. It also could be a rallying point for critics, who say the new exploration isn't a license to expand exploration. With gas topping $4 a gallon, recent polls show Americans, Floridians included, more supportive of drilling in protected areas. Some politicians — including Gov. Charlie Crist — have switched sides. "We think the public is way out ahead of the politicians on these issues. People are more open to (offshore drilling) now," said Tom Moskitis, spokesman for the American Gas Association, a trade group. At the same time, oil companies, driven by the record energy price, are more willing to risk $100 million or more to begin exploring new regions. The Interior Department estimates there could be 18 billion barrels of oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas beneath the 574 million acres of federal coastal waters that are now off-limits. Drilling activity off the Florida Panhandle has started and sputtered for decades. Some companies had leases to drill off the Panhandle before the 1981 moratorium. They were grandfathered in when the moratorium passed because they were already actively exploring in their lease areas. They continued their activity off and on into the early 1990s. In March, four companies — Australia-based BHP Billiton Petroleum Deepwater Inc., Houston-based Anadarko E&P Co., Shell Offshore Inc. and Italian oil and natural gas company Eni SpA — purchased leases on 36 Gulf of Mexico tracts under the 2006 compromise. Jeb Bachmann, an analyst with New Orleans energy consultant Howard Wiel, said the four understand the shifting political and financial realities. "It gives you an indication that some of these companies believe there is some light at the end of the tunnel," Bachmann said. "There is higher pricing and a belief that higher prices are going to ultimately drive some changes." Anadarko bought seven of the recently opened tracts south of Pensacola because of their proximity to its Independence Hub, a major natural gas field off Alabama that supplies 1.5 to 2 percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S. every day, said Stuart Strive, the company's vice president of exploration for the eastern Gulf. The newly leased tracts are between 50 and 75 miles east of the Independence Hub. But finding and producing natural gas in the new site will be expensive. Three-dimensional mapping of the ocean floor, which must happen before any drilling, could take up to two years, Strive said. If a promising site is found, engineers must drill up to three miles below the ocean surface to extract the oil or natural gas. And it will take years before the company begins producing anything at the site — and there is no guarantee of success. A company can have as much as $4 billion invested and a wait of up to five years before seeing any return on the investment, Strive said. "We typically will have $100 to $200 million invested in a project before we know if it is an economic venture or not," he said. "Then, if you know you have made an economic discovery, you spend a billion dollars or more on a facility.” The 1981 moratorium — enacted out of environmental concerns in response to a massive oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast a decade earlier — has prevented the Interior Department from spending money on offshore oil or gas leases in virtually all coastal waters outside the western Gulf of Mexico and in some areas off Alaska. But politicians who once supported the ban are changing their minds. U.S. Sen. John McCain supports lifting the ban and allowing states to decide whether to approve drilling of their shores. Crist, Florida's Republican governor and a possible vice presidential candidate, reversed his long-standing opposition to lifting the ban last month.

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Page 43 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Battleground – Florida – Support Offshore Drilling
Florida voters are more receptive to fossil fuel explorations Bishop, Associated Industries of Florida President and CEO, 7-7-08
(Barney, The Tampa Tribune, “Time For Oil Drilling Off Florida,” July 7, 2008, http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jul/07/na-timefor-oil-drilling-off-florida/, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) Presidential campaigning has placed the media spotlight on the offshore drilling discussion. While I am glad for the renewed attention to this important topic, I worry politics will divide what is a really a nonpartisan issue. The public overwhelmingly supports increased exploration for oil and natural gas off Florida's coastline. As Floridians and Americans, we cannot afford to sit back as our energy future and the future of our natural resources are debated in the political arena. It's time to stop talking and start taking action. Results from a 2005 Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) poll revealed 59 percent of Floridians were supportive of increased exploration for and production of natural gas and oil in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Fast forward two and a half years and $4-a-gallon gas later, and, not surprisingly, we have seen that level of support rising. AIF has done periodic polling, and every summer when the price of gasoline goes up, the number of Floridians willing to allow drilling increases. Last week, AIF released results from our latest poll, which indicated two of every three Floridians want to look closer to our shorelines for natural energy resources - anywhere from their own backyard to at least 50 miles off shore

Influential Politicians are now in support of Offshore Drilling New York Times, 6-19-08
(Damien Cave, The New York Times, “Idea of Offshore Drilling Seems to be Spreading”, June 19, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/us/19offshore.html?bl&ex=1214193600&en=9c26487eae13b31c&ei=5087%0A, Date Accessed: 7-8-08) MIAMI — Gov. Charlie Crist stepped on the third rail of Florida politics this week when he abandoned his opposition to drilling offshore for oil and natural gas. But surprise, surprise, he did not die. His call for cautious reconsideration, in fact, is spreading. In the Capitol and along the coast here minds once closed to offshore drilling have been cracked open by the prospects of safer drilling technology and an awareness that dependency on foreign oil has heavy costs. “It’s something we need to do because of the bigger picture,” said State Senator Burt L. Saunders, chairman of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. “We need more energy independence.” Governor Crist’s position appears to line up with Senator John McCain’s call for an end to the federal moratorium that prevents coastal drilling. With President Bush now in support, Democrats say the proposal is a gimmick that will blow back against the Republicans. But the public debate over drilling suggests that the political landscape has changed. Several elected and appointed Florida Republicans have publicly shifted their positions in the past week. Senator Mel Martinez said Tuesday that he would consider drilling as long as it is at least 50 miles off the coast. Nicki Grossman, vice chairwoman of the Florida Tourism Commission, said Wednesday that the high price of gasoline might be more of a threat than drilling.

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Battleground – Florida – Support Offshore Drilling
Key Floridian Politicians are now supporting offshore drilling Clark, Miami Herald Washington Correspondent, Klas, Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau Chief, and Reinhard, Miami Herald Political Writer, 6-19-08
(Lesley Clark, Mary Ellen Klas, and Beth Reinhard, Herald Washington Bureau, Bradenton Herald, “McCain Drilling Plan Riles Florida,” 6-19-08, http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/685861.html, Date Accessed 7-8-08) John McCain's support for offshore drilling could hurt his prospects in the nation's largest battleground state, where voters have long favored safeguarding Florida's economically and environmentally precious coast line. In sign of the issue's volatility, several high-profile Florida Republicans in Tallahassee and Washington broke with their party's presumptive presidential nominee. Two of McCain's chief supporters, U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist, this week abandoned their previous opposition to off-shore drilling. However, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, remains firm on the issue. "Gas prices are outrageous," he said in a statement released Wednesday. "I agree with Senator McCain that we need to increase domestic supplies as part of a balanced energy policy ... However, I remain opposed to expanded drilling off Florida's west coast." Other areas of the country, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, should be open to drilling, he said and the country should put a greater focus on energy conservation. Gulf drilling is one of the few areas Buchanan is on the same side as his Democratic counterparts, like Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. "We cannot sacrifice Florida's billion-dollar tourism and fishing industries," she said in a statement released Wednesday. However, the issue puts McCain in the same camp as President Bush - who on Wednesday echoed the Arizona senator's call to lift the ban in the hope of lowering gas prices - at a time when McCain is trying to distance himself from the unpopular administration. "There is a certain political danger for McCain," said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker. But he added, "The question becomes: With gas at $4 a gallon, have people's minds changed? My best guess is that more people today are willing to support offshore drilling with heavy restrictions than a couple a years ago." 'Taking a chance' McCain was widely viewed as having a leg up in Florida because Democratic rival Barack Obama boycotted the state for months and came in second to Hillary Clinton in the Jan. 29 primary. But polls of likely Florida voters released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University and the American Research Group show Obama with a narrow lead. "McCain is obviously taking a chance, given that he's trying to run as Republican who is environmentally friendly," warned Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown. McCain began airing an ad on cable this week that portrays him as an environmentalist who "stood up to" Bush on global warming. The ad, running in Florida, features McCain standing against a scenic mountain view wearing a khaki shirt and baseball cap. But oil drilling is the second environmental issue in recent weeks on which McCain has sided with Bush and parted with most of Florida's political establishment. During his visit to the Everglades earlier this month, McCain defended his opposition to $2 billion for Everglades restoration, arguing that the overall $23 billion package included wasteful spending. Most Florida Republicans - including Martinez and Crist supported overriding Bush's veto of the legislation. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, a leading McCain supporter who faces her first significant reelection challenge, on Wednesday repeated her support for the drilling moratorium. "We must continue to protect and preserve our economic interests by safeguarding against near-shore drilling," Ros-Lehtinen said. Ray Sansom, the incoming leader of the Florida House, told reporters in Tallahassee that he's opposed to drilling off Florida's coast. Another GOP leader even challenged McCain's assertion that drilling would increase the oil supply and lower gas prices. "For anyone to represent that someone drilling off the coast in Florida is going to lower gas prices here or anywhere in this country is disingenuous and a flawed argument," said Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio, who added that he supports drilling off Florida's coast if it can be done safely. "Oil drilling could take 10 years before any oil is pulled out of the ground and there are a large number of leases held by oil companies that are not being exploited now. We can't say we need more until we've exploited those." Shifting opinion? Some Florida Republicans, whose support for the moratorium began eroding in 2006 when the then-GOP-led Congress moved aggressively to lift the ban, said McCain's position on oil and gas exploration reflects a shift in public opinion, fueled by gas prices.

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Battleground – Florida – Oppose Offshore Drilling
Influential Florida Politicians are opposed to Offshore Drilling in order to protect their environment Nelson, Associated Press Reporter, 7-5-08
(Melissa, The Associated Press, “Companies Begin Quest for Oil, Gas Off Florida”, July 5, 2008, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iAmaMKv9dF1vMEghI_Y9HKQruRnAD91NIT680, Date Accessed: 7-5-08) But politicians who once supported the ban are changing their minds. U.S. Sen. John McCain supports lifting the ban and allowing states to decide whether to approve drilling of their shores. Crist, Florida's Republican governor and a possible vice presidential candidate, reversed his long-standing opposition to lifting the ban last month. The ban won't be lifted without a fight. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who has led opposition to offshore drilling among the state's Congressional delegation, criticized the governor for reversing his position, accusing Crist and McCain of putting oil company profits before protecting the state's $65 billion annual tourism industry. "Oil companies and their allies are using the shockingly high price of oil and gasoline, which largely is the result not of a supply problem but speculative fever, to scare the public into thinking coastal drilling offers a real solution to our dependency on oil," he said in an e-mailed statement. The 2006 Senate compromise opening up the Panhandle tracts made sense and should be honored by the oil companies, said Dan McLaughlin, Nelson's spokesman. Instead, the companies and Congressional Republicans are pushing to open more acreage, he said. Nelson helped broker the compromise. "It was a compromise allowing them to go where they wanted to go, where there were some proven reserves, while also keeping them at a distance to save the economy, the environment and protect our military training areas," McLaughlin said. "That compromise closed the door and kept the moratorium in place. Now you see the governor doing an about face, but we are confident we are going to fight it back again." [NOTE: U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is a Democratic Senator for Florida]

Battleground State Florida opposes offshore drilling Drogin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, 6-18-08
(Bob, Los Angeles Times, “John McCain Open to Drilling Offshore, not in Artic Refuge,” June 18, 2008, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-campaign18-2008jun18,0,7455120.story, Date Accessed: 7-8-08) The Senate last month rejected a proposed Republican energy plan that included a provision similar to McCain's proposal. It would have allowed a state governor to petition to have the federal moratorium lifted for waters off its coast. The measure failed 56-42. Several coastal states, including New Jersey and Virginia, are potential battleground areas in the November election. California and Florida, another battleground state, have seen strong public opposition to offshore drilling proposals in the past. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes lifting the moratorium but "still absolutely supports" McCain, said Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the Republican governor. "They're going to disagree from time to time, and this is one of those cases." In Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist, another Republican governor previously opposed to drilling, issued a nuanced response that stopped short of criticizing McCain. "Florida has one of the more pristine environments on our planet and we must be pragmatic in protecting both our beaches and our economy," Crist said. "We look forward to the dialogue as we move forward to protect both our environment and our country's economic interests." Doug Holtz-Eakin, a senior policy advisor to McCain's campaign, acknowledged in a conference call to reporters that allowing new offshore drilling would have no immediate impact on supplies or gas prices. But, he said, "there is an important element in signaling to world oil markets that we are serious."

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Battleground – Florida – Oppose Offshore Drilling
Key Floridian Politicians are opposed to offshore drilling Clark, Miami Herald Washington Correspondent, Klas, Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau Chief, and Reinhard Miami, Herald Political Writer, 6-19-08
(Lesley Clark, Mary Ellen Klas, and Beth Reinhard, Herald Washington Bureau, Bradenton Herald, “McCain Drilling Plan Riles Florida,” 6-19-08, http://www.bradenton.com/local/story/685861.html, Date Accessed 7-8-08) John McCain's support for offshore drilling could hurt his prospects in the nation's largest battleground state, where voters have long favored safeguarding Florida's economically and environmentally precious coast line. In sign of the issue's volatility, several high-profile Florida Republicans in Tallahassee and Washington broke with their party's presumptive presidential nominee. Two of McCain's chief supporters, U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist, this week abandoned their previous opposition to off-shore drilling. However, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, remains firm on the issue. "Gas prices are outrageous," he said in a statement released Wednesday. "I agree with Senator McCain that we need to increase domestic supplies as part of a balanced energy policy ... However, I remain opposed to expanded drilling off Florida's west coast." Other areas of the country, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, should be open to drilling, he said and the country should put a greater focus on energy conservation. Gulf drilling is one of the few areas Buchanan is on the same side as his Democratic counterparts, like Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. "We cannot sacrifice Florida's billion-dollar tourism and fishing industries," she said in a statement released Wednesday. However, the issue puts McCain in the same camp as President Bush - who on Wednesday echoed the Arizona senator's call to lift the ban in the hope of lowering gas prices - at a time when McCain is trying to distance himself from the unpopular administration. "There is a certain political danger for McCain," said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker. But he added, "The question becomes: With gas at $4 a gallon, have people's minds changed? My best guess is that more people today are willing to support offshore drilling with heavy restrictions than a couple a years ago." 'Taking a chance' McCain was widely viewed as having a leg up in Florida because Democratic rival Barack Obama boycotted the state for months and came in second to Hillary Clinton in the Jan. 29 primary. But polls of likely Florida voters released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University and the American Research Group show Obama with a narrow lead. "McCain is obviously taking a chance, given that he's trying to run as Republican who is environmentally friendly," warned Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown. McCain began airing an ad on cable this week that portrays him as an environmentalist who "stood up to" Bush on global warming. The ad, running in Florida, features McCain standing against a scenic mountain view wearing a khaki shirt and baseball cap. But oil drilling is the second environmental issue in recent weeks on which McCain has sided with Bush and parted with most of Florida's political establishment. During his visit to the Everglades earlier this month, McCain defended his opposition to $2 billion for Everglades restoration, arguing that the overall $23 billion package included wasteful spending. Most Florida Republicans - including Martinez and Crist - supported overriding Bush's veto of the legislation. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, a leading McCain supporter who faces her first significant reelection challenge, on Wednesday repeated her support for the drilling moratorium. "We must continue to protect and preserve our economic interests by safeguarding against near-shore drilling," Ros-Lehtinen said. Ray Sansom, the incoming leader of the Florida House, told reporters in Tallahassee that he's opposed to drilling off Florida's coast. Another GOP leader even challenged McCain's assertion that drilling would increase the oil supply and lower gas prices. "For anyone to represent that someone drilling off the coast in Florida is going to lower gas prices here or anywhere in this country is disingenuous and a flawed argument," said Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio, who added that he supports drilling off Florida's coast if it can be done safely. "Oil drilling could take 10 years before any oil is pulled out of the ground and there are a large number of leases held by oil companies that are not being exploited now. We can't say we need more until we've exploited those." Shifting opinion? Some Florida Republicans, whose support for the moratorium began eroding in 2006 when the then-GOP-led Congress moved aggressively to lift the ban, said McCain's position on oil and gas exploration reflects a shift in public opinion, fueled by gas prices. Rep. Adam Putnam of Bartow noted that Florida's congressional delegation agreed in 2006 to open up 8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to drilling in exchange for a 125-mile buffer: "And the net result was not instant death to the elected officials who proposed it." Democrats and Obama's campaign moved rapidly to assail McCain as a flip-flopper on drilling and to inoculate themselves against Bush's accusation that they are obstructing efforts to lower gas prices. All nine Florida Democrats in Congress issued a statement calling it a "political gimmick that will not lower gas prices for consumers but could have real and tragic consequences for Florida's economy and natural environment."

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Battleground – Indiana
Indiana is a battleground state for the first time in history Wong, Associated Press member, 08
(Gregg, Associated Content, “Indiana’s Economy Moves State into Battleground Territory,” 6-19-08, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/830351/indianas_economy_moves_state_into_battleground.html, Accessed: 7-7-08.) Evansville, Indiana -- Hoosiers are undecided on their party status this election year, as Indiana jobs have been in question and the state economy is shaky, at best. Currently, many news organizations are calling Indiana a battleground zone, a label never bestowed on the state. Indiana residents currently deal with a 5.1 percent unemployment rate in March, matching the national rate. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton carried a message of change for the state's economy. Indiana shares a border with the manufacturing giant Michigan and has several automotive plants. With the Toyota in Princeton, Indiana, announcing it will cut six production days in the next two months, Hoosiers are forced to wonder what will become of their jobs. Although Toyota employees will be given the opportunity to still work on non-production tasks, it's the smaller suppliers to the automotive giants that have become worried. Also, Mother Nature has not been kind to the Indiana. An estimated $126 million dollars in initial flood damage has been dealt to Indiana farmers. Although the state's economy has slowly transitioned away from farming, the damage will cause major issues for crop yields. The flooding has also put many people out of a job in the central part of the state, due to major damage to facilities and transportation. Where does this leave the Hoosier state, or more importantly, the Hoosier economy? Indiana will be a battleground state come November. The economy will emerge as the hot-button issue both candidates will approach -- with criticism lobbied toward each other. While McCain's experience is strong in the areas of defense, foreign policy and veterans issues, Obama appeals to the the middle class with tax incentives and stimulus packages that have caused many Hoosiers to change their party affiliation. With a record number of Democratic voters in Indiana (120,000 +) the economic state of Indiana may swing typical Republican voters to the Democratic side. Perhaps Indiana is ready for a state of change.

Indiana is shaping up to be a close race for the 2008 presidential election Shepard, Associated Content Writer and Reporter, 08
(Don A., Associated Content, “Indiana General Election Polls Show Race Could Go to Final Lap,” 6-24-08, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/837209/indiana_general_election_polls_show.html?page=2&cat=8, Date Accessed 7-708) According to The Ball State Daily News, the last Democratic presidential candidate to win electoral college votes here in Indiana was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. As can be seen on uselectionatlas.org George Bush defeated John Kerry 59.94% to 39.26% in 2004. It would seem from this history that John McCain would certainly be starting from the pole position in 2008, however In a state known for its' racing it seems the race for Indiana's electoral college votes may be competitive this November. The recent poll results shown on Pollster.com indicate Barack Obama is predictably behind though the biggest margins are relatively slim at 9%. What really makes the race competitive is the number of undecided voters being between 5% and 10% in these polls. The local WTHR Channel 13-Indianapolis Star Poll even has Obama up by 8%. This same poll highlights the economy and the war in Iraq as the top two issues for Indiana voters. It is difficult to measure
just how accurate these Indiana polls will be due to the variety in demographics here. As shown in the Democratic primary, the precincts in the Chicago and Indianapolis areas can vote very differently than more rural precincts. The amount of new voters could also make accurate polling tricky. John McCain is not going to let the Republican's presidential grip on Indiana loosen without a fight. As reported by IndyStar.com he is planning a fund raising visit to Indianapolis July 2 which sponsored by some prominent local politicians. He could gain some momentum here with personal appearances, particularly if he displays his "Good Ole Boy" personality. Current Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels ran a successful campaign here in an RV with the slogan "My Man Mitch". This was how he was once introduced to an audience by President Bush. For his part Obama is not conceding Indiana. He has the advantage of already stumping in the state thoroughly during his primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. Another IndyStar.com article reports on a new television add the Obama campaign has put out that will run in Indiana. The spot is titled "Country I Love". According to the article Obama talks about his modest Kansas roots and values. This may help with some Indiana voters who have questions about Obama's patriotism or have issues with him just not being like them. The general election in Indiana may or may not be close in the end. We will have to wait until November to know for sure. Obama

has brought out many new voters in Indiana, as he has across the country. McCain has the many diehard Republicans. We do know that Hoosiers are getting wooed for their vote in 2008, and that the polls are telling us it is competitive. The political engines have been started, may the best candidate win!

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Battleground – Indiana – Ethanol
Indiana’s representatives support easing ethanol tariff Bjerga, Bloomberg News, 08
(Alan, Indystar.com, “GOP Lawmakers Ask EPA to Ease Rules Requiring Use of Ethanol,” 7-3-08, http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080703/NEWS05/807030415/1008/LOCAL19, Date Accessed 7-17-08) The Environmental Protection Agency said it's reviewing congressional requests to relax rules mandating the use of ethanol, which some lawmakers say is straining corn supplies. Fifty-one House Republicans signed a letter Friday to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson saying reduced production of corn, the main source of U.S. biofuels, makes boosting the ethanol requirements a burden. On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., called for the elimination of a 54-cents-a-gallon tax on imported ethanol to ease corn demand. Lugar said the U.S. needs to allow more ethanol imports from Brazil to meet renewablefuel needs as corn supplies become more strapped. The EPA "will review the letter and respond appropriately," probably this month, agency spokesman Jonathan Shradar said in an e-mail. "Keep in mind this is from the same Congress" that just months ago passed requirements that 9 billion gallons of grain-derived ethanol be blended into U.S. fuel this year, he added. Under the 2005 Energy Policy Act, the EPA can grant a full or partial waiver if implementation is found to cause severe harm to the economy or environment of a state, region or the country. Corn, the source of almost all ethanol produced in the U.S., reached a record $7.9925 a bushel Friday on concerns that higher demand for grains for exports, animal feed and biofuels will tighten supplies. The Department of Agriculture said June 10 that supplies will be 10 percent smaller than last year's record crop. That report was released before floods in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and other states.

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Battleground – Indiana – Alternative Energy
Indiana’s governor supports wind, clean coal, biofuels, and other alternatives PR Newswire, 08
(BNET, “Dominion, BP Welcome Gov. Mitch Daniels to Indiana's Largest Wind Farm”, 5-29-08, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4PRN/is_2008_May_29/ai_n25468138, Date Accessed 7-17-08) RICHMOND, Va., May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dominion and BP Alternative Energy today welcomed Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels at a project recognition and wind turbine blade signing ceremony to commemorate the construction of the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County, Ind. When it becomes fully operational, the wind farm will be one of the largest wind-power facilities in the world and will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power more than 200,000 average American homes. Gov. Daniels, who was joined by other state and local elected officials, landowners and community leaders, said, "Indiana is becoming a leader in clean energy production, including wind, clean coal technology, biofuels and other alternatives. America needs more homegrown energy from every source, and the greener the better."

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Battleground – Iowa – Farm Bill/Flooding
Farm Bill and recent flooding will have an impact on the ’08 elections Glover, Associated Press Political Writer, ‘08
(Mike, Chicago Tribune, “ AARP Runs Health Ads in Michigan, 3 Other States,” July 7, 2008, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-seniors-health,0,2664086.story, Date Accessed: July 7, 2008). DES MOINES, Iowa - The nation's largest seniors group is running television commercials in Michigan and three other swing states, attempting to force presidential candidates to address health and retirement issues. AARP and Divided We Fail, an effort backed by the seniors group and other organizations, have launched new television commercials in Michigan, Iowa, Florida and New Hampshire. The ads note past statements by Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, urging voters to "make sure their talk turns into real solutions." A spokesman declined to give specifics about the ad buy but said it was part of a "multimillion dollar effort" to mobilize voters around issues key to seniors, an important voting group. "I think Iowa and the other states that are being targeted are states the candidates are paying attention to and will be visiting," said Mark Fetterhoff, a spokesman for the Iowa chapter of AARP. Bruce Koeppl, head of the Iowa AARP chapter, said McCain and Obama talked often about health care and financial security issues during the primary season. The goal of the TV ads is to pressure them to convert that talk into real campaign platforms and eventually into action in the next administration. To make that case, the new commercials feature footage of both candidates talking about health care on the stump. The new commercials feature McCain calling for "tax policies that respect wage-earner and job creators" and Obama saying "It's harder to save, it's harder to retire." "We need to be certain that rhetoric turns into action," Koeppl said. "We wanted to note their words in the ads as part of our effort to demand action on these issues." The states targeted are all important swing states in the November general election. Iowa voted for Democrats Al Gore by a mere 4,000 votes in 2000, and for President Bush by 12,000 votes in 2004. Seniors are a vital voting bloc throughout the nation, but especially in the four targeted states. Iowa has one of the nation's oldest populations, AARP claims 400,000 members in the state. AARP doesn't endorse candidates but the group is very politically active. Although McCain and Obama have established campaign organizations in Iowa and promised to compete in the state, most give Obama something of an edge heading into the election. State election officials report that as of July 1, Democrats had built a significant edge in voter registration. There were 673,833 registered Democrats and 583,614 registered Republicans. Both groups were outnumbered by the 675,869 voters who registered without declaring a party preference. Koeppl noted that AARP was active in the caucus campaign, and collected 14,000 signatures on petitions demanding the candidates deal with health care issues critical to seniors. "Clearly Iowa, with our 14,000 Divided We Fail pledge signers, is motivated to actively engage the candidates on health care and financial security issues," said Koeppl.

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Battleground – Michigan
Michigan will be a battleground state Trowbridge, Air Force Times Senior Staff Writer, 06
(Gordon, The Detroit News, “Red, Blue State? It’s Purple in Michigan,” November 6, http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061106/POLITICS01/611060353/1022/politics, Date Accessed: July 17, 2008) In a nation of red and blue states, color Michigan a confused purple. Not since 1988 has a Republican presidential candidate carried the state, and only one Republican has represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate since 1980, But Republicans have dominated the state Legislature since the late '80s. And in a campaign year full of embattled Republican incumbents across the nation, Michigan's Democratic governor and U.S. senator are fighting for re-election, while Republicans are likely to hold their 9-6 majority in the U.S. House delegation A look at Michigan's recent political history reveals the swingingest of swing states. In 10 major statewide races since 1998, out of more than 34 million votes cast, Republicans hold a meager edge, 51 percent to 49 percent. As interviews with politicians, political analysts and Michigan voters show, a whirl of trends and counter-trends makes the state hotly competitive. Tuesday's elections are likely to only reinforce that picture. The factors that keep Michigan competitive will be on full display: a fondness for top-of-the-ticket Democrats and for Republicans in second-tier races; campaign machinery that tends to help Republicans; the loss of manufacturing jobs and, therefore, of union clout; a geographically polarized electorate that gives each party a solid base on which to stand; and a large population of ticket-splitters and persuadable voters that can flock to candidates they value -- or punish those who stray too far left or right. To the rest of the nation, preoccupied with redblue maps on presidential election nights, Michigan is decidedly blue. "You've gone for Gore and Kerry and that's the basic traditional measure of blue and red," said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who has worked for several Michigan candidates, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm this year. "But look below the surface. For most of the last 20 years, you've had a Republican governor. Republicans control both houses of the Legislature and other statewide offices." The bigger the national stage, it seems, the bluer Michigan voters become. Democrats have won the state's electoral votes in four straight presidential campaigns, and aside from Spencer Abraham's single term, a Republican hasn't represented the state in the U.S. Senate in 26 years. "The Republican Party has offered candidates that were just too conservative for the state," said Bill Ballenger, a former Republican lawmaker and editor of Inside Michigan Politics, a political newsletter. It's a trend that on Tuesday may help Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has sought to tie her Republican opponent, Michael Bouchard, to President Bush, who gets a bad performance rating from 60 percent of likely Michigan voters. But Democrats also can suffer if their nominees are seen as extreme: Compared to flamboyant lawyer Geoffrey Feiger in 1998, for example, voters decided Republican Gov. John Engler was downright moderate, and gave him a 700,000-vote blowout. Ticket-splitters abound "I look at what the person has to offer," and not just their party label, said Lee Roy Browner, 69, a Jackson retiree who votes mostly for Democrats, but sometimes supports Republicans, including the elder President Bush. It's an article of faith among Michigan pols that the state abounds in voters such as Browner, willing to cast their vote regardless of party. Granholm, in 1998, weathered the Engler blowout to become state attorney general; more recently, voters have chosen Republicans for attorney general and secretary of state, while choosing Dems in other races.

Michigan a critical battleground state for the 2008 election Murray, NBC News Deputy Political Director, 6-16-08
(Mike, MSNBC’s First Look, “Obama: The Delegator,” June 16, 2008 http://politicalmosaic.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/withromney-mccain-wins-michigan-and-the-election/, Date Accessed: July 17, 2008) Kicking off the second week of his “Change That Works for You” tour, Obama spends today and tomorrow in Michigan. Not only is Michigan the first state where he has spent more than one day on this tour, but it’s also now the first battleground state he’s returning to since he began to act like the presumptive nominee. The reason: Given the fact that he didn’t really campaign in the state due to the primary calendar mess — as well as the political mess in Detroit – Michigan is one of McCain’s best chances to turn a blue state red. Obama has a very realistic path to 270 that doesn’t include Ohio AND Florida, but he doesn’t have a realistic path if he somehow loses Ohio, Florida, AND Michigan.

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Battleground – Michigan – Renewables
Michigan leading the charge in Biofuels, Wind, Advanced Batteries, and Solar cells Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 2008
(MEDC, “Targeted Initiatives: Alternative Energy,” No Full Date Given, http://www.michiganadvantage.org/Targeted-Initiatives/Alternative-Energy/Default.aspx, Date Accessed: July 17, 2008) In Michigan, green is the new gold. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is leading the charge in the development of new markets for alternative energy in Michigan and beyond. We are aligning scientists, universities, policy makers, industry players, the natural resource management community and our engineering talent around the goal of creating the next generation of power provision for businesses, consumers and vehicles. The MEDC is also looking at creative incentive packages custom tailored to create the right environment and bring together the right players to advance the way the world is powered. Michigan is focusing on the development of state and nationwide markets for such alternatives as: Cellulosic biofuel, Wind generation, Advanced batteries, Solar cells Whether you are a manufacturer looking to diversify your base of production or a company with a current or potential patent on the next iteration of alternative energy technology, Michigan is ready to give you the Upper Hand.

Michigan actively pursuing alternative energy in great amounts Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 2008
(MEDC, “Targeted Initiatives: Wind Energy,” No Full Date Given, http://www.michiganadvantage.org/Targeted-Initiatives/WindEnergy/Default.aspx, Date Accessed: July 17, 2008) Michigan is actively pursuing the adoption of a Renewable Portfolio Standard which would mandate that 10% of Michigan's electricity needs come from renewable sources by 2015 and 25% by 2025. A 10% by 2015 RPS would generate a demand for approximately 1,250 new wind turbines over the next seven years. Backed by the 21st Century Jobs Fund, NextEnergy is leading and coordinating a state Wind Manufacturing Working Group. These activities include educational updates and work shops on the wind supply chain, production requirements and specifications and opportunities to directly interact and meet with leading wind OEMs. The Michigan Wind Working Group consists of state departments, utilities, companies and other interested parties that meet monthly to exchange information, discuss collaboration and projects, increase consumer awareness and identify barriers and opportunities. The Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing of Alternative & Renewable Energy Technologies (CAMARET) is a five-university effort focusing on centralizing manufacturing research expertise related to wind product design and materials, manufacturing processes, systems and supply chain.

Michigan wants, needs, and is pursuing increased alternative energy resources Renewable Energy Today, 07
(Business Network, “Environment Michigan Report Supports Renewable Energy,” February 21, 2007, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0OXD/is_2007_Feb_21/ai_n18647350?tag=artBody;col1, Date Accessed: July 17, 2008) A new study released this week by Environment Michigan suggests that reliance on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency could create 6,800 new jobs, $3.3 billion in new salaries, reduce power plant emissions by 30% and save $2.2 billion in energy bills for Michigan residents by 2020. The report, "Energizing Michigan's Economy: Creating Jobs, Reducing Pollution with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Electric Power," said if Michigan invests $225 million a year in an "effective energy efficiency program," the state could limit electric demand and reduce the need to build new power plants. Environment Michigan is also pushing for a Renewable Energy Standard requiring Michigan to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources and avoid the need to build new power plants.

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Battleground – Michigan – Auto Lobby
Michigan auto makers prove to be a huge lobbying force Shepardson, The Detroit News Federal Courts Reporter, 5-1-08
(David, Detroit News Washington Bureau, “The Auto Lobby Spends $70 million,” May 1, 2008 http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080501/AUTO01/805010347, Date Accessed: July 17, 2008) The automotive industry spent a record $70.3 million lobbying Congress in 2007, a figure largely driven by efforts to influence changes in the fuel economy standards of the nation's cars and trucks, according to a new report by the Washingtonbased Center for Responsive Politics. That amount was up 19.6 percent from the $58.8 million the industry spent in 2006, according to the report. The industry is expecting to spend the same in 2008 because it's an election year and their focus will be on proposed regulatory changes. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics said businesses, labor unions, governments and other interests spent a record $2.79 billion to lobby Washington in 2007, up 7.7 percent or $200 million in spending the year before. Advertisement "At a time when our economy is contracting, Washington's lobbying industry has been expanding," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the group. "Lobbying seems to be a recession-proof industry. In some respects, interests seek even more from our government when the economy slows." General Motors Corp. led the industry in spending in 2007, chalking up $14.3 million. Ford Motor Co. spent $7.2 million. Toyota Motor Corp. followed with $5.9 million.
GM's lobbying expenses fell below other entities and trade groups like the AARP and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America. GM was the fifth largest corporate spender behind General Electric Co., ExxonMobil, AT&T and Amgen, according to the report. "Our lobbying activity is proportional to the potential competitive and economic impact that proposed legislation could have on our business," said GM spokesman Greg Martin. Last year, Detroit's automakers battled several contentious issues, including proposals to dramatically boost fuel economy requirements. In December, Congress approved a bill that increases fuel efficiency standards 40 percent to

35 mpg by 2020. This year, GM has spent $4.1 million on lobbying, the second most of any U.S. corporation behind General Electric, which spent $4.2 million. Separately, GM's political donations this year include $25,000 to California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger's political action committee, Join Arnold, according to records filed with the California Secretary of State. GM has embraced reforms advocated by Schwarzenegger's PAC, including in health care and redistricting. GM and other automakers have been at odds with California because the state has sued the Environmental Protection Agency to seek stricter emissions standards than those that exist under the Clean Air Act. This year marks the first that companies are required to report their lobbying expenses every three months, instead of six. Among the other automakers: • Ford Motor Co. has spent $1.92 million in the first three months of 2008. Ford spokesman Mike Moran said the company doesn't expect to significantly boost spending in 2008. • Of the $5.9 million Toyota spent in 2007, $3.6 million came in the second half of the year. Its total was up from $5.7 million in 2006, according to records filed with the U.S. Senate. Toyota has spent $1.2 million in the first three months of this year. • Honda Motor Co. spent $1.83 million in 2007, and $462,000 in the first three months of 2008, a figure nearly on pace with last year. • Nissan North America spent $4 million in 2007, up from $2.6 million in 2006. Nissan spent 1.1 million in the first three months of this year. The company hasn't filed its report for the first three months of 2008 yet. • Privately owned Chrysler LLC spent $1.4 million in the first three months of the year after spending $4 million in the last six months of 2007. The privately owned company had not file a disclosure report with the Senate. The company spent $2.7 million in the last six months of 2007, most of which came after Daimler AG sold 80.1 percent

of its stake in Chrysler. The trade group representing the Detroit Big Three, Toyota and six other automakers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, spent $12.8 million in 2007, and $2.6 million in the first three months of this year. Its counterpart, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, a group largely representing foreign-based automakers, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan, spent about $1 million in 2008 and $280,000 in the first three months of the year.

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Battleground – Missouri – Close
Missouri is a swing state and can go either way. BBC News 08.
(BBC News, “Key US States to Watch”, 6-16-08, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7449629.stm, Date Accessed 7-7-08) As in the previous two presidential elections, there are about a dozen states that could swing in 2008. For the time being, the general election between Barack Obama and John McCain looks to be very close, although there is the potential for a last-minute landslide similar to the pattern that emerged in 1980 when Ronald Reagan pulled away from a tie to wallop Jimmy Carter. One of the many things that makes this election so intriguing is that perhaps the old paradigm of Red States (those that voted for George W Bush) and Blue States (Al Gore or John Kerry states) may be less relevant. Indeed, some states that were comfortably in one column or the other now seem to be in transition demographically and politically. Let's take a look... New Hampshire voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. On one hand, it is trending Democrat and has a growing southern half that is very much a Boston suburb, and therefore liberal. On the other hand, New Hampshire voters adore John McCain, so the state is very much in play. Pennsylvania has squeaked by as a Blue (Democratic) state in the last two elections. But this is a place where the issue of race among the "white working class" (WEMC - white, ethnic, male, Catholic) may hurt Obama. He should do well in the urbanised east and lose badly in the rural centre of the state. So the old steel and mining west will be the region to watch. Interestingly, Obama presently leads McCain in Pennsylvania by five points. Ohio - always Ohio! Bush's narrow victory here in 2004 earned him a second term. Obama lost Ohio's primary by ten points and race again was a factor. But the Republicans are still reeling from a big scandal (to do with the re-drawing of congressional districts), so the state should probably be classified as too close to call. The Democrats alienated Michigan by not recognizing the results of the state's primary then counting its convention delegates as only half voters. They have a bad public relations problem in a state that both Gore and Kerry won. On the other hand, the state of the auto-based economy is horrific and the straight-talking John McCain chose Michigan as the place to tell auto workers that their jobs were never coming back... He went on to lose the primary to Mitt Romney. Wisconsin is always razor-thin for one party or the other. Obama is bolstered there by having won the primary, receiving strong support among WEMC. But that was before clips his former Reverend Jeremiah Wright emerged, arguing that America had brought 9/11 on itself. I think Virginia is the Ohio and Florida of 2008. With a huge demographic boom of government and knowledge workers in the Northern suburbs, this state has been trending Democrat. War hero McCain is also very popular here - look for this one to be fiercely fought. Iowa and New Mexico were also very close in 2000 and 2004. Both Blue for Gore, they were just barely Red for Bush in 2004. Both should be comfortably in the Democratic column this year. Missouri is a pretty Red (Republican) state that has been voting Democrat in statelevel elections. Obama won the primary this year and will do very well in the vote-rich St Louis and Kansas City areas, but the so-called "outstate" is very southern and conservative. Still - it could well turn Blue. Colorado has a huge influx of transplanted knowledge workers and Latinos. Also Red in the past two elections, this state looks like a good prospect for the Democrats. Small wonder that the Democratic National Committee has chosen Denver - the state's largest city - for its convention. Nevada was Red in both past elections but is clearly trending Democrat. Other states to watch Possible Red to Blue: Indiana, North Carolina, and Georgia. As for Florida, McCain leads there and Republican Governor Charlie Crist is very popular - but the economy is hurting, especially in South Florida, so the state could possibly show signs of swinging later. Possible Blue to Red: Oregon. Some Republicans think that New Jersey, California, and Minnesota can go their way, but they are definitely wrong about the first two. Key unknowns If Obama wins Virginia and Colorado, it will mean that McCain must win Pennsylvania and Michigan. That could happen, but more states today look likely to go from Red to Blue than vice-versa. My feeling is that this election will be reminiscent of 1980 - close, until the dam bursts at the last minute. Today, I think it is likely to break big for Obama, but I know that both candidates will fall on their faces several times over the next few months. And we still have two key unknown factors - McCain's age and Obama's race. We have never had a 71-year-old running against an African American before.

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Battleground – Nevada – Close
Nevada is a key battleground – could go either way Rasmussen Reports 6-20-8
(Rasmussen Reports, "Election 2008: Nevada Presidential Election", 6-20-8, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/nevada/election_2008_neva da_presidential_election, Date Accessed 7-7-8) The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Nevada shows John McCain attracting 45% of the vote while Barack Obama earns 42%. A month ago, McCain had a six point lead and two months ago ago the GOP hopeful was up by five. This is the first Rasmussen Reports poll in Nevada since Barack Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination and Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race. The race in nearby Colorado has also tightened over the last month as the Southwest becomes a key battleground for Election 2008. Obama leads in the region’s third swing state—New Mexico. In Nevada, McCain leads by fourteen points among men but trails by eight among women. The Republican also has a twenty point lead among the state’s unaffiliated voters, but a quarter of the unaffiliateds remain uncommitted to either McCain or Obama. Obama currently attracts 74% support from Democrats in the state, up from 65% when Clinton was still in the race. McCain wins the vote from 78% of Republicans. Forty-seven percent (47%) of the state’s Democrats would like to see Clinton as Obama’s running mate in November but unaffiliated voters oppose that step by a two-to-one margin. McCain is now viewed favorably by 57% of voters in the state. That’s up four points from a month ago but up just one from two months ago. Obama currently gets positive reviews from 50% of the state’s voters. That’s up three points from both last month and the month before. Forty-six percent (46%) of Nevada voters say that Obama is too inexperienced to be President while 25% say McCain is too old. Rasmussen

Markets data immediately prior to release of this poll showed Nevada to be very competitive. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants and currently show that Republicans are given a 54.0% chance of winning Nevada this November. Expectations for Democrats are at 50.0 %. Nevada has cast its Electoral
College Votes for the winning candidate in seven straight Presidential Elections. The last four have been very competitive with nobody carrying the state by more than four percent of the popular vote. As the poll is released, Nevada is considered a “TossUp” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. By a 51% to 43% margin, Nevada voters say it is more important to get the troops home from Iraq than it is to win the War. Those figures are close to the national average. Sixty-seven percent (67%) believe that drilling should be allowed in offshore oil wells, a figure that puts Nevada voters squarely in line with voters across the nation. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Nevada voters say that the federal government itself has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests while 13% disagree. Just 14% believe the government today represents the will of the American people. Those figures are also very close to the national average. Forty-five percent (45%) say that free trade is good for the nation while 28% say it is not. Those figures are more supportive of free trade than the national average, but similar to results from Colorado.

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Battleground – Nevada – Alternative Energy
Nevada has become a battle-ground state for alternative energies -- Obama and McCain are promoting policies there. Kiely, USA Today Congressional Correspondent, 08.
(Kathy, USA Today, "Obama Attempts to Wrest West from GOP", 6-25-08, http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-06-24-Obama_N.htm, Date Accessed 7-7-8) LAS VEGAS — To deliver messages on the need for energy savings, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain this week are choosing the same unlikely backdrop — this 24/7 playground of air-conditioned casinos and neon-lit desert skies. On Tuesday, Obama promised "a very different vision of what this country can and should achieve on energy." McCain arrives Wednesday to discuss his plans for renewable fuels at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus. Why preach conservation in a city that celebrates excess? The decision may have had less to do with the candidates' messages than with their electoral strategies. "It's a sign that the electoral map is very competitive," said Brian Krolicki, Nevada's lieutenant governor and a McCain supporter. "Every state counts." Obama's visit is part of a strategy to score upset victories in the traditionally Republican but independent-minded region that lies between California and the Rocky Mountains. "The winning-the-West strategy," as Danny Thompson, head of the Nevada AFL-CIO, called it, could help Obama win overall even if he falls short in some of the industrial battleground states. In Pennsylvania, for example, Hillary Rodham Clinton beat Obama decisively during the primaries. Clinton won, but much more narrowly, in Nevada and New Mexico — both of which Obama visited this week. Together with Colorado, the states represent a combined 19 electoral votes, just one fewer than Ohio, the state that decided the 2004 presidential election. President Bush won all three Western states that year, but by close margins. Since then, Democrats have scored gains in gubernatorial, congressional and state legislative races. "These states are becoming more and more Democratic," says Joel Kotkin, a Californiabased scholar who studies the nation's demographic trends. On paper, this should be McCain country. The Republican has represented neighboring Arizona for more than 25 years in Congress and, as Obama himself acknowledged Monday, "can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past." In a region heavily populated by Hispanics and people drawn to the West's outdoor lifestyle, it doesn't hurt that two of those moments came over an immigration bill — McCain irked conservatives by co-sponsoring legislation that would have given undocumented immigrants a chance to stay — and legislation to combat global warming. Obama commended McCain here Tuesday for "speaking out on climate change" and for his efforts to promote electric cars. But Obama criticized him for opposing a 2005 energy bill that included tax credits for renewable fuels such as solar and wind power, and for backing plans for more oil drilling off the nation's coasts. McCain "is putting the country first with the best ideas from both parties," Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for the Republican candidate, replied in a statement. Obama's energy plan includes a tax break for middle-income households to help offset the rise in gas prices. Long term, he said, the country should invest more in promoting conservation and developing alternative energy sources. Obama said he's against expanded offshore drilling and would consider more nuclear power only if better means are developed to deal with the environmental hazard posed by spent fuel. That's a popular stance in Nevada, where local politicians have been battling to block a proposed national nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain. McCain's local appeal may be diminished by "noise" over the economy and the war in Iraq, said Christine Sierra, a professor of political science at the University of New Mexico. "Under better circumstances, McCain, as a senator from Arizona, would have a real advantage," she said.

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Battleground – Nevada – Yucca Mountains
McCain and Obama are both fighting over Yucca Mountain and their alternative energy plans -Nevada is key Reston, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, 08
(Maeve, Los Angeles Times, "McCain Pledges Oil Independence for U.S.", 6-26-08, http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-nacampaign26-2008jun26,0,2405380.story, Date Accessed 7-7-08) LAS VEGAS -- Sen. John McCain pledged Wednesday that if elected president, he would put the nation on a path toward independence from foreign oil by 2025. The promise capped more than a week and a half of speeches by the presumptive Republican nominee that focused on increasing the nation's energy efficiency, boosting energy production and countering high gasoline prices. In an address at the University of Nevada here, McCain did not elaborate on what he would consider independence from foreign suppliers, but campaign officials later said it would mean that the nation would no longer rely on oil as its primary transportation fuel. McCain also touted his plan to build 45 nuclear reactors by 2030, referring only in vague terms to the roiling debate over storing radioactive waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Many Nevadans oppose the plan to dispose of nuclear waste from power plants at the desert site, which is less than 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Brushing aside his own support for storing waste at the site, McCain said that Nevadans were aware of the need to "solve complex problems of moving and storing materials that will always need safeguarding." It marked the second time this week that McCain -- who prides himself on his reputation as a political maverick -- discussed a locally touchy energy proposal. Earlier in the week, he elaborated on his energy plans in Santa Barbara, where his call for lifting the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling evoked memories of a disastrous 1969 spill. McCain's Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, on Wednesday again derided many of McCain's energy plans as "meaningless gimmicks," including a proposed summer gas tax holiday. Speaking at a Chicago news conference, Obama took aim at McCain's recent embrace of offshore drilling, saying it would do little or nothing, particularly in the short run, to reduce gasoline prices at the pump. In Las Vegas, McCain linked energy policy to national security, saying Americans could not continue enriching their "enemies" through foreign oil purchases. "By relying upon oil from the Middle East, we not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror, we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves," the Arizona senator said, speaking from a teleprompter to about 200 people in a small lecture hall. "Across the world are pipelines, refineries, transit routes and terminals for the oil we rely on. And Al Qaeda terrorists know where they are," McCain said. Promising to break what he described as a stalemate on energy security issues in Washington, he also repeated many of the other energy initiatives he has outlined in recent days: offering consumers a $5,000 tax credit for buying zero-emission cars, instituting a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions and directing $2 billion a year until 2024 to developing clean-coal technology.

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Battleground – New Mexico – Iraq/Offshore Drilling
New Mexico is a battleground state for many issues – Iraq and offshore oil drilling. Rassmussen, Political Analyst, 2008.
(Scott, Rassmussen Reports, "Election 2008: Nevada Presidential Election," June 20, 2008, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/nevada/election_2008_neva da_presidential_election, Date Accessed: July 7, 2008) The presidential race in New Mexico has changed little over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 47% to 39%. Last month, the Democrat led 50% to 41%. Obama’s lead was much smaller in March, and in February, the two candidates were tied. As in most states, Obama polls better among women in New Mexico than men. He has an eleven-point lead among women, and just a seven-point lead among men. Those numbers have shown little change since last month. Obama’s support comes from72% of Democrats in New Mexico and 15% of Republicans. McCain is backed by 76% of Republicans and 18% of Democrats. When it comes to unaffiliated voters, Obama has a 41% to 34% advantage. The results in that demographic are nearly identical to last month’s numbers. McCain is viewed favorably by 54% of New Mexico voters and unfavorably by 42%. Obama’s numbers are 57% favorably, 39% unfavorable. Like the national numbers, opinions of Obama are stronger than those of McCain in New Mexico. Obama is viewed very favorably by 34% and very unfavorable by 25%. McCain’s numbers are 21% very favorable and 18% very unfavorable. Just over half of voters (51%) do not think Obama should choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Over a quarter (27%) in the state think he should. Nearly a third (30%) of voters in New Mexico think McCain is too old to be president, while the majority (63%) does not think his age is an issue. Voters are split as to whether Obama has enough experience to be president. While 46% say he has enough experience, 43% think he is too inexperienced for the job. Those figures are similar to the national average. Over half of voters in New Mexico (53%) think the most important goal for the next president in Iraq is to get the troops home. Thirty-nine percent (39%) think winning the war is more important. Those results are on also par with national numbers. The overwhelming majority of voters (74%) in New Mexico think the U.S. government has become a special interest group, while just 13% disagree. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of voters in New Mexico say the U.S. government does not represent the will of the people, while just 14% say it does. Once again, those numbers are similar to those found on the national level. When it comes to the current gas crisis, 63% of voters in New Mexico think offshore drilling of oil wells should be allowed, while over a quarter (26%) disagree and do not think this should be allowed. About half (51%) of voters oppose nationalizing oil companies. Rasmussen Markets shows that Democrats are currently given a 70.0 % chance of winning New Mexico’s Five Electoral College Votes this fall. George W. Bush won the state by 6,000 votes out of nearly 750,000 in Election 2004. Immediately prior to release of this poll, New Mexico was rated as “Leans Democrat” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

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Battleground – New Mexico – Key to Hispanic Votes
Obama and McCain both view New Mexico as one of the critical states to get Hispanic votes. The Press Association, 7-7-8.
("Rivals To Target Hispanic Voters" http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV4B93g54gpPnuvPmHbO1TGMpWzw, Date Accessed: July 7, 2008) Both John McCain and Barack Obama will be trying to appeal to Hispanic voters this week, a growing group in American politics that is expected to play a role in a number of swing states. The two candidates, who appeared at one Hispanic-sponsored event in late June, will both be addressing the League of United Latin American Citizens' national convention in Washington and the National Council of La Raza in San Diego. The three appearances by both candidates in less than a month at Hispanic-sponsored events underscores the influence the voting block may have during this November's elections. Hispanics were long considered part of the Democratic base but in more recent years have become swing voters. Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida all have a significant number of Hispanic voters. President George Bush narrowly won all four states in 2004, and they could all be hotly contested this year. Although Mr Bush did well with Hispanic voters in both of his elections, many swung back to the Democrats in 2006, after many Republicans staked out tough positions against illegal immigration. The Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress. Mr Obama hopes to gain many Hispanic voters who preferred his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the primaries by nearly two to one. Mr McCain, who was one of the leading advocates of an immigration measure that would have given a path to citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants currently in the United States, must make sure that his efforts to appeal to Hispanic voters doesn't put off conservatives who view immigration legislation as amnesty. The legislation, which was also supported by Mr Obama, died amid criticism that it offered amnesty to illegal immigrants. That claim contributed to the near collapse of Mr McCain's presidential candidacy last summer. After the immigration measure failed, and in the heat of the Republican nomination race, Mr McCain emphasised the need to secure the borders first before enacting other reforms, which he said were still needed. During their appearances in June at The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials both candidates said immigration would be one of their top priorities if elected.

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Battleground – New Mexico – Native Americans
( ) Native Americans have become a significant voting bloc for the battleground state of New Mexico Crummy, Denver Post Staff Writer, 6-29-8. (Karen E., The Denver Post, "New Mexico: Minorities May Get Majority
of Attention" June 29, http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_9725092, Date Accessed July 8, 2008) American Indians, rarely paid much attention by presidential candidates, may be the deciding factor in New Mexico this year. Although they make up only about 10 percent of the voters, Indians are considered a critical voting bloc because of the state's razor-thin election results. Democrat Al Gore won New Mexico by only 366 votes in 2000, and President Bush won four years later by just a percentage point. Though the tribes, which include Navajos, Apaches and Pueblos, lean Democratic, it's not automatic. Especially this year. "John McCain has a strong record on Indian issues. He's (former) chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, and he's from Arizona. He knows his tribes," said New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former Democratic presidential candidate and Obama supporter. "In a close race like this, it's a key battleground constituency." Though Democrat Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, doesn't have McCain's bona fides when it comes to Indian Country, his support of a quick exit from Iraq has gone over well with many Navajos, said Duane Yazzie, president of the Shiprock, N.M., chapter of the Navajo Nation. And not just because too many people have died in the war, he said. "Native people have been on the outskirts of the American economic scene and borne the brunt of the effects," he said, pointing to high gas and food prices. "Many people are dependent on assistance programs, and they are having a very hard time making ends meet." The other key constituency group that McCain and Obama must nab in order to win the state is Latinos. Making up 45 percent of the electorate and scattered throughout the predominately rural and poor state, Latino voters register in huge numbers as Democrats. They just don't necessarily vote that way, especially on the eastern side of the state, which borders Texas and is more conservative. Bush won big there four years ago, which contributed to his winning 40 percent of the state's Latino vote. "There are a lot of socially conservative Hispanics here," said Brian Sanderoff, head of the Albuquerque-based independent firm Research & Polling. "Republicans have had a lot of election success with them despite the Democratic edge." Registered Democrats have outnumbered Republicans for at least 20 years. This year, they have a 189,343-voter edge. Obama has two things going for him: Richardson, a popular Latino governor and an ardent supporter, and a perfect political storm that will probably boost Democratic voter turnout. Sen. Pete Domenici, a Republican, is retiring, opening up the U.S. Senate seat for the first time since 1972. Every one of the state's three congressional representatives has jumped into the race, putting their seats up for grabs. McCain, however, is considered to share the values of many of the more conservative Latino voters — the idea being that Obama is too liberal — and though illegal immigration may not be the hot-button issue it was a year ago, it's still an issue. McCain created a stir with many conservative Republicans when he sponsored legislation creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But it may go over well with some Latino voters who have equated anti-illegal immigrant with anti-Latino. There is a caveat, however. McCain has backed off his support in recent months, and Obama isn't tougher on the issue than McCain. Richardson, who sees the economy as a much bigger issue in New Mexico than illegal immigration, said he's "confident" that Obama will get the 65 percent of the Latino vote he needs to win the state. "Schools, higher-wage jobs and health care are the big issues," he said.

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Battleground – Ohio
Ohio is key to winning the general election – Obama and McCain are both concentrating effort into it. Hershey, Western Star Writer, 08
(William, Western Star- Dayton Ohio News, “Ohio One of the Key Prizes in Election”, 7-2-08, http://www.westernstar.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/07/01/ddn070208presohio.html, Date Accessed 7-7-08) There may be paths to the White House that don't go through Ohio, but Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain aren't taking them. "They need Ohio," said Christopher Duncan, chairman of the political science department at the University of Dayton. "They can't write off Ohio." Less than a month after Hillary Clinton conceded the Democratic nomination to Obama, he and McCain already are becoming frequent visitors. Obama's campaign stop on Tuesday, July 1, at Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, was his second in the state since Clinton's June 7 concession speech. He was in Columbus on June 13 to talk to seniors about Social Security. Last week, McCain made a two-day swing with town hall meetings in Cincinnati and Lordstown, along with two fundraisers. Both candidates, along with their surrogates, are expected to return many times before Election Day. "Is there a path to win without Ohio?" asked Duncan. "Sure." That path might be easier for Obama than McCain because of the Democrat's apparent strength in western states such as Colorado that went Republican in 2004, Duncan said. The key to winning, however, is putting together 270 electoral votes and Ohio, with 20, has enough of those that a candidate who ignores the state does so at his own risk, Duncan said. No Republican has been elected president without Ohio and only two Democrats got to the White House in the 20th century without carrying Ohio. "Ohio is one of the ultimate swing state prizes," said political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "That hasn't changed. It is a big purple jewel coveted by both McCain and Obama." [NOTE: Duncan = chairman of the political science department at the University of Dayton] [NOTE: Sabato = political scientist at the University of Virginia]

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Battleground – Ohio – Energy Key
Ohio is a key battleground state and energy is a key issue for undecided voters in Ohio. Ward, Financial Times Correspondent, 08.
(Andrew, Financial Times, “Energy Concerns Could Swing Ohio Result”, 6-22-08, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/235879bc-409811dd-bd48-0000779fd2ac.html, Date Accessed: 7-17-08.) Voters in a key US election state are responding in different ways to the pain of the fuel crisis, reports Andrew Ward. Richard Daley hoped he would spend more time at his Kentucky vacation home in retirement. Instead, the 60-year-old former engineer has cut his number of visits by half because of the soaring cost of driving the 200 miles from his home in West Chester, Ohio. "On a fixed income, we just can't keep absorbing these increases," he says. Mr Daley is one of millions of Americans rethinking their approach to energy consumption as petrol prices hit record levels. According to the Department of Transportation, US drivers travelled 30bn fewer miles between November and April, compared with a year earlier, the biggest drop since the 1979 energy crisis. While Mr Daley's story is increasingly familiar, it carries added weight because he lives in one of the most important battleground states in November's presidential election. His heavily Republican county on the edge of Cincinnati helped deliver George W. Bush's narrow victory in Ohio four years ago. This time round, John McCain needs to win by a big margin there if he is to hold the state. Describing himself as an undecided independent, Mr Daley supports Mr McCain's plan to lift the ban on fresh offshore oil and gas drilling around the US coast. But he also favours Barack Obama's proposal to levy a windfall profit tax on oil companies and invest the proceeds in renewable fuels. "We need to exploit all the oil we have but, in the long term, we have to find alternatives," says Mr Daley. Energy has soared towards the top of the election agenda as petrol prices have topped $4 a gallon for the first time. Three in four voters say the issue will be "very important" in determining their vote - outranking taxes, terrorism and the Iraq war - according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Centre. Asked who they trusted most to handle the energy issue, respondents favoured Mr Obama over Mr McCain by 18 percentage points. "Voters are making the simple conclusion that if you change the party in the White House, somehow things will get better," says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. Mr McCain is hoping that public opinion will swing in his favour as attention focuses on the debate over offshore drilling. Last week, the Arizona senator called for an end to the 27-year moratorium on oil exploration in US waters, setting him apart from Mr Obama, who supports the ban. Polls show two-thirds of voters favour his new position. [Note: Daley = Ohio resident ]

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Battlegrounds – Ohio & Pennsylvania – Obama Win Now
McCain will lose Ohio and Pennsylvania- he lacks support from blue-collar voters key to victory. Ward, Financial Times Writer, 08.
(Andrew, The Financial Times, “Blue-Collar Voters Keep Their Distance from McCain”, 6-30-08, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d1f58c68-463c-11dd-9009-0000779fd2ac.html, Date Accessed: 7-17-08.) The Republican candidate's attempt to woo Ohio factory workers falls flat, finds Andrew Ward Three hours after John McCain's campaign bus left General Motors' plant in Lordstown, Ohio, workers started streaming in and out of the factory's turnstile gates for the mid-afternoon shift change. Only a fraction of them had caught a glimpse of the Republican presidential candidate when he toured the production line, and still fewer attended the campaign meeting he held in an adjacent conference room. "Management invited him," said 38-year-old Tim Niles, gesturing towards the office building where Mr McCain spoke. "It had nothing to do with us. We're with Obama." Mr Niles, a white, working-class Democrat who drives a pick-up truck and wears a T-shirt with the slogan "Bubba's Army", is exactly the kind of voter Mr McCain was courting on his trip to northern Ohio on Friday. On the day Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton staged their first joint rally in Unity, New Hampshire, Mr McCain was trying to undermine the Democratic reconciliation by wooing Mrs Clinton's blue-collar base. His efforts appeared wasted on many. "We're a working-class factory," said 49-yearold Greg George, who has been with GM since leaving school. "McCain calls himself moderate but his party has been a disaster for working people over the past eight years." For every person who pledged loyalty to Mr Obama, however, there were two or more who refused to comment. A significant number were probably McCain backers, based on recent polls showing him winning a quarter of former Clinton supporters in Ohio. Jim Pearson, 58, was one of the few willing to voice support for Mr McCain. "The UAW doesn't speak for me," he said, referring to the United Auto Workers' Union, which endorsed Mr Obama. "McCain has the experience. Obama doesn't." Attracting the so-called Reagan Democrats - white, working-class voters who switched party to support Ronald Reagan in the 1980s - is an important part of the McCain strategy because he cannot win with the shrunken and demoralised Republican base alone. He hopes to appeal by focusing attention on national security and exploiting doubts about Mr Obama's experience and values. If he could win Ohio and Pennsylvania - two big, mostly white, working-class swing states - he would have a foot in the Oval Office. But while he has made some inroads among Clinton supporters, the latest polls show him trailing Mr Obama in both those states and nationally. In his meeting with about 100 GM workers, Mr McCain burnished his bipartisan credentials by promising "to put the country first over party". He acknowledged that "America is hurting" but insisted government bail-outs for failing industries and barriers to foreign trade would only worsen the economy. "That was the case in the 1930s," he said. "Our protectionism and isolationism led from a recession to a deep depression." About two dozen labour activists held a rally outside the plant in protest at Mr McCain's visit. Daniel Seyber, a political co-ordinator for the United Steelworkers' Union, was among them. He said the union was already barraging Clinton supporters with information on Mr Obama's pro-labour policies. "Once working people focus on what is at stake, they will make the right choice." Lordstown is in Trumbull County, an industrial area south-east of Cleveland, where John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, beat George W. Bush by 24 points, despite losing the state. The county has suffered an exodus of manufacturing jobs, particularly in the steel industry, but the GM plant is a rare bright spot. The factory produces two of the smallest models in the GM range - the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 - at a time when soaring fuel prices are forcing Americans away from larger, gas-guzzling vehicles. GM plans to add a third daily shift, increasing the plant's workforce by 1,400, to cope with surging demand. Mr McCain used the visit to tout his plans to break US dependence on foreign oil by increasing domestic drilling, expanding nuclear power and investing in alternative energy - including a $300m government prize to reward breakthroughs in electric car technology. While Lordstown is prospering, another GM plant in Ohio has found itself on the wrong side of industry trends. The company announced plans this month to close its facility near Dayton, where it builds sports utility vehicles, with the loss of 2,500 jobs.

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Battleground – Virginia – Democrats Gaining Momentum
Democrats gaining momentum in Virginia- key battleground state Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer, and Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer, 6-6-08
(Jeff E. and Jim, Stafford County Sun, “Virginia Emerging as Election ‘Battleground State,” June 6, http://www.staffordcountysun.com/scs/news/state_regional/state_regional_govtpolitics/article/virginia_emerging_as_election_battl eground_state/16657/, Date Accessed: July 7, 2008) Underscoring Virginia’s potential as a battleground state, Barack Obama plans appearances Thursday at opposite ends of the commonwealth. He starts at a high school in Bristol, in the far southwest, reaching out to white rural voters before veering north to the Washington suburb of Prince William County, where he will appear at the Nissan Pavilion. Both events are free. John McCain, the probable Republican candidate, heads to Richmond Monday for a fundraising luncheon, charging $1,000 to $2,300 per plate. McCain recently opened his state headquarters in Arlington County. “We’re going to witness the first presidential race inside Virginia in decades,” said Robert D. Holsworth, a VCU political analyst. Only two Democratic presidential candidates have carried Virginia in the last 60 years — Harry S. Truman in 1948 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. “Virginia is a lot of things, but I don’t think Virginia is a liberal state,” said the new state Republican chairman, Del. Jeffery M. Frederick of Prince William. “Even if you look at the Democrats we’re electing, they’re not running as liberals — they’re running right of center,” said Frederick. “Obama, it would be very difficult to for him to hide from the No. 1 most liberal voting record in the Senate.” But Democratic gains over the past seven years for governor, the U.S. Senate and General Assembly are viewed as warning shots that a historically red state could flip blue this November. “You can’t discount the Democratic momentum since 2001,” said Ken Hutcheson, a veteran Republican strategist.

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Battleground – Virginia – Set Precedent for Red States
Virginia is a key battleground state- could set precedent for Obama on other red states Mellot, New Department Reporter, 7-1-08 (Jeff, Daily News-Record, “Roberts, Yes, Virginia, You are In Play: McCain, Obama Face Battle Here”, 7-1-08,
http://www.dnronline.com/news_details.php?AID=29603&CHID=1, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) James Madison University professor Robert Roberts on Monday told a gathering of the Harrisonburg Rotary Club that Virginia is a presidential battleground state in November's election. Photo by Thomas J. Turney HARRISONBURG Any doubts about Virginia being a presidential battleground state in this fall's election should have been erased recently, said Robert Roberts, political science professor and analyst at James Madison University. More than four months before the Nov. 4 election, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has begun running a television ad in the commonwealth, Roberts noted in a talk to the Harrisonburg Rotary Club on Monday. In the ad, the Harvard-educated Obama portrays himself as a steadfast Midwesterner, Roberts said. "If he can sell that," Roberts said, "he has a good chance of winning." The advertising shows that Democrats have more money than Republicans at this point, and are out to challenge them in states they normally carry without a fight, he said. Published reports indicate that both Obama and McCain believe Virginia is up for grabs for the first time in more than 40 years. Democrats last won Virginia in the 1964 Lyndon Johnson landslide. Not even Georgia's Jimmy Carter could reverse that trend in 1976, when the South went for the Democrat with the exception of Virginia, which favored Gerald Ford. But state and national polls show this may be the election Democrats finally have a chance to break the GOP stranglehold. Obama leads presumptive Republican candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in at least three public opinion polls. In Virginia, SurveyUSA had the Democrat on top by 2 percent, 49 to 47 percent, during polling on June 20-22. Nationally, Obama holds a 5 percent lead based on polling by Rasmussen Reports and Gallup. Both organizations polled late last week. Obama, who recently declined to accept public financing and limit the amount of money his campaign could use this fall, is expected to have a large advantage in how much he has to spend, Roberts said. By some estimates, Obama might be able to outspend McCain by close to a 3-to-1 margin, or about $250 million to about $84 million. The money allows Obama to run television ads in traditionally Republican strongholds, including Virginia. That will have the effect of forcing McCain to shell out funds defending areas the GOP has been able to rely on in the past, Roberts said. In addition to the size of the candidates' campaign war chests, other factors are in play this year that could give the Old Dominion and its 13 electoral votes to Obama. The U.S. Senate race in Virginia this year between two former governors could pull down the Republican vote, if the race remains as lopsided as early polls indicate. A recent Public Policy Polling survey showed Democrat Mark Warner with a 31 percent lead over James Gilmore III. And, Roberts said, Democrats are seeking to register new voters, particularly African-Americans and young adults between 18 and 30. Those groups tended to support Obama during the Democratic primary season. Roberts said Democrats are not trying to change the minds of people who voted in previous elections so much as they are registering new voters who are likely to help them this fall. The state has nearly 4.7 million registered voters, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections. The number is 181,132 more than those registered for the presidential election four years ago and 141,144 more when compared to last December. 1980 Parallel? With the closeness of the race, Roberts said no one knows how the vote in Virginia and the nation will go this fall.

[NOTE: Robert Roberts is a political science professor at James Madison University]

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Battleground – Virginia – Military Deployments
Military Deployments key issue in Virginia battleground state Zielinski, America.gov Special Correspondent, 7-1-08 (Danielle, America.gov, “Virginia 2nd Voters See Election Through Military Lens: Foreign Policy Hits Close to Home in
Region Dominated by Armed Services”, July 1, 2008, http://www.america.gov/st/elections08 english/2008/July/20080701161810abretnuh0.5098078.html?CP.rss=true, Date Accessed: July 07, 2008) Washington -- To many residents of Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, time is measured not in calendar years but in military deployments. Forts and bases dot the district’s landscape in the southeastern region known as Hampton Roads. Sendoffs and homecomings frequently make the front pages of the area’s two daily newspapers, as do other reminders of the area’s military culture: Since 2003, 53 service members with ties to Hampton Roads have died in Iraq. This stark number makes the war and U.S. foreign policies local issues for voters in the Virginia 2nd. “I do pay attention to candidates’ stances on the war in Iraq -- most definitely,” said Scott Matthews, a 27-year-old veteran from Hampton who served in Iraq in 2003.

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Battleground – Wisconsin
Wisconsin proves to be a key battleground state in the 2008 election PITSCH, Wisconsin State Journal Reporter, 08
(Mark, LaCrossTribune.com, “Wisconsin Expected to be a Key Battleground State Between Obama and McCain,” 6-5-08, http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/06/05/news/z00election05.txt, Date Accessed: 7-7-08.) MADISON — Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s convincing victory in the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary in February won’t guarantee him a win in the fall general election in a state expected to be a key battleground, political experts and campaign officials said. That’s because Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona will heavily court the same working class and independent voters who supported Obama in the primary and are seen as key to winning the state’s 10 electoral votes. And the new, mostly young voters Obama lured to the polls in February will have to be wooed all over again, experts said. “This is going to be a really competitive state,” said Mike Tate, a Democratic consultant working for groups that will advertise on behalf of Obama here. “You have to go back and earn the votes of the people of Wisconsin.” In a historic campaign, Democrats finally made Obama their party’s presumptive nominee Tuesday as he amassed the 2,118 delegates needed to secure the nomination, according to an Associated Press tally. Charles Franklin, a UW-Madison political science professor, said a sluggish economy, the Iraq war and an unpopular incumbent Republican president should point to a Democratic victory in the fall — nationally and in Wisconsin. But he said Democrats are split after a bruising primary and McCain will try to peel away moderate and independent voters. Joe Heim, a UW-La Crosse political science professor, said he expects western Wisconsin Democrats will come together behind Obama. Most Democrats “are issue-oriented people, and the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain on the issues are substantial,” Heim said. Working in Obama’s favor is a victory in the Wisconsin primary and being from Illinois, which means many southeast Wisconsin voters are familiar with him, Heim said. “I think John McCain is the kind of Republican that one would expect would do well in Wisconsin,” Heim said. His work with U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has helped him establish a beachhead in Wisconsin. “He’s a maverick. Wisconsin has had a history of liking maverick politicians, people that don’t just go down the line with their party,” he said. Wisconsin will be one of the most competitive states in November, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which will poll state voters leading up to the election. In 2004, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won the state by just 11,000 votes out of nearly 3 million cast. Four years earlier, then-Vice President Al Gore’s margin was a little more than 5,000 votes. Brown said McCain has an even better chance to win Wisconsin than President Bush did in 2000 and 2004, and a victory here would likely mean McCain wins in more conservative battleground states such as Ohio. At the same time, exit polls showed that among Midwestern states, Obama showed the most strength in Wisconsin across several demographic groups, Brown said. Dan Leistikow, a spokesman for Obama, said the Illinois senator’s performance in the primary sets him up well for the general election in Wisconsin, and that he’ll visit parts of the state that don’t usually vote Democratic. “He proved he could win among every demographic group,” Leistikow said. Jennifer Hallowell, McCain’s regional campaign manager for Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, said McCain will be attractive to independent and conservative Democrats as well as traditional Republicans. “He appeals to voters who may not have supported Republicans in the past,” Hallowell said.

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Battleground – Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a key battleground state-outcome could influence other swing states. Pitsch , Lee Newspapers Writer, 2008
(Mark, LaCrosseTribune.com, “Wisconsin Expected to Be a Key Battleground State Between Obama and McCain”, 6-5-08, http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2008/06/05/news/z00election05.txt, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s convincing victory in the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary in February won’t guarantee him a win in the fall general election in a state expected to be a key battleground, political experts and campaign officials said. That’s because Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona will heavily court the same working class and independent voters who supported Obama in the primary and are seen as key to winning the state’s 10 electoral votes. And the new, mostly young voters Obama lured to the polls in February will have to be wooed all over again, experts said. “This is going to be a really competitive state,” said Mike Tate, a Democratic consultant working for groups that will advertise on behalf of Obama here. “You have to go back and earn the votes of the people of Wisconsin.” In a historic campaign, Democrats finally made Obama their party’s presumptive nominee Tuesday as he amassed the 2,118 delegates needed to secure the nomination, according to an Associated Press tally. Charles Franklin, a UWMadison political science professor, said a sluggish economy, the Iraq war and an unpopular incumbent Republican president should point to a Democratic victory in the fall — nationally and in Wisconsin. But he said Democrats are split after a bruising primary and McCain will try to peel away moderate and independent voters. Joe Heim, a UW-La Crosse political science professor, said he expects western Wisconsin Democrats will come together behind Obama. Most Democrats “are issueoriented people, and the differences between Barack Obama and John McCain on the issues are substantial,” Heim said. Working in Obama’s favor is a victory in the Wisconsin primary and being from Illinois, which means many southeast Wisconsin voters are familiar with him, Heim said. “I think John McCain is the kind of Republican that one would expect would do well in Wisconsin,” Heim said. His work with U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has helped him establish a beachhead in Wisconsin. “He’s a maverick. Wisconsin has had a history of liking maverick politicians, people that don’t just go down the line with their party,” he said. Wisconsin will be one of the most competitive states in November, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which will poll state voters leading up to the election. In 2004, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won the state by just 11,000 votes out of nearly 3 million cast. Four years earlier, then-Vice President Al Gore’s margin was a little more than 5,000 votes. Brown said McCain has an even better chance to win Wisconsin than President Bush did in 2000 and 2004, and a victory here would likely mean McCain wins in more conservative battleground states such as Ohio.

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Battleground – Wisconsin – Close
( ) Wisconsin is a swing state – and margin is narrow Chaptman, University of Wisconsin-Madison News Staff Writer, 2008
(Dennis, University of Wisconsin-Madison News, “Political Science Researchers Partner to Improve Wisconsin Elections”, 6-30-8, http://www.news.wisc.edu/15356, Date Accessed 7-17-8) University of Wisconsin-Madison political science researchers are taking a key role in a federally funded project to improve the state's ability to collect accurate election returns. Wisconsin is one of five states that each won $2 million competitive grants from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to remove hurdles to the reporting of federal election results in this November's presidential elections. The grant is being administered by the state Government Accountability Board, which has partnered with UW-Madison and UW-Extension on the project. "The ultimate goal is to build public confidence in the administration of elections, bringing efficiency, transparency and uniformity across a state that has a lot of diversity," says Barry Burden, a political science professor leading the UWMadison effort. Wisconsin has a highly decentralized system for reporting Election Day results. Burden says that Wisconsin has 72 county clerks and 1,851 municipal clerks who are responsible for collecting those results. This year, their jobs will change as they adapt to a new system of reporting vote totals. The state is implementing a Web-based system for collecting election data from clerks statewide in the Nov. 4 election. New procedures are being designed to speed the collection, while guaranteeing accuracy and completeness. Prior to the change, however, those clerks will be provided with Web-based training developed by UW-Extension. Then, the new system will get a trial run during the Sept. 9 primary. Burden and a team of five doctoral students will step in after the Nov. 4 elections to conduct a survey and perform dozens of face-to-face interviews of election clerks to gauge the effectiveness of the new system and the training used to implement it. "This is a great collaboration, in the true spirit of the Wisconsin Idea," Burden says. "Along with improving the efficiency of election administration, the project helps our students build interviewing skills, develop questionnaires and provides some hands-on program evaluation experience." The accurate delivery of election results is vital in all states, Burden says, but Wisconsin's results will be closely watched because of its status as a swing state that is likely to be hotly contested. In 2004, Wisconsin had the closest percentage margin between John Kerry and George W. Bush of all the states. "This project really puts Wisconsin at the forefront of where political science is focused at the moment," Burden says. "But most researchers are looking at the voters' participation. Our project is focused on the clerks and election administration as being the glue of the system." State election officials say the project will help ensure that local officials are using the best available methods for collecting and reporting election returns. They hope the Wisconsin experience will become a model for other states, as well. "Because Wisconsin has one of the most local and decentralized systems of election administration in the nation, our Election Division will now be able to develop and recommend best practices to other states that also emphasize local control," says Kevin Kennedy, director of the Government Accountability Board.

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Battleground – Wisconsin – Wind & Solar Popular
Wisconsin loves wind and solar energy Content & Marley, Journal Sentinel Writers, 2006
(Thomas and Patrick, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online, “Senate Gives Big Yes to Wind, Solar Energy”, 2-21-06, http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=403255, Date Accessed 7-17-08) More power would be generated by wind turbines and solar panels in Wisconsin under a bill that the state Senate passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday. The bill, expected to be taken up by the Assembly as soon as next week, is expected to help trigger billions in investment in new wind-power projects in the state, said Michael Vickerman, executive director of the clean-energy advocacy group Renew Wisconsin. The bill requires that 10% of the state's electricity must be generated by renewable sources by the year 2015. Vickerman said the overwhelming nature of the Senate's vote sends a message that "the best way to get our energy house in order is to invest in those technologies and resources that reduce Wisconsin's dependence on increasingly insecure supplies of imported fuels." Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) credited the approval to compromises made by energy stakeholders, from utilities and manufacturers to customer and environmental groups. "The timing was right for this, and it remains right," said Cowles, citing a combination of high energy prices, the improvement of wind- and solar-power technologies and political will. Sen. Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis) cast the lone vote against the bill because he said it would drive up energy bills because energy is more expensive to produce from wind than from fossil fuels. Cowles disputed that, saying the legislation would lead to $2 billion in investments from energy companies that would drive down the cost of producing renewable energy. Utilities could receive more time to reach the 10% renewable target if the Public Service Commission determines that doing so by 2015 would be too expensive. Supporters noted the dramatic impact that fossil fuels are having on energy bills, with the run-up in the price of natural gas and coal in the last two years. A recent analysis by the commission found that the skyrocketing price of natural gas in 2005 accounted for most of the $714 million in electric rate increases authorized by the PSC. Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) praised the bipartisan measure. "We should have done this five or ten years ago, but where there's crisis, there's opportunity," Wirch said. The most visible change to result from the bill would be a dramatic expansion of the state's wind power. Proposals on the drawing board include an 88-turbine wind farm We Energies plans to build in Fond du Lac County and the recently approved Forward Wind Energy Center, a 133-turbine project in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties. The bill also restricts governors and legislators from tapping money earmarked for energy efficiency and using it for non-energy purposes. In the past two budgets, more than $100 million, or about 40% of the money that was designated to be spent for energy efficiency, has been diverted to balance the budget. "Because the bill strengthens the state's energy efficiency programs, it will help protect consumers against rising utility prices due to increases in fossil fuel prices," said Charlie Higley, executive director of the Wisconsin Citizens' Utility Board. Assembly Speaker John Gard (R-Peshtigo) said Monday that he expected the Assembly to pass the bill next week.

Interest in wind farms are surging in Wisconsin Associated Press Local Reports, 08
(Associate Press with Local Reports, mlive.com, “Wisconsin Developers Have Plans for Wind Turbines in Lake Michigan,” 4-2508, http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2008/04/wisconsin_developers_have_plan.html, Date Accessed: 7-17-08.) MILWAUKEE — Three developers are floating plans to erect hundreds of wind turbines in Lake Michigan as interest in the construction of wind farms surges around the country. The Lake Michigan plans are all in the preliminary stages, and how they would be financed is unclear, the Milwaukee JournalSentinal reported earlier this week. Although contemplated from the Michigan side of the lake, plans and studies appear to much further along from the Wisconsin side. The Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon has begun preliminary exploration of Great Lakes wind energy. The Wisconsin projects are being discussed as several Badger state agencies have launched a study to determine the feasibility of erecting wind turbines on the two Great Lakes that border the state -- Superior and Michigan. Interest in lake-based wind farms comes amid growing demand for renewable energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and calls for more home-grown energy.

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Battleground – Wisconsin – Water
Wisconsin residents are concerned with low water levels-global warming is less important. Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Writer, 2008
(Lee, JS Online Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Water Levels Top Worries, Survey Finds; Residents Less Concerned About Global Warming, Environmental Poll Indicates”, 5-2-08, Pg. 5 Section B http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=746214, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) A poll released Thursday shows Wisconsin residents are more worried about declining water levels than about potential troubles stemming from global warming. A 2008 Badger Poll by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center shows that declining water levels on lakes, rivers, streams and in the groundwater are the biggest environmental concern. Residents of Milwaukee County and northeastern Wisconsin expressed the most worry about water, the poll indicates. Katherine Cramer Walsh, a political scientist at UW-Madison, said she wasn't surprised by the results. Walsh obtained grant funding to visit 23 Wisconsin communities to listen to citizens firsthand about politics and public policy. "I just found a lot of concern about water," Cramer Walsh said. The poll found that 43% of people questioned believe that declining water levels on state waterways are either extremely or quite problematic. This was followed by concerns over contamination of state waters (41%) and the amount of fossil fuel used in Wisconsin (40%). Water has become a more visible issue as lake levels have declined in recent years, due mostly to drought and recent historic low levels of snowfall in the region. Meanwhile, water shortages in other regions of the country have prompted covetous looks at the Great Lakes. In Madison, lawmakers have agreed on legislation to implement the Great Lakes Compact, which aims to control the use of water from the lakes, and are in a special session to settle the issue. Concerns about communities' lack of water conservation programs broke down along regional lines. The concerns were not as great as other water issues and the state's dependence on fossil fuels. But those who worried most about water conservation were from Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee suburbs - 27% said they found it extremely or somewhat problematic - and in the Green Bay and Fox Valley areas, where 37% held such views.

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Battleground – Michigan/Ohio/Florida/New Jersey/Missouri
Michigan, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, and Missouri are all battleground states – Not one of them is uniquely key to the election Schroeder, Freelance Journalist, 6-18-08
(Robert, MarketWatch, “Mich., Ohio, Fla. Worst-off Battleground Sates: Analysis,” 6-18-08, http://blogs.marketwatch.com/election/2008/06/18/mich-ohio-fla-worst-off-battleground-states-analysis/, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) As John McCain and Barack Obama prepare to do battle in states like Michigan, Florida and New Jersey this fall, workers in those and other states are simply fighting for their jobs, a new survey finds. Michigan, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey and Missouri are the battleground states with the worst job-market conditions, according to an analysis released Wednesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a business consultancy. Challenger analyzed data from 16 battleground states including those five and others like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Michigan, which Democratic nominee-inwaiting Barack Obama lost to Hillary Clinton, is suffering the most. The state’s employers announced 72,327 job cuts between June 2007 and May 2008. Michigan’s unemployment rate was 6.9% in April, the highest in the country. Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain lost Michigan’s primary to Mitt Romney. Obama lost four of the survey’s top five states — Michigan, Ohio, Florida and New Jersey — to Clinton, and won only Missouri. McCain, on the other hand, won four of the top five, losing only Michigan. But the consultancy’s chief executive said there could be positive news for Obama from the survey’s results. “The good news for Obama is that three of the five states with the worst job markets gave their votes to President George Bush in 2004,” said CEO John Challenger. “If voters in those states associate their current situation with this administration, they may migrate to the other party this time around.” The three states that voted for Bush were Ohio, Florida and Missouri. - Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch

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Battleground – Obama Not Pursuing
Obama not pursuing battleground states/Battleground states not key to Obama victory NewsRoom America, “No-Spin” News Service, 6-16-08
(NewsRoom America, “Obama Strategy to Win May Not Include Battleground States,” June 16, 2008, http://www.newsroomamerica.com/politics/story.php?id=421574, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) Obama Strategy to Win May Not Include Battleground States 2008-06-16 09:27am Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama's path to the White House may not include victories in key battleground states, according to the details of his campaign strategy discussed by his chief advisor. David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, said in a pitch for support from former backers of rival Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton last week that there are other ways for Obama to win the necessary 270 electoral votes to capture the White House. Plouffe told a crowd at a Washington, D.C.-area brewery Friday that Obama could win even without victories in states like Florida and Ohio. Florida gave George W. Bush a disputed victory in 2000 against Al Gore; Bush won again in 2004 when Ohio went his way in a battle against Sen. John Kerry. Neither of those two states have been amenable to Obama so far this year. But, Plouffe said, victories in traditional Republican strongholds like Virginia, Georgia, New Mexico, Montana and Alaska could be achieved if large numbers of new black and young voters could be registered to cast ballots for the Illinois senator, Plouffe said. Obama's campaign has spent heavily on time and money in GOP strongholds.

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********** Key Voters **********

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Key Voters - Women
Appeal to women is key for McCain
Wilson, Real Clear Politics, 6-12-8 (Reid, Real Clear Politics, “Strategy Memo: Hey Ladies!”, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/politics_nation/2008/06/strategy_memo_hey_ladies.html, accessed 7-14-8) Both parties will pay attention to those white suburban women, and in fact women as a whole, the Washington Post fronts today. McCain has been heaping praise on departed rival Hillary Clinton and propping up one of his best supporters, ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, while Obama's team will rely on his upbringing around powerful women, including his mother, his wife and his mother-in-law. Women make up 54% of the electorate, and a big gender gap on Obama's behalf would go a long way to making the Democrat president. If McCain can cut that likely gap down and build his own among men, his chances will go up as well.

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Key Voters - Hispanics
Hispanics re-aligning with democrats- swing votes in contested states Taylor, Alliance for Better Campaigns Executive Director, and Fry, Demographic Economist, ‘08
(Paul and Richard, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, “Pew Report Examines Hispanics' Potential to Be Swing Vote in '08,” Feb 11, http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1432156631&sid=2&Fmt=3&clientId=10553&RQT=309&VName=PQD, Date Accessed: 7-7-08) After spending the first part of this decade loosening their historic ties to the Democratic Party, Hispanic voters have reversed course in the past year, a new nationwide survey of Latinos by the Pew Hispanic Center has found. Some 57 percent of Hispanic registered voters now call themselves Democrats, or say they lean to the Democratic Party, while just 23 percent align with the Republican Party - a 34-percentage-point gap in partisan affiliation among Latinos. In July 2006, the same gap measured just 21 percentage points - whereas back in 1999, it had been 33 percentage points. At 46 million strong, Hispanics make up about 15 percent of the U.S. population. Their electoral clout continues to be undercut, however, by the fact that many are ineligible to vote, either because they are not citizens or not yet 18 years old. In 2008, Latinos will comprise about 9 percent of the eligible electorate nationwide. If past turnout trends persist, they will make up only about 6.5 percent of those who actually turn out to vote in November. Despite these modest numbers, Hispanics loom as a potential "swing vote" in this year's presidential race. That is because they are strategically located on the 2008 Electoral College map. Hispanics constitute a sizable share of the electorate in four of the six states that President Bush carried by margins of 5 percentage points or fewer in 2004 - New Mexico (where Hispanics make up 37 percent of its eligible electorate), Florida (14 percent), Nevada (12 percent) and Colorado (12 percent). All four are expected to be closely contested once again in 2008.

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Key Voters – Catholics
Catholic vote up for grabs – they could swing the election
Fouhy, Associated Press writer, 7-3-8 (Beth, The Associated Press, McCain: Staff shake-up part of "natural evolution", Lexis) McCain began the day at the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico's holiest Roman Catholic site, where he viewed the famed portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe and received a blessing from the Basilica's monsignor. McCain laid a wreath of white roses at the altar and stood atop the Papal balcony. He was accompanied by President Bush's brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was in Mexico on business. "I think he's going to win," Jeb Bush said of McCain's chances against Democrat Barack Obama. "He just needs to be himself and not let Sen. Obama redefine himself." McCain's visit to the Basilica had clear political overtones as Catholic and Hispanic voters are expected to be key swing voters in the November election. Obama also has worked to woo Catholics and Hispanics after those groups voted heavily for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton during the primary season.

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********** Links **********

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********** Links – Energy **********

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Link Uniqueness – Obama Edge on Energy Now
Obama has the edge on energy now
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Both candidates seem to think that crafting carefully targeted energy proposals will translate into votes. At the moment, Obama appears to have the advantage. In a recent poll, voters gave Obama 47-to-28 nod over McCain when asked which candidate they thought had better ideas on energy and environment. Environmental groups favor Obama as well. Both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters are backing him. Preferences aside, the groups are encouraged by the attention energy issues are garnering after years of neglect. And with 70 percent of Americans saying the country's energy policy is off track, no doubt the attention is warranted.

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Link – Democrats Pushing Alternative Energy
Democrats calling on Bush to support alternative energy
Seattle Times, 7-14-8 (Cantwell: Offshore drilling not the answer, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgibin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2008051044&zsection_id=2003925728&slug=apoffshoredrillingnorthwest&date=20080714, accessed 7-16-8) Sen. Maria Cantwell says a plan by President Bush to allow offshore drilling will not solve the nation's energy crisis. Bush on Monday lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling that has stood for 18 years. Bush says offshore drilling could yield billions of barrels of oil over time and eventually take pressure off gas prices, although it would take years for production to start. Cantwell, a Washington state Democrat, says Bush is not really serious about addressing high gas prices. She says his proposal only continues failed policies of the past that feed the nation's oil addiction. Cantwell called on Bush to work with Congress to increase use of alternative and renewable energy sources. Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig hailed Bush's action, which he called the first step to increase domestic oil production after decades of restrictions.

Democrats pushing alternative energy
Hunt, Associated Press, 7-14-8 (Terence, The Huffington Post, “Bush, Congress, Both?: Who's To Blame For Energy Prices?”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/14/bush-congress-both-whos-t_n_112492.html, accessed 7-14-8) "But we know that drilling by itself will not solve the problem of high gas prices," Van Hollen said. "We cannot drill our way to energy independence." He cited Democrats' calls to tap the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, because it is full and "America's rainy day is now." And he said the country must focus on new energy policies that focus on alternatives to oil. [NOTE: Van Hollen = Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.]

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Link – Obama Supports Renewables
Obama calling for alternative energy
CNN Politics, Election Center 2008, 6-17-8. ("McCain wants to lift ban on oil drilling", http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/17/mccain.energy/, ) Obama said a windfall profits tax would ease the burden of energy costs on working families. He also wants to invest in affordable, renewable energy sources. Controversy over offshore drilling surfaced in the United States in 1969, after a crack in the seafloor led to a huge oil spill off Santa Barbara, California. During the 1970s, when many Arab nations launched an oil embargo, many U.S. officials pushed for the exploration of offshore drilling of the coastal United States. Environmentalists responded with loud protests.

Obama is a strong supporter of renewables
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) The carbon addiction. To a large extent, hypothetical numbers--80 percent of this, 60 percent of that--are meaningless in the absence of concrete plans for alternative, cleaner technologies. Here the candidates disagree broadly on how to fund them. Obama, hailing from a farming state, is a strong backer of incentives and tax breaks for wind and solar power, as well as for biofuels, including corn-based ethanol. In a recent speech, he proposed spending $150 billion to develop alternative energies. McCain, by contrast, tends to favor a more market-based approach. "In our quest for alternative energy," McCain said recently, "our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure." On the stump, he speaks favorably of wind and solar power. But in the past two years, he has missed votes that would have spurred research within these industries.

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Link – Obama Will Link Energy Policy to Bush
Obama will use energy to link McCain to Bush
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Now that there is consensus that global climate change is happening, the real debate is how the next president will address it. Several recent developments, including record oil prices, rapidly rising energy demand, and a growing awareness of the impact of fossil fuel use on the Earth, have provided ample evidence that energy and environment challenges are intimately connected and require a coordinated response. Voters, meanwhile, are growing more concerned. In June, a Gallup Poll found that 9 of 10 voters say that high energy costs will influence their vote in November. Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain have heeded the mounting concerns with a flurry of ambitious proposals and promises in recent weeks. McCain frequently argues that energy security is closely intertwined with "national security," if not a prerequisite for it. His campaign has dubbed Obama "Dr. No," a nickname his advisers say captures Obama's resistance to a host of potentially beneficial energy ideas, including nuclear energy. Obama has responded by comparing the presumptive Republican nominee to President Bush, citing their now shared support for offshore drilling.

Obama will spin McCain energy policy as Bush’s
Berger, Fox News, 7-7-8 (Judson, Fox News, “Meet the Candidates: Obama, McCain Fine Tune Image for November” http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/07/meet-the-candidates-obama-mccain-fine-tune-image-for-november/, accessed 7-17-8) The presidential contenders are doing everything they can to design fashionable labels for themselves, but they are also working on crafting unflattering caricatures of each other. That branding could be far more influential to voters’ perceptions. Obama’s depiction of McCain has been crystal clear since he clinched the Democratic nomination. McCain is an older and more tired third Bush term — and despite his maverick record he’s traded in his independent stripes to run for president. “Bush is a millstone around his neck, and unless he can get to the center, he can’t win. It’s just impossible,” said Democratic pollster Doug Schoen. In practically every move McCain makes — from traveling to Latin America to promote free trade to reversing position to support lifting a ban on offshore oil drilling — the Obama campaign says McCain is mimicking the current, unpopular president.

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Link – AT – Obama Won’t Spin the Plan
Obama gets the significance of the energy issue – he’d have motive to spin the plan in relation to his energy agenda
Snow, Oil & Gas journal, Washington Editor, 6-2-8 (Nick, Oil & Gas Journal, “Campaign aides: Motor fuel transition may be starting”, p. 28) Obama's climate plan includes a cap-and-trade program with auctions, an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, a lowcarbon fuel standard, a 25% RPS by 2005, a ban on new coal-fired power plants using traditional designs, support of verifiable international offsets and emissions reporting, an effort to reduce deforestation, and re-engagement with other countries in efforts to reduce global warming, Holstein said. Oil import dependence The Illinois Democrat also sees heavy US dependence on foreign oil producers, growing imports, and tightening global supplies as a major 2008 campaign issue, his advisor said. He said that Obama would propose an alliance of oil-importing nations, including China and India, to work together for reduced demand; treat oil dependence as a national security threat, and "involve the American people in the fight." [Note – Holstein = Elgie Holstein, Obama campaign advisor]

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Link – Renewable Energy Popular
Political support for renewables- congress and individual state action proves
Sawin & Prugh, WorldWatch Institute, 2004 (Janet L. and Thomas, Mainstreaming Renewable Energy in the 21st Century, Worldwatch Paper # 169, May 30, p. 49, accessed July 8-08) Even in the United States, despite an oil-oriented White House, nearly half the members of Congress have joined the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. Although this political support has not yet translated into the needed federal legislation, many states—including Arizona, California, Nevada, New York, and Texas—have enacted pioneering laws, and more and more governors are professing the benefits of renewable energy for their states, from energy security and jobs to reduced dependence on imported oil.

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Link – Renewable Energy Popular – Special Interests
Special interests dictate energy policy – sacred cow programs like the plan have hardened political support
Victor, Stanford law professor & Spogli Institute Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David, Newsweek.com, “The Energy Trap, Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087, accessed 6-29-8) Whenever the public seizes on energy issues, the cabal of Washington energy experts imagines that these problems can be solved with a new comprehensive energy strategy, backed by a grand new political coalition. Security hawks would welcome reduced dependence on volatile oil suppliers, especially in the Persian Gulf. Greens would favor a lighter tread on the planet, and labor would seize on the possibility for "green-collar" jobs in the new energy industries. Farmers would win because they could serve the energy markets. The energy experts dream of a coalition so powerful that it could rewire government and align policy incentives. This coalition, alas, never lasts long enough to accomplish much. For an energy policy to be effective, it must send credible signals to encourage investment in new equipment not just for the few months needed to craft legislation but for at least two decadesenough time for industry to build and install a new generation of cars, appliances and power plants, and make back the investment. The coalition, though, is politically too diverse to survive the kumbaya moment. Just two weeks ago the feds canceled "FutureGen," a government-industry project to develop technologies for burning coal without emitting copious greenhouse gases, demonstrating that the government is incapable of making a credible promise to help industry develop these badly needed technologies over the long haul. (The project had severe design flaws, but what matters most is that the federal government was able to pretend to support the venture for as long as it did and then abruptly back off.) Similarly, legislation late last year to increase the fuel economy of U.S. automobiles will have such a small effect on the vehicle fleet that it will barely change the country's dependence on imported oil and will have almost no impact on carbon emissions. Democrats and Republicans alike claim they want to end the country's dependence on foreign oil, but neither party actually does much about it. The only policies that survive in this political vacuum are those that target narrower political interests with more staying power. Thus America has a highly credible policy to promote corn-based ethanol, because that policy really has nothing to do with energy; it is a chameleon that takes on whatever colors are needed to survive. It is a farm program that masquerades as energy policy; at times, it has been a farm program that masquerades as rural development. As an energy policy it is a very costly and ineffective way to cut dependence on oil. As a global warming policy it is even less cost effective, since large-scale ethanol doesn't help much in cutting CO2 and other warming gases. Similarly, the United States has a stiff subsidy for renewable electricity-mainly wind and solar plants-because environmentalists are well organized in their support for it. The coal industry periodically gets money for its favored technologies, as in FutureGen, but even that powerful lobby has a hard time getting the government to stay the course.

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Link – Renewables and Relief
Push for renewables in conjunction with energy relief crucial to winning over voters
Dionne, Washington Post columnist, 7-18-8 (E.J., Jr., The Washington Post, “Gore's Energy Oomph”, Pg. A17) Democrats should be concerned about where they are on the gas-price issue right now, and the party's own strategists are worried that its response so far is inadequate. What the Democrats have been saying about the Bush administration's energy record is certainly true: The money that taxpayers threw at the oil and gas industry in Vice President Cheney's energy plan did nothing to help consumers at the pump. And promises that more offshore drilling will magically bring down prices are not backed by the evidence. "We have been drilling for more oil, and the prices have gone up," Gore said in the interview. "A lot more oil has been found, a lot more has been produced." In his speech, Gore uttered the disturbing truth that "the exploding demand for oil, especially in places like China, is overwhelming the rate of new discoveries by so much that oil prices are almost certain to continue upward over time no matter what the oil companies promise." But voters have this odd view that when they face a problem, they want their politicians to do something. Drilling offshore sounds better than not acting at all. That's why John McCain flipped on the issue and now backs drilling. In a survey report released last week by Democracy Corps, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville concluded that their party has "not yet advanced a compelling narrative" on the problem of high gas prices and that "John McCain enters the offshore drilling debate with voters' favor." In an otherwise upbeat report on Barack Obama's chances, they warn that the public "wants the government to act to address the immediate price consequences, and to act now for achieving energy independence in the medium and long-term." "A majority of voters," they continue, "believe that coupling an investment in alternative fuels with increased domestic production of oil is preferable to alternative fuel investment combined with energy conservation alone." What Gore said yesterday won't solve the Democrats' immediate problem on the drilling issue. But he is making what Greenberg and Carville call for: "a bigger offer" on energy. Gore's core assertion is that the technology for alternative fuels -- wind, solar and geothermal -- is far more advanced than we realize. Pushing that progress further would cut the costs of energy, with Gore insisting that renewables could eventually "give us the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline." "The only way to break free from the burden of rising gasoline prices and electricity rates is to get free" from a process through which we "bid up the price of every last drop of oil and every last lump of coal," he said in the interview. Cheaper electricity, in turn, will speed the onset of electric cars. The United States is now at a disadvantage in the global economy because we use disproportionate amounts of energy. According to the International Energy Agency, Americans use nearly twice as many tons of oil equivalent per person as do the Japanese and the Germans, and more than double the amount for the Swiss. Yes, our vast country may inevitably use more energy than more compact nations, but surely we can do better. Voters say they hate gimmicks and insist they want bold solutions. Well, Gore is testing that proposition. He says he wants to "expand the political space" for those actually running for office. Will they take the opening?

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Link Uniqueness – McCain Edge on Energy Now
McCain has the edge in the energy debate now – public wants relief
Dionne, Washington Post columnist, 7-18-8 (E.J., Jr., The Washington Post, “Gore's Energy Oomph”, Pg. A17) Democrats should be concerned about where they are on the gas-price issue right now, and the party's own strategists are worried that its response so far is inadequate. What the Democrats have been saying about the Bush administration's energy record is certainly true: The money that taxpayers threw at the oil and gas industry in Vice President Cheney's energy plan did nothing to help consumers at the pump. And promises that more offshore drilling will magically bring down prices are not backed by the evidence. "We have been drilling for more oil, and the prices have gone up," Gore said in the interview. "A lot more oil has been found, a lot more has been produced." In his speech, Gore uttered the disturbing truth that "the exploding demand for oil, especially in places like China, is overwhelming the rate of new discoveries by so much that oil prices are almost certain to continue upward over time no matter what the oil companies promise." But voters have this odd view that when they face a problem, they want their politicians to do something. Drilling offshore sounds better than not acting at all. That's why John McCain flipped on the issue and now backs drilling. In a survey report released last week by Democracy Corps, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and strategist James Carville concluded that their party has "not yet advanced a compelling narrative" on the problem of high gas prices and that "John McCain enters the offshore drilling debate with voters' favor." In an otherwise upbeat report on Barack Obama's chances, they warn that the public "wants the government to act to address the immediate price consequences, and to act now for achieving energy independence in the medium and long-term." "A majority of voters," they continue, "believe that coupling an investment in alternative fuels with increased domestic production of oil is preferable to alternative fuel investment combined with energy conservation alone."

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Link – Energy/Environment Issue Hurts Obama
Bold measures on energy bolster McCain – environmental measures hurt Obama
Feltman, Radnor Inc (political consulting and legislative relations firm) chair, 7-8 (Kenneth E., Radnor Geopolitical Reports, “Can Obama Pay the Pump Price” Etalkinghead: An Online Political News Magazine. July 2008. http://www.etalkinghead.com/archives/can-obama-pay-the-pump-price-2008-07-05.html date accessed: July 6, 2008) Into this debate strode Republican Candidate John McCain. He seized the energy issue by modifying his position and letting his opponent attack him. Obama accused McCain of a flip-flop. In politics, Obama may soon learn, it's only a flip-flop if the public has not already flipped. The public has flipped and McCain has, too. The energy crisis is the first issue to differentiate the two candidates since Obama locked up the Democratic nomination and McCain has outmaneuvered Obama. McCain now advocates offshore oil drilling. President Bush's decision to press the issue in Congress puts the Democrats in the position of advocating the wear-your-sweater policies that made Jimmy Carter unpopular. With gas prices over $4, all of the previous policies will be reexamined. That reexamination could affect the election. Will fixedincome voters in Florida want to pay ever higher prices for fuel? Or will they want to reconsider the ban on offshore drilling? McCain is making the argument that even hurricane Katrina did not cause serious oil spills from offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. With his willingness to respond to the gas price crisis with bold - if gimmicky - measures, McCain comes across as a pragmatist. Obama risks coming across as an ideologue who puts climate change ahead of making it possible for the average American to drive to work. For decades, Americans have been spoiled and have not needed to conserve gasoline. Americans have been able to dabble, never seriously, with alternative energy sources. Americans have been able to coexist with reasonable and with zany environmentalists. There was time later to get serious about energy development. Time's up. The ding-ding of the gas pump has jolted a complacent country. This is worse than the gas lines in the '70s. Americans understood that those lines were temporary, even as the zealots proclaimed Armageddon. Possibly the last time the nation was shocked into action was when Sputnik sent its pinging signal back to earth. People felt suddenly vulnerable. That vulnerability ended with an American walking on the surface of the moon. Before that, an attack on Pearl Harbor so angered the American people that they fought back on two fronts and destroyed whole cities in forcing unconditional surrender. Do we appreciate what the American people can do when they gather their thoughts and their technology and set out to accomplish a mission? Do the leaders of petroleum producing countries understand the single mindedness of American resolve - or American fear? Does Venezuela? Do the Saudis? The Iranians? The defenders of the Alaskan wilderness? The anti-nuke crowd? The candidates for president? McCain may have latched onto the issue of 2008 Unless defused, this mood could gather momentum quickly. Suddenly, everything could be on the table: Offshore drilling, Alaska, nuclear power, wind, solar, long-lasting batteries. McCain is out ahead of the issue. He entered the debate by saying something that makes good common sense to most people: $4 a gallon changed his mind. He is willing to drill offshore. So far, Obama seems trapped in liberal orthodoxy. He is against offshore and Alaska drilling and ambivalent on nuclear power. He is for the environmentalists' solutions. McCain says we need to pursue those solutions, too, as we search for more oil. He comes across as realistic, a straight-talker. Obama may come across as sincere but impractical. One of the worst things a candidate can be is "wellmeaning."

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Link – Energy/Environment Issue Hurts Obama/Helps McCain
McCain gets the credit on energy policy – he’s staked out the issue
Feltman, Radnor Inc (political consulting and legislative relations firm) chair, 7-8 (Kenneth E., Radnor Geopolitical Reports, “Can Obama Pay the Pump Price” Etalkinghead: An Online Political News Magazine. July 2008. http://www.etalkinghead.com/archives/can-obama-pay-the-pump-price-2008-07-05.html date accessed: July 6, 2008) During the Democratic primaries, Obama opposed a gas tax holiday and denigrated McCain for supporting the tax holiday. Research now shows that voters agreed with Obama's position as tax and energy conservation policy, but gave McCain more credit for his willingness to try something new, even if it was gimmicky. Soon, when voters are asked which candidate will be better at solving the energy crisis, they may answer McCain because they know he is willing to try something, anything. Something, anything just might work. McCain has nodded to the left: He attacked oil speculators. Trading in oil futures soared from $13 billion in 2003 to $260 billion now. Voters see the spike in prices as more than supply and demand. They see it as another insider trading mess like the mortgage crisis. Again, McCain speaks their language. The higher price of gasoline may change more than driving habits. Relationships will change. The Saudis may have made a mistake. For years, Americans have been held hostage to Saudi oil. But the Saudis did not work to increase supply to put downward pressure on the price at the pump. If fuel efficiency becomes the new national cause in the U.S., the Saudis may need new markets just about the time that new technology is reducing the need for imported oil around the world. Politics will change. If the consumer wants the U.S. to develop a national obsession with fuel efficiency and alternative energy sources, politicians will eventually change. Today, environmental concerns are more important, especially to Democrats. Obama approaches the problem from the environmentalist viewpoint. But McCain realizes that this is now a front-burner issue and the environmentalists will no longer control the debate. People who drive their cars to work will have a bigger say. Democratic ambivalence is rooted in concerns about climate change. The Democrats oppose expansion of carbon based energy. Obama wants a windfall profits tax on oil companies. But consumers have different priorities: More oil, more drilling, more refining, more alternative energy sources, flex-fuel cars, plug in vehicles, nuclear power and anything else that will help lower the price at the pump. That change in emphasis will change other things, too. Suddenly, the U.S. will do something about climate change Strangely, the high price of gas makes it inevitable that the U.S. will do something - and because Americans are such thirsty gas hogs, that something will make the U.S. the leader in fighting climate change. With $4 gas, Americans are switching to fuel efficient cars. Oil consumption is down by 500,000 barrels a day in the past year, a three percent drop. What will $5 gas bring? Much depends on technology, an American advantage. So this crisis may be exactly what is needed to get the U.S. moving toward a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly future. McCain is out ahead on energy policy. Obama has not understood the public change in attitude. With the first big issue of the Obama-McCain campaign, will McCain force Obama to pay the price at the pump?

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Link – McCain Will Bash Obama on Energy
McCain will spin the plan against Obama - Obama out on energy policy
CNN Politics, Election Center 2008, 6-17-8. ("McCain wants to lift ban on oil drilling", http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/17/mccain.energy/, ) McCain also criticized the energy policy of Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama. "He says that high oil prices are not the problem, but only that they rose too quickly. He doesn't support new domestic production. He doesn't support new nuclear plants. He doesn't support more traditional use of coal, either," McCain said. "So what does Sen. Obama support in energy policy? Well, for starters, he supported the energy bill of 2005 -- a grab bag of corporate favors that I opposed. And now he supports new taxes on energy producers. He wants a windfall profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas. If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big idea too -- and a lot of good it did us." McCain argues that a windfall profits tax will only increase the country's dependence on foreign oil and be an obstacle to domestic exploration. "I'm all for recycling -- but it's better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the 1970s," he said.

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Link – Energy Policy Spends Political Capital
Energy policy divisive, ensuring political capital must be spent
Aubuchon, American Chronicle contributor, 7-5-8 (Dennis, American Chronicle. “Our Energy Crisis Congress Must Take Action Now” http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/67229 date accessed: July 6, 2008) The present energy crisis we are experiencing is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. The price of a barrel of oil seems to be rising almost daily and this is hurting our economy and the world economy. Recently there was a meeting of the oil exporting nations to discuss increasing the supply of oil to help reduce the price at the pump. Increasing supply will not solve the cause of the problem. The problem is our dependence upon this source of energy. Actions must be taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil to run our economy. This article is about the inaction of Congress and the President to work toward a solution for this crisis which has been with us for years. The issue did not begin with the present administration but has existed in the last several administrations. One news report recently identified that congressional representatives, senators and the President have been talking about this issue for over 30 years. While there may have been some actions or initiatives in the past or there may be some initiatives in the present congress the problem is not getting resolved. Congress and the President must work together to address our present crisis level. The price of oil has been rising for the last several years but the current speed of these increases has brought the issue to a higher level of importance. We need an energy policy passed by Congress regardless of which party formulates the plan of action. The action should not be about party recognition but working together. It is the responsibility of the President to propose a plan and Congress to review and/or change the content and present it to the President for signature. Today Congress does not seem to have the capability or willingness to work together to resolve issues facing our country. This is not always the case but the perception I have and I feel others have is that gridlock currently exist in the legislative process. This article does not mean to imply that nothing of importance ever gets finalized and approved by the President. Many pieces of legislation are written each year by each party and in some cases together which address critical issues. However the present issue of oil prices requires a stronger will to really address the high prices. While some discussions have taken place there seems to be an atmosphere of trying to outdo each other rather than making the hard decisions needed to improve our present energy crisis. While some bipartisan legislation has been passed as indicated in the preceding paragraph it has not provided significant action to initiate a viable energy policy. This article is not about bashing the entire legislative body in Washington, D.C. but the inability or willingness to work together for the good of the country. There are many fine senators and representatives who want to do the best job they can for the country and the districts they represent. The problem is that legislation is not being evaluated based on the merits of their content. Recent elections have sent new individuals to Washington but they seem to not get the attention when they may have ideas to address important issues. This needs to change.

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Link – Energy Policy Spends Political Capital
Political opposition to new energy policies ensures plan spends capital
Victor, Stanford Law School professor & Freeman Spogli Institute's Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David G., 3-3-8, “Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, Newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087/output/print, Accessed July 8-08) Democrats voting in Ohio and Texas may well decide the shape of the U.S. presidential election. Regardless of who they choose to run against Sen. John McCain, the all but certain Republican candidate, it is likely that energy issues will figure more prominently in the election than at any time in the last generation. High prices are sapping economic growth, the No. 1 concern across most of the country. Gasoline is now approaching $4 a gallon; natural gas and electricity are also more costly than a few years ago. Global warming has become a bipartisan worry, and solving that problem will require radical new energy technologies as well. All this is good news in the rest of the world, which is hoping that a new regime in Washington will put the United States on a more sustainable energy path. It may be a vain hope. It is extremely unlikely that Washington will ever supply a coherent energy policy, regardless of who takes the White House in November. That's because serious policies to change energy patterns require a broad effort across many disconnected government agencies and political groups. Higher energy efficiency for buildings and appliances, a major energy use area, requires new federal and state standards. Higher efficiency for vehicles requires federal mandates that always meet stiff opposition in Detroit. A more aggressive program to replace oil with biofuels requires policy decisions that affect farmers and crop patterns-yet another part of Washington's policymaking apparatus, with its own political geometry. New power plants that generate electricity without high emissions of warming gases require reliable subsidies from both federal and state governments, because such plants are much more costly than conventional power sources. Approvals for these new plants require favorable decisions by state regulators, most of whom are not yet focused on the task. Expanded use of nuclear power requires support from still another constellation of administrators and political interests. And so on. Whenever the public seizes on energy issues, the cabal of Washington energy experts imagines that these problems can be solved with a new comprehensive energy strategy, backed by a grand new political coalition. Security hawks would welcome reduced dependence on volatile oil suppliers, especially in the Persian Gulf. Greens would favor a lighter tread on the planet, and labor would seize on the possibility for "green-collar" jobs in the new energy industries. Farmers would win because they could serve the energy markets. The energy experts dream of a coalition so powerful that it could rewire government and align policy incentives.

Plan spends capital – energy coalitions too fragile
Victor, Stanford Law School professor & Freeman Spogli Institute's Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David G., 3-3-8, “Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, Newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087/output/print, Accessed July 8-08) This coalition, alas, never lasts long enough to accomplish much. For an energy policy to be effective, it must send credible signals to encourage investment in new equipment not just for the few months needed to craft legislation but for at least two decades-enough time for industry to build and install a new generation of cars, appliances and power plants, and make back the investment. The coalition, though, is politically too diverse to survive the kumbaya moment. Just two weeks ago the feds canceled "FutureGen," a government-industry project to develop technologies for burning coal without emitting copious greenhouse gases, demonstrating that the government is incapable of making a credible promise to help industry develop these badly needed technologies over the long haul. (The project had severe design flaws, but what matters most is that the federal government was able to pretend to support the venture for as long as it did and then abruptly back off.) Similarly, legislation late last year to increase the fuel economy of U.S. automobiles will have such a small effect on the vehicle fleet that it will barely change the country's dependence on imported oil and will have almost no impact on carbon emissions. Democrats and Republicans alike claim they want to end the country's dependence on foreign oil, but neither party actually does much about it.

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Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital
Introduction of sweeping energy legislation elicits an overwhelming backlash – Bush can only lose from the plan because it’s impossible to build a coalition around energy Cohen, Associate Editor of the New Atlantis, 2004
(Stephanie, The New Atlantis, “Energy Dreams and Energy Realities”, Spring, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/energydreams-and-energy-realities, accessed 7-8-08) More often than not -- to James Madison's delight -- big energy bills die a congressional death. No single faction is able to impose its vision of the energy future on the country as a whole, and the effort to please every faction often degenerates into incoherence. It ends up pleasing no one and offending nearly everyone. The Bush energy initiative is so far no exception, and after three years of debate, no comprehensive energy legislation has emerged, despite Republican control of both Congress and the White House. Consider the major initiatives in one iteration of the Republican energy package: $1.8 billion for a Clean Coal Power Initiative aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants; $2.081 billion for research into "fusion energy"; $2.15 billion to get hydrogen-powered automobiles on the road by 2020; $1 billion for an experimental power plant capable of producing hydrogen; $18 billion for a natural gas pipeline stretching from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48 states; a federal mandate to produce five billion gallons of the fuel additive ethanol; $500 million for extracting oil and gas from "unconventional" locations; and funding for "horizontal drilling," "three-dimensional" seismic techniques, and "enhanced recovery" of energy sources. The Bush initiative received a predictable and often unfavorable reaction from many quarters. Liberal critics called the administration a bunch of "fossil fuel dinosaurs" and condemned their devotion to "petro-politics" and "traditional" energy sources. Others labeled the bill a Christmas tree for oil interests, a license for industry profiteering, or a wide-ranging assault on the environment. Conservative critics saw the Bush initiative as an example of needless, reckless, and excessive government spending -- much of it on futuristic energy technologies better left to the private sector, where they would face the dream-destroying gauntlet of the marketplace. Two newspapers that rarely agree both saw the energy bill as an abomination. The Washington Post said the bill was "stuffed with more goodies than a Thanksgiving turkey." The Wall Street Journal described the bill as "one of the great logrolling exercises in recent congressional history," and said that the "GOP leadership has greased more wheels than a NASCAR pit crew" in its attempts to buy votes. The bill drew the wrath of interest groups across the spectrum from the green left to the libertarian right -- from the Sierra Club to Taxpayers for Common Sense, from the Wilderness Society to the Heritage Foundation. The result is that several versions of energy legislation have all dissolved under the weight of contentious "poison pills" -- such as permitting oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, exempting manufacturers of fuel additives from product liability claims, or restructuring electricity markets. The clash of interests has created an unpassable beast and thus, it seems, an unbreakable stalemate. Of course, the interests in the energy debate are not simply philosophical -pinning pro-development conservatives against pro-conservation liberals. For example, Republican Governor Jeb Bush has vigorously opposed off-shore drilling in Florida -- saying explicitly that it is different than drilling in Alaska, and that we need to protect the "pristine natural environment" that Florida tourism depends upon. Republican senators from coastal states have advocated similar positions to protect state aesthetics and commerce. Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, a vigorous supporter of renewable energy technology, has vigorously opposed the creation of high-tech windmills off Cape Cod, which would be an eyesore for those with beachfront property. The "not-in-my-backyard principle" and the "more-jobs-in-my-district principle" are always important, and probably decisive on particular votes. But over the long run, the larger philosophies of energy -- Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, industrialist and naturalist -- remain more important in shaping the terms of the energy debate.

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Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital
Energy policy is contentious causing partisan infighting and clash of special interests Cohen, Associate Editor of the New Atlantis, 2004
(Stephanie, The New Atlantis, “Energy Dreams and Energy Realities,” Spring, p. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/energy-dreams-and-energy-realities) More often than not -- to James Madison's delight -- big energy bills die a congressional death. No single faction is able to impose its vision of the energy future on the country as a whole, and the effort to please every faction often degenerates into incoherence. It ends up pleasing no one and offending nearly everyone. The Bush energy initiative is so far no exception, and after three years of debate, no comprehensive energy legislation has emerged, despite Republican control of both Congress and the White House. Consider the major initiatives in one iteration of the Republican energy package: $1.8 billion for a Clean Coal Power Initiative aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants; $2.081 billion for research into "fusion energy"; $2.15 billion to get hydrogen-powered automobiles on the road by 2020; $1 billion for an experimental power plant capable of producing hydrogen; $18 billion for a natural gas pipeline stretching from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48 states; a federal mandate to produce five billion gallons of the fuel additive ethanol; $500 million for extracting oil and gas from "unconventional" locations; and funding for "horizontal drilling," "three-dimensional" seismic techniques, and "enhanced recovery" of energy sources. The Bush initiative received a predictable and often unfavorable reaction from many quarters. Liberal critics called the administration a bunch of " fossil fuel dinosaurs" and condemned their devotion to "petro-politics" and "traditional" energy sources. Others labeled the bill a Christmas tree for oil interests, a license for industry profiteering, or a wide-ranging assault on the environment. Conservative critics saw the Bush initiative as an example of needless, reckless, and excessive government spending -much of it on futuristic energy technologies better left to the private sector, where they would face the dream-destroying gauntlet of the marketplace.Two newspapers that rarely agree both saw the energy bill as an abomination. The Washington Post said the bill was "stuffed with more goodies than a Thanksgiving turkey." The Wall Street Journal described the bill as "one of the great logrolling exercises in recent congressional history," and said that the "GOP leadership has greased more wheels than a NASCAR pit crew" in its attempts to buy votes. The bill drew the wrath of interest groups across the spectrum from the green left to the libertarian right -- from the Sierra Club to Taxpayers for Common Sense, from the Wilderness Society to the Heritage Foundation. The result is that several versions of energy legislation have all dissolved under the weight of contentious "poison pills" -- such as permitting oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, exempting manufacturers of fuel additives from product liability claims, or restructuring electricity markets. The clash of interests has created an unpassable beast and thus, it seems, an unbreakable stalemate.

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Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital
All energy promotion policies create winners and losers Komor, University of Colorado at Boulder Lecturer, 2006
(Paul, Sustainable Energy and the States: Essays on Politics, Markets, and Leadership, edited by: Dianne Rahm, Pg. 146) Policy can best be understood in terms of winners and losers. Any policy change—whether at the state or national level, whether about energy or defense or anything else—means that some parties will gain and some will lose. Another way to say this is that energy policies are often neither “good” nor “bad” in general—only in the particular. An RPS, for example, is good for the wind industry but potentially bad for the coal industry. There are two implications of this truism. First, if people say a policy is good or bad, they usually mean that it’s good or bad for them. So when you hear spokespersons evaluating a policy, keep in mind who they are and what they want from the policy. Second, policy positions are a function of the amount of perceived gain or loss. Policies to promote sustainability, if presented as such, don’t directly translate into significant gain or loss for anyone and therefore are unlikely to garner much interest. In contrast, policies to promote economic development (which can be true of policies to promote sustainability, such as an RPS) are much more likely to see significant support.

Making the externalities count requires political capital Lauber, University of Salzburg Professor of political science, 2005
(Volkmar, Switching to Renewable Power: A Framework for the 21st Century, Pg. 6) Now, if external costs were taken seriously, this would indeed make many renewable power technologies immediately competitive. As Jacobsson and Labuer show in this volume, including external costs in Germany means that wind power, which in 2004 came under heavy attack there for supposedly being uneconomical when compared with coal, is actually quite competitive with that fuel. Indeed, if subsidies for coal and factored in, it is already the cheaper option. The major difference between coal-generated electricity and wind power is not costs; it is in the allocation of those costs. In the case of wind power, they are borne by electricity consumers; in the case of coal, they are partially borne by the general public, regardless of causation; in other words, they are “externalized.” Internalization of external costs – required in order to optimize welfare – will lead to a reorientation of the energy sector in a more sustainable direction. But serious internalization of external costs will also require a major change in politics.

Entrenched interests will fight to maintain fossil fuel dominance Pernick, co-founder Clean Edge, Inc., Wilder, Clean Edge, Inc. contributing editor, 2007
(Ron & Clint, The Clean Tech Revolution: The next big growth and investment opportunity, Pg. 284) Entrenched interests will fight to hold to a business-as-usual scenario—working to protect their livelihood and incentives. Some groups will continue to vehemently deny human impact on climate change, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence. Others will be so busy building up their economies they won’t realize the detrimental impact to their people and society in the form of disease and pollution caused by fossil fuels. Supply constraints will create momentary stumbling blocks to clean-tech development in the form of shortages of critical materials like processed steel and silicon. Investors, at times, may exhibit irrational exuberance—running up the prices of stocks with valuations that outstrip their real value. Venture capitalists, too, may fall prey to this behavior, with too many dollars chasing too few deals resulting in a herd mentality and over-valued private offerings. And when demand outpaces growth, we will see occasional increases in pricing for certain clean-tech goods and services.

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Link – Energy Action Requires Political Capital
Many interest groups exert lobbying pressure on Congress and the President regarding energy policy. Simon, University of Nevada Associate Professor of political science, 2007
(Christopher A., Alternative Energy: Political, Economic and Social Feasibility, Pg. 204) Interest groups have shown themselves to be a highly effective at influencing public policy in all stages of the policy process. Elected officials, usually members of the two major political parties, often face significant time and resource constraints (and limited incentives) in shaping public policies following the creation of statutes. The budget and committee oversight are tools Congress uses to shape policy postulate, but time limitations and disincentives often mean that Congress eschews large-scale regular oversight. The president, too has significant time constraints and relies heavily on appointed officials to represent his views, which has varying impacts on policy postulate. Interest groups, however, have significant time to follow individual policy arenas and to advance their goals throughout the policy process Environmental groups have and will likely remain very influential in energy policy. A centuries-old movement, interest group influence grew tremendously in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in the United States. Environmental groups generally do not seek personal economic benefit from their efforts to protect the environment but tend to be driven by a notion of societal benefit. Many groups have significant resources needed to keep group to promote legislative action. Through lobbying efforts and information campaigns, interest groups shape policy outcome. Economic groups have played a significant role in shaping the energy policy debate and in a variety of different ways. Rural agrarian counties in the midwestern United States for instance, have faced economic and social decline for several decades. In the 1970s and 1980s in part due to rising energy costs—family farmers in the heartland were faced with serious economic depravation. Many of these family farmers were forced to sell their farms, often to large corporate farming interests. Social changes led many mid-western youth to migrate to the cities for greater opportunity, which meant that the next generation of farmers and ranchers disappeared from the rural landscape. Government groups at the state and local levels, such as associations or counties, began to pressure state and national policymakers to promote the use of corn in the alternative energy paradigm—federal ethanol subsidies have played a major role it making this aspect of farming much more profitable and, as a consequence, making farming a more lucrative enterprise. Urban government interest groups, such as the League of Cities, have also played a major role in shaping regulations and distributive policy incentives to promote sustainable communities. The supply of abundant and cheap energy is the cornerstone of the U.S. city of twentieth century; curtailing demand but maintaining quality of life will be the challenge of the twenty-first-century U.S. city. In order to accomplish this significant goal, however, government interest groups seek the economic aid of governments at all levels. Given Tiebout’s (1956) overarching thesis, it is natural that government interests will jockey for financial opportunities to promote the policy innovations unique to their locale and the needs of their communities in relation to other urban areas.

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Link – Energy Action is Partisan
Energy policy will be partisan in an election year The Denver Post, editorial, 2004
(“How the West will be won”, July 17, Pg. C-15) No surprise, Kerry -Edwards shape up to differ widely from Bush -Cheney on most if not all of these issues. Environmental issues haven't played a large role in the presidential race so far, but they will carry weight with many voters in a region that is being contested by both parties. We look forward to seeing both Bush and Kerry devote some serious energy to concerns of a region that is dominated in so many ways by federal land and resource ownership. Where, for example, do the candidates stand on a national drought policy - similar to the revised National Flood Insurance Program - that would enable farmers and ranchers to adequately recover for drought losses? Much of the West is in the midst of a six-year drought. This is no longer just bad weather. For many, it has become an economic tragedy. Since the West accounts for 75 percent of the nation's metals production, voters will be interested to learn the candidates' stand on a national minerals policy. Metals produced in the region are critical to the Western economy, and to national security - they provide vital base materials for satellites, aircraft, electronics and telecommunications. There are strong reasons to tap a reliable domestic supply rather than going overseas, and the federal approach must also include pragmatic environmental safeguards. Energy is a tough partisan issue, hotly debated. Both parties preach the need for energy independence, but neither has developed a unifying federal policy that would continue producing traditional fuels such as oil and natural gas while developing alternative energies.

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Link – Alternative Energy Spends Capital
Oil lobby politically powerful, ensuring opposition to alternative energy
Elhefnawy, University of Miami political science professor, 8 (Nader, Survival, pp. 27-66, April-May) The second difficulty, the exceptional strength of the oil lobby in the United States, reinforces this. It was largely because of oil-lobby pressure in the early 1980s that the US Federal Government abandoned tax credits and regulations aimed at fostering alternative energy sources, measures intended to create a ‘free market’ in energy.54 Abandoning these measures tilted the market in favour of more established sources, not least because coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy attained their market position because of a long history of government subsidy. Given the complexity of the issue and that many forms of government assistance are indirect, such as favourable terms on leases of government land to oil drillers, estimates of such support vary wildly. Nevertheless, the figure easily ran into several hundred billion federal dollars during the last century – investments never made in renewable energy. This remained the case even after the 1973 embargo, the federal government spending six times as much on researching energy production from fossil fuels and nuclear energy as on renewables between 1972 and 1995. Such support of oil is actually increasing, at least when the ‘security subsidy’ of military protection for energy production and transport is taken into account. As a result of these two factors, the ‘US alternative energy industry was not only left to sink or swim among more mature competition, but was put at a disadvantage and withered’, while the ‘oil, gas and nuclear lobbies received the lion’s share of government support’. To give one example, the US share of the world’s installed wind-energy capacity fell from 92% in 1988 to a meagre 35% by 1995, with American energy production from wind actually registering negative growth for several years during the 1990s. While growth since 1999 has been rapid, as of 2005 the US share of world capacity was still a mere 15%, behind Spain and Germany, the latter country producing twice as much electricity from wind as did the United States. Not surprisingly, wind energy’s contribution to American electricity production remains modest, well under 1% – compared with 6% for Germany and over 20% for Denmark.

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Link – Energy Relief Popular
Voters want relief now
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) One problem confronting almost all renewable energy technologies is that none will replace fossil fuels in the near future. This fact, of course, doesn't jibe well with a fundamental political premise: Voters want relief now. As a result, both campaigns have been accused of pandering for votes. McCain's recent call for offshore drilling has raised questions of political expediency, as has his proposal of a gas tax "holiday" this summer. In 2003, McCain voted against allowing new oil exploration off the coasts of California and Florida and along the eastern seaboard. But in May, he reversed tack, saying that states should be given the right to approve drilling off their coastlines, though he still opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which he calls "a pristine place." His advisers say the shift comes in response to mounting economic challenges. With gas above $4 a gallon, the United States, they say, cannot afford to leave potential domestic supplies of oil unexplored. They also predict short-term benefits. Allowing drilling, McCain has said, will provide "psychological" relief to markets and will help lower prices. But critics counter that such proposals are misguided or even disingenuous. As evidence, they point to a 2007 energy report showing that offshore drilling won't yield "noticeable amounts of oil" until 2030, and that even then its impact on prices would be "insignificant."

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********** Links – Incentives **********

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Link – Incentives Politically Popular
Incentives have more political support than regulation. Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, 8
(Newt, Sierra, January-February 2008, pg. 40-43) Whoever wins will have a sound and realistic approach to climate change. Democrats have an advantage in developing solutions because their primary voters care more about the issue and because they are more comfortable dealing with environmental issues, which have been largely a liberal area of dialogue for the past generation. Republicans have to play catch-up in developing answers other than no. Our research at American Solutions indicates that, by a very substantial margin, Americans prefer entrepreneurship to bureaucracy and innovation to litigation. The Republican nominee should be able to develop strong solutions to climate change that emphasize science, technology, innovation, and incentives. These will prove surprisingly popular compared with the tax increase-government control-bureaucracy and litigation model that has dominated for the past 30 years.

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Link – Renewable Portfolio Standard Controversial
National RPS requires political capital – Congressional opposition blocks it now
Langniss and Wiser, Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research & scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2005, (Ole and Ryan, “Switching to Renewable Power: a framework for the 21st century”, ed. V. Lauber, p. 187-8 Most of the recommendations and cost estimates have had to rely on theoretical principles, however, as practical experience in the application of the RPS has been limited. RPS policies have been established by legislation or regulation in the countries of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (UK), but experience with the actual operation of the policy has only just begun. RPS policies, and related mandates, have recently become the most popular form of support for the commercial application of renewable energy technologies in the United States (US). As of December 2004, 18 states had developed renewable energy portfolio standards or mandates, covering over 40 percent of total US customer load. Figure 8.1 identifies the states in which RPS policies have been established as well as their terminal renewable energy purchase requirements. The establishment of a national RPS has also been discussed in the US, but has so far failed to gain the critical support needed in the US Congress.

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Link – Obama Supports Renewable Portfolio Standard
Obama supports renewable portfolio standard
Snow, Oil & Gas journal, Washington Editor, 6-2-8 (Nick, Oil & Gas Journal, “Campaign aides: Motor fuel transition may be starting”, p. 28) Obama's climate plan includes a cap-and-trade program with auctions, an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, a lowcarbon fuel standard, a 25% RPS by 2005, a ban on new coal-fired power plants using traditional designs, support of verifiable international offsets and emissions reporting, an effort to reduce deforestation, and re-engagement with other countries in efforts to reduce global warming, Holstein said. [Note – Holstein = Elgie Holstein, Obama campaign advisor]

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Link – Obama Supports/McCain Opposes Tax Incentives for Alternatives
Obama supports tax incentives for alternative energy – and McCain has voted against them
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) June 24, 2008 - Energy policy dominated the US presidential race for a second consecutive day June 24, as Senators Barack Obama and John McCain clashed over the best way to address soaring gasoline prices and global warming. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said McCain's energy policy consists of "cheap gimmicks" such as a temporary suspension of the federal gasoline tax. "... if we don't renew key tax incentives for alternative energy production ... we could lose up to 116,000 green jobs and $19 billion in investment just next year." -- Senator Barack ObamaObama said McCain's plan would save the average American motorist only 30 cents a day for three months. "The American people don't need psychological relief or meaningless gimmicks to get politicians through the next election, they need real relief that will help them fill up their tanks and put food on their table," Obama said at a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, reiterated his plan to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies and to redirect the money to boost wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy. He faulted McCain for voting against renewable-energy tax credits, which expire at the end of the year. "If John McCain had his way, those tax credits wouldn't exist," Obama said. "And if we don't renew key tax incentives for alternative energy production - tax incentives that John McCain opposed continuing - we could lose up to 116,000 green jobs and $19 billion in investment just next year."

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Link – Obama Supports Energy Efficient Buildings
Obama strongly supports expanding energy efficiency
GreenBiz, 6-17-8 (Confronting Energy Efficiency in an Election Year, http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2008/06/17/confronting-energy-efficiencyelection-year, accessed 6-29-8) Obama sees the need for buildings to be 25 percent more efficient in the next decade, and 50 percent more efficient by 2030, according to Jason Grumet, the executive director of the National Commission on Energy Policy who spoke about Obama’s energy policy. The America public has recognized that the country needs a “course correction.” “I think Senator Obama fundamentally understands that these are problems that are different in character and shape than almost anything we have ever had to deal with, certainly in the energy sector,” Grumet said.

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Links – Obama Supports Redeveloping Brownfields
Obama supports redeveloping brownfields with federal help
Obama, 6-21-8 (Barack, Broward Politics, What Obama said today in Miami, BYLINE: Anthony Man) That's why you need a partner in the White House. You know what happens when Washington listens to big oil and gas companies and blocks real energy reform "" because it's your budgets that are being pinched by high energy costs, and your schools that are cutting back on textbooks to keep their buses running; it's the lots in your towns and cities that are brownfields. That's why you need a partner in the White House. Now, despite the absence of leadership in Washington, we're actually seeing a rebirth in many places. I'm thinking of my friend Rich Daley, who's made a deep and lasting difference in the quality of life for millions of Chicagoans. I'm thinking of Mayor Cownie, who's working to make his city green; Mayor Bloomberg, who's fighting to turn around the nation's largest school system; Mayor Rybak, who's done an extraordinary job helping the Twin Cities recover from the bridge collapse last year; and so many other mayors across this country, who are finding new ways to lift up their communities. But you shouldn't be succeeding despite Washington "" you should be succeeding with a hand from Washington. Neglect is not a policy for America's metropolitan areas. It's time City Hall had someone in the White House you could count on the way so many Americans count on you. That's what this election is all about "" because while Senator McCain is a true patriot, he won't be that partner. His priorities are very different from yours and mine. At a time when you're facing budget deficits and looking to Washington for the support you need, he isn't proposing a strategy for America's cities. Instead, he's calling for nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans "" and yet he's actually opposed more funding for the COPS program and the Community Development Block Grant program. That's just more of the same in Washington. And few know better than you why Washington needs to change. But the truth is, what our cities need isn't just a partner. What you need is a partner who knows that the old ways of looking at our cities just won't do; who knows that our nation and our cities are undergoing a historic transformation. The change that's taking place today is as great as any we've seen in more than a century, since the time when cities grew upward and outward with immigrants escaping poverty, and tyranny, and misery abroad.

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Link – McCain Support for Renewable Incentives Weak
McCain doesn’t show up to back renewable incentives
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) The carbon addiction. To a large extent, hypothetical numbers--80 percent of this, 60 percent of that--are meaningless in the absence of concrete plans for alternative, cleaner technologies. Here the candidates disagree broadly on how to fund them. Obama, hailing from a farming state, is a strong backer of incentives and tax breaks for wind and solar power, as well as for biofuels, including corn-based ethanol. In a recent speech, he proposed spending $150 billion to develop alternative energies. McCain, by contrast, tends to favor a more market-based approach. "In our quest for alternative energy," McCain said recently, "our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure." On the stump, he speaks favorably of wind and solar power. But in the past two years, he has missed votes that would have spurred research within these industries.

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Link – McCain Supports Energy Efficiency Tax Credits
McCain supports energy efficiency tax credits
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain further said he would make greater efficiency in industry, the home, and the government top priorities for his administration. "For every automaker who can sell a zero-emissions or very close to zero-emissions car, we will commit up to a $5,000 tax credit to each and every customer who buys that car," he said. McCain has long championed himself as an opponent of wasteful government spending and he said that making government buildings more efficient would help save taxpayers billions of dollars while helping the environment. "Across our country and abroad, there are 3.3 billion square feet of federal office space, all but roughly 10% of it owned by the public," McCain said. "Add it all up and that makes the federal government the single largest consumer of electricity in the world." His pledges for efficiency dovetail with a commitment he made the day before to offer a $300 million prize for a highly efficient, powerful battery.

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Link – McCain Supports Procurement
McCain supports procurement mechanisms for bolstering demand for alternative energy
GreenBiz, 6-17-8 (Confronting Energy Efficiency in an Election Year, http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2008/06/17/confronting-energy-efficiencyelection-year, accessed 6-29-8) Bodman spoke about the necessity of expanding nuclear power generation capacity, a notion echoed by former Senator George Allen, who was on hand to describe McCain’s energy policy. "What Senator McCain as president would do is propose a national energy strategy that will amount to a declaration of independence from energy insecurity and he'll promote diversification and conservation of our energy resources," Allen said. In addition to expanding nuclear power, McCain wants to bolster domestic oil and natural gas exploration in receptive areas and clean coal technologies to utilize the abundant but polluting resource, Allen said. McCain opposes mandatory building standards and supports sparking greater demand for best technologies and practices by using government purcashing power. [Note: Bodman = Samuel Bodman, US Energy Secretary]

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Link – GOP Opposes Tax Credit Extension without Budget Offsets
GOP Senators pushing compromise on tax credit extension, including non-discretionary budget offsets – key issue is what is offset
Platts.com, 7-3-8 (“US Senate Republicans offer deal to extend energy tax credits” http://www.platts.com/HOME/News/6918537.xml?sub=HOME&p=HOME/News&?undefined&undefined, accessed 7-3-8) US Senate Republican leaders who have opposed budget offsets for tax extensions on Thursday proposed a compromise to finance continuing credits for renewable energy resources set to expire in December. In a letter to Democratic leaders of the Senate and US House of Representatives, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, suggested replacing the proposed offsets with a reduction in the 2009 budget resolution. This would pay for tax credits for developing wind, solar and other renewable energy resources without creating an even greater budget deficit, he said. McConnell said that tapping non-defense discretionary spending in the 2009 budget resolution, which was set $25 billion above President Bush's request, would satisfy offset opponents. Senate Republicans have blocked the House-passed tax extension package, (H.R. 6049), over its budget offsets that involve delaying a tax break for multinational companies and closing a loophole for high-income taxpayers who defer taxes with offshore havens. These senators, like the White House, have preferred no offsets for existing tax incentives. But a coalition of fiscal conservative House Democrats known as the Blue Dogs were adamant about including the means to pay for these tax breaks in any legislation passed by the House.

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Link – Republicans Oppose Tax Incentives
Republicans voted against tax incentives for renewable energy Wall Street Journal, 2008. (May 22, pg. A11)
The House of Representatives passed a $57 billion package of tax incentives for wind, solar, and other alternativeenergy sources, and other business tax breaks. The House approved the bill on a 263-150 vote. But Republican opposition to the bill was strong enough to indicate that the GOP would likely be able to sustain a possible veto from President Bush. Thirty-five Republicans voted in favor of the bill, while the 160 no votes on the bill are well above the one-third threshold needed to sustain a White House veto.

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Link – Spending Politically Unpopular
Bashing new spending is politically savvy in an election year
Froomkin, Washington Post White House Watch columnist, 7-16-8 (Dan, Washingtonpost.com, “The 28 Percent President”) Stephen Labaton and David M. Herszenhorn write in the New York Times: "The Bush administration's plan to rescue the nation's two largest mortgage finance companies ran into sharp criticism in Congress on Tuesday as some lawmakers questioned the openended request for money that could be used to help the companies. . . . "Republican opposition threatened to incite an ugly intramural fight with the White House. In a high-stakes election year, the resistance reflected the deep fear among some lawmakers that the plan could set off a large taxpayer bailout, touching off a wave of voter anger in November. "For some lawmakers facing tough re-election contests, opposing the rescue plan is a way to reaffirm their identity as budget hawks while publicly breaking with a deeply unpopular lame-duck administration."

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Link – Regulation/Mandates Popular
Public supports mandatory action.
Stoller, Washington Political Consultant, 8. (Mark, Sierra Magazine, January-February 2008, p. 40-43) Mr. Gingrich is correct that the public clamors for innovation. Our polling shows that Americans feel our country is failing to lead on energy and global-warming solutions, yet they believe we have the technological know-how to lead, and we must harness it. Mr. Gingrich is also correct on the importance of incentives. But any purely voluntary solution fails to address the seriousness of the problem. Americans believe we need strong standards if we are to succeed. [Note: Gingrich = Newt Gingrich, Republican Congressman ’94-‘98]

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Link - Environmental Regulation Drains Political Capital
Regulations to protect the environment in the energy and transportation sectors face vehement political opposition.
Percival, Law Professor and University of Maryland Environmental Law Program Director, 97. (Robert V., “Regulatory Evolution and the Future of Environmental Policy” p. 196-7, University of Chicago Legal, 1997) Some critics of environmental regulation have even gone so far as to oppose efforts to increase regulatory flexibility on the ground that such flexibility helps diffuse political opposition to environmental policy. A more legitimate concern is the potential for abusing such flexibility by giving certain interests an unfair advantage over their competitors. While environmental law has not been nearly as prone to special interest deals as economic regulation, it is important that objective standards be developed for environmental contracting to prevent such abuses. Professor Rena Steinzor has questioned whether Project XL will accomplish its goals. While praising the general concept behind Project XL, she suggests that the EPA, in its haste to get the project off the ground, is sacrificing too many regulatory safeguards by approving projects with uncertain benefits and the potential to undermine public participation and enforcement. She notes that an internal EPA newsletter quotes the agency's staff as having coined the motto "If it isn't illegal, it isn't XL." E. More Effort Should be Devoted to Overcoming the Political Barriers to Improved Regulatory Policy Those who make a serious effort to "rethink regulation " ultimately will recognize that far more fundamental environmental progress could be accomplished by changing the nation's energy, agricultural, and transportation policies to make them more responsive to environmental concerns. The nation's tax system levies the vast majority of taxes on labor and capital rather than on waste and pollution. However, fundamental reforms in tax or energy policy are quickly dismissed as politically unrealistic. Much more effort should be devoted to considering why such policies are so unattractive politically and what, if anything, can be done to change the political dynamics.

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Link – Environmental Regulation Controversial
Command and control regulations cause a public backlash
Reitze, George Washington University Law Professor, 91. (George Washington University, “Environmental Law”, p. 1642) The federal command-and-control approach has had successes but has run out of steam, and has little chance of dealing effectively with the major air pollution problems that threaten our atmosphere on a global basis. We cannot save the environment just by creating more regulations. Most people working in the field cannot find the time to read, let alone understand, the regulations EPA has promulgated concerning air pollution. Regulations today can take over three years to promulgate, and if they are significant, they will probably be embroiled in litigation for several more years. When we begin to implement the 1990 Amendments we are likely to find the governmental costs are far greater than the resources given to EPA to do the job. Delay in implementation is almost certain to occur. We cannot expect to protect our environment to the degree necessary merely by using more stringent controls that stress the limits of our technology and that have high marginal costs as well. More stringent laws will also be politically costly because effective controls will impinge more directly on both the wallets and the freedoms of individual citizens and voters. approach of setting emission standards for each sector of the economy.

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Link – Voluntary Measures Politically Popular
Voluntary measures receive almost political support. Jaccard, Fraser University School of Resource and Environmental Management Professor, 6
(Mark, “Sustainable Fossil Fuels: the unusual suspect in the quest for clean and enduring energy”, The Cambridge University Press 2006, p. 281-2) Why, then, is voluntarism still so often pursued as a policy for environmental improvement? Households and firms obviously prefer voluntarism to prescriptive regulations or higher taxes, both of which impose costs that affect their bottom line. Voluntarism also allows firms to look like good corporate citizens, protecting the environment "because they care." Governments like voluntarism because it is politically feasible; they are seen to be taking the initiative in addressing a policy challenge, and it is impossible to prove in advance that a new voluntary program will he environmentally ineffective and economically inefficient. These programs can even be supported by those environmental lobbyists who want to believe that a more sustainable energy system, like other environmental objectives be achieved without trade-offs. As long as both industry and environmentalists are onside, government dare not question this approach. Once again, government is the nexus for our contradictory views of the world.

Voluntarism is a politically popular instrument. Jaccard, Fraser University School of Resource and Environmental Management Professor, 6 (Mark,
“Sustainable Fossil Fuels: the unusual suspect in the quest for clean and enduring energy”, The Cambridge University Press 2006, p. 281-2) Governments at national and local levels continue to pursue voluntarism and information policies in my portfolio. Political acceptability makes these too appealing to eliminate, even if they are not highly effective. Indeed, initial efforts at voluntarism and information provision for greenhouse gas reduction in industrialized countries are increasingly seen as ineffective, setting the stage for more aggressive policies over the coming decade. But voluntarism may still be effective for those environmental objectives that do not involve substantial trade-offs.

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********** Links – Environment **********

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Link – Public Split on Environment
Public split on prioritizing environment over economics
Goldman, CNNMoney.com writer, 7-3-8 (David, CNNMoney, “Environmental support dips vs. economy – poll Americans still say protection should be a priority over the economy, but nearly three in four favor offshore drilling,” http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/03/news/economy/environment_economy/index.htm?cnn=yes, accessed 7-14-8) NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With the U.S. economy mired in a slump, Americans still believe saving the environment is more important than fixing the economy, according to a new poll released Thursday. But consumers are more closely divided on the issue than they have been in the past. According to a CNN/Opinion Research poll, 49% of Americans say protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth. That compares to 44% of those surveyed who said the economy is the top priority, and the government should focus on economic growth even at the expense of the environment. But environmental advocacy groups say the government may not have to make that choice. "It's a false dichotomy," said Carroll Muffett, deputy campaigns director at Greenpeace. "In truth, what is truly good for the environment is what is truly good for the economy, because a shift to better energy solutions would create jobs."

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Link – AT – Environment Popular
Economic concerns reduce support for the environment
Goldman, CNNMoney.com writer, 7-3-8 (David, CNNMoney, “Environmental support dips vs. economy – poll Americans still say protection should be a priority over the economy, but nearly three in four favor offshore drilling,” http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/03/news/economy/environment_economy/index.htm?cnn=yes, accessed 7-14-8) Wallet's impact Historically, Americans have said it is more important to prioritize the environment, especially when the economy is booming. In 1995, 62% favored the environment, and in 2000, 70% said the environment should be the government's top priority. But when the economy is struggling, people weigh the issues more equally. For instance, in 2003, when the economy was coming out of a recession and gas prices started soaring, only 47% said the environment should be a higher priority for the government than the economy. Rising prices - especially record fuel prices - have hurt Americans in the wallets. The average price of a gallon of gas rose to an all-time high of nearly $4.10 a gallon Thursday, according to a survey from motorist group AAA. In a section of the poll released Wednesday, 72% said record gas prices have caused them to make changes in their daily lives, and 30% said those changes were major ones.

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Link – McCain Will Spin the Plan
McCain uses environment politically – his League of Conservation Voters ranking proves
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Many researchers and environmentalists, however, say that McCain, after years of leading on climate change issues, has failed to keep pace with new data and that only Obama's plan offers an adequate response. "McCain is still proposing the same levels [of emissions reductions] he was proposing in 2003, even though the science has advanced a lot," says Tony Massaro, political director of the League of Conservation Voters. "We now need more significant reductions because we've already seen things that weren't anticipated in 2003, such as massive ice sheet melting in Greenland." In the group's eyes, McCain's voting record has also lagged. In 2007, he missed every major vote on environmental legislation. McCain's lifetime score for voting "correctly" on environmental issues, according to the league's tally, is 24 percent; Obama's score, over a much shorter period, is 86 percent.

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********** Links – Climate **********

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Link – Narrow Cap-and-Trade
Obama will bash the plan – he opposes McCain’s narrow cap-and-trade system
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain renewed his call for a greenhouse gas emissions trading market, commonly known as a cap-and-trade system, to deal with climate change. The market would help advance coal-fired generation with carbon capture and storage as well as nuclear power and renewables like solar, wind, and geothermal, McCain said. "The purpose of this plan is to give American businesses new incentives and rewards to seek, instead of just giving new taxes to pay and new orders to follow," he said. In a statement, McCain's campaign said Obama's climate-change plan - which is more stringent than McCain's - would hurt the economy. According to the McCain camp, Obama's plan would spawn "higher energy prices or the need to shutter existing coal electricity facilities." "Obama has outlined his own cap-and-trade proposal that requires a drastic reduction in emissions without any mechanisms for an easy economic transition," the McCain campaign said. Obama, in his Las Vegas remarks, acknowledged that McCain "has gone further than some in his party in speaking out on climate change." But "time and time again, [McCain] has opposed investing in the alternative sources of energy that have helped fuel some of the very same projects and businesses he's highlighting in this campaign," Obama said.

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Link – Obama & McCain Differ on Cap and Trade
Obama’s emissions plan make deeper cuts than McCain’s
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Ambitious plans. Behind the rhetoric, genuine distinctions emerge, although on the question of cutting greenhouse gas emissions-widely considered the most pressing environmental challenge of the moment--the candidates' views are broadly similar. Both support mandatory federal emissions limits. They agree in principle that reductions should be pursued through cap-and-trade systems, under which the government would set a limit on the total amount of greenhouse gases businesses could emit and bigger polluters would have to buy emissions allowances from cleaner companies. Obama's proposal goes further than McCain's, requiring that the United States cut carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent from the 1990 levels by 2050; McCain would require only a 60 percent reduction and distribute some of the allowances to polluters for free. Both plans, nevertheless, are more ambitious than what world leaders have so far embraced. At last week's G-8 summit in Japan, officials reached a "historic" agreement for a 50 percent emissions cut by 2050.

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Link – McCain Supports Narrow Cap and Trade
McCain pushing 1990 levels by 2020, using a cap and trade system
Snow, Oil & Gas journal, Washington Editor, 6-2-8 (Nick, Oil & Gas Journal, “Campaign aides: Motor fuel transition may be starting”, p. 28) McCain proposes returning US carbon emissions to 2005 levels by 2012 and to 1990 levels by 2020, she continued. "He believes that a cap-and-trade system must harness human ingenuity in pursuit of market-based alternatives to carbon-based fuels. He also believes that an effective climate policy must support rapid, sustained economic growth. This probably will be a key issue in the upcoming debates," Tallent said. [Note – Tallent = Rebecca Jensen Tallent, a McCain energy advisor

McCain supports more limited cap-and-trade market – opposes Obama’s more stringent plan
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain renewed his call for a greenhouse gas emissions trading market, commonly known as a cap-and-trade system, to deal with climate change. The market would help advance coal-fired generation with carbon capture and storage as well as nuclear power and renewables like solar, wind, and geothermal, McCain said. "The purpose of this plan is to give American businesses new incentives and rewards to seek, instead of just giving new taxes to pay and new orders to follow," he said. In a statement, McCain's campaign said Obama's climate-change plan - which is more stringent than McCain's - would hurt the economy. According to the McCain camp, Obama's plan would spawn "higher energy prices or the need to shutter existing coal electricity facilities." "Obama has outlined his own cap-and-trade proposal that requires a drastic reduction in emissions without any mechanisms for an easy economic transition," the McCain campaign said.

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Link – McCain Supports Expanding Carbon Capture and Storage
McCain supports expanding carbon capture and storage
Platts.com, 6-18-8 (McCain campaigns on energy plan, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/3.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain said he would put $2 billion/year toward developing carbon capture and storage on a commercial scale, which he argued would also help developing countries such as China and India to tap their coal reserves while polluting less. He also laid out his goal to boost nuclear power, saying that he would "set this nation on a course to building 45 new reactors by the year 2030."

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Link – Climate Hurts McCain with Conservatives
Serious push on climate by McCain will alienate conservatives – keeping them home on election day
Brennan, NewsMax investigative journalist, 7-7-8 (Phil, “Conservatives to fight McCain at convention”, NewsMax.com, July 7, 2008, http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/McCain_vs_conservatives/2008/07/07/110551.html, accessed 7-7-08) September's national convention for Republicans won't be a bed of roses for Sen. John McCain. There's at least one impediment to keep him from his party's nomination a probable fight over the platform. At issue are his stances on such explosive issues as global warming, immigration, stem-cell research and campaign finance. The Washington Post reports that, "Virtually the entire platform will have to be rewritten to lessen the imprint" of President Bush, whose name appears on nearly every page." Although McCain has yet to reveal how he plans to alter the strongly conservative platform, the Post reports that many conservatives fear he'll want the platform to reflect his own views that in many instances diverge from those of most conservatives. McCain is "really out of step with the strong majority of his party," Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute told the Post. The Institute opposes McCain's positions on climate change. GOP officials in the Republican National Committee, as well as those in McCain's campaign, told the Post they have much in common with conservatives. They say their conversations as they approach the convention suggest there will not be a nasty platform fight. "We are confident that this process will produce a platform that all Republicans will enthusiastically support," said Joe Pounder, a spokesman for McCain. "Our party is united, and will continue to work together to elect John McCain in November." Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a former Ohio secretary of state, told the Post he does not expect a "bloodletting" in the platform committee but predicts that conservatives and McCain will be reasonable and stay focused on a November victory. "I don't think you are going to see any radical departures or inflammatory demands for change in one direction or another," he predicted. The Eagle Forum's Jessica Echard will go to Minneapolis-St. Paul, site of the Sept. 1-4 convention, for two weeks in August, with the primary goal of making sure the 2008 platform reflects conservative principles. For example, she would like the platform to have a much tougher position on unwarranted amnesty for people who arrive in the U.S. illegally than does McCain. Another hot button issue is McCain's acceptance of global warming theory. Many conservatives feel the theory of man-made global warming is a hoax, and the current platform more or less skirts the issue by talking about using "markets and new technologies" to solve possible climate change. McCain on the other hand supports government action to address global warming, which the Post described as "a centerpiece of his campaign." McCain, the newspaper reports, supports a cap-and-trade emissions plan that many conservatives oppose, and he has talked about trying to reach a global-emissions agreement that includes China and India. "It is something that we are very concerned with," Donald J. Devine, vice chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU) told the Post, which reports that the ACU will have a convention operation to monitor proposed changes to the platform. In past years, the ACU has produced an alternative conservative platform as a guide to those working on the real one, the Post recalled. Devine told the Post he is hopeful that the environmental planks in the platform will focus on McCain's support for nuclear power plants and his willingness to revisit offshore oil and gas drilling. But he is prepared for the worst. "There's no question it's going to be changed radically," he said of the platform. The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Myron Ebell, told the Post that McCain should be careful as he and his allies seek to change the platform to reflect his political sensibilities. "He attracts a lot of votes in the middle independents and moderates," Ebell said. But "if he pushes on each one of these issues campaign finance, immigration, or global warming and energy issues he's likely to keep a lot of people at home on Election Day." [NOTE: Ebell = director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute]

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Link – Cap and Trade Controversial
Cap and trade won’t pass Congress without a fight
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Neither candidate's plan would pass Congress without a fight. Until recently, the Bush administration vigorously opposed even the idea of government-mandated emissions reductions, and leaders in the Republican Party continue to warn that stringent emissions caps could drain the economy of trillions of dollars. "They're both too much," Heritage Foundation senior policy analyst David Kreutzer says of the candidates' proposals. "In the Democratic primaries, it seems like there was a game of who can trump the other person. When you get to the environment, it's, 'Who is going to propose the greatest cut?'"

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Link – Climate Policy Spends Capital
Passing global warming policy requires hardened political coalition
Victor, Stanford law professor & Spogli Institute Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David, Newsweek.com, “The Energy Trap, Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087, accessed 6-29-8) All this means that the underlying forces that are causing high demand for energy (and high prices) and emitting greenhouse gases will be hard to alter. The effort to solve global warming might change this pessimistic iron rule of energy policy, because the environmental community that is the core of the coalition in support of global warming policy is becoming much stronger and has shown staying power. For the moment, however, that is a hypothesis to be proved.

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Link – Cap and Trade Politically Unpopular
Cap and trade programs are unpopular in Congress and have been defeated.
Parker and Holt, Congressional Brief Energy Researchers, 7. (Larry and Mark, “Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service, Nuclear Power: Outlook for New U.S. Reactors”, CRS Report for Congress, March 9, 2007, www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33442.pdf accessed 7-8-08) Despite strong Bush Administration opposition to mandatory greenhouse gas reduction programs, a number of congressional proposals to advance programs designed to reduce greenhouse gases were introduced in the 109th Congress, and similar efforts have continued in the 110th Congress. None of these proposal have passed either house of Congress. The first effort to pass a mandatory greenhouse gas reduction program failed in 2003 on a 43-55 vote in the Senate. A similar effort was defeated in 2005 during the debate on the Energy Policy Act of 2005 on a 38-60 vote. This second, less favorable vote reflects the changed votes of four Senators who reportedly objected to the addition of nuclear power incentives to the 2005 version of the proposed legislation. The proposals would have placed a cap on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions based on a 2001 baseline. The cap would have been implemented through a tradeable permit program to encourage efficient reductions.

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Link – Upstream Cap and Trade Controversial
Upstream cap-and-trade program politically unpopular because it will increase gasoline prices Nordhaus and Danish, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2003
(Robert R. and Kyle W., “Designing a Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program for the US”, http://ww.pewclimate.org/docUploads/AspenProceedings_PolicyFramework.pdf#page=19 p. iv, accessed July 08) Upstream cap-and-trade. An economy-wide upstream cap-and-trade program would be environmentally effective, could attain cost-effective compliance if it incorporates flexibility measures, and would be administratively feasible. Its distributional consequences would depend on how allowances were allocated and, if auctioned, how the auction revenues were recycled back into the economy. These allocation and recycling decisions can also affect overall compliance costs, because some methods of allocating allowances may be less economically efficient than an auction, and according to some economists, using auction revenues to reduce “distortionary” taxes on capital or labor can reduce the net costs of the program. Finally, because an economy-wide upstream cap-and-trade program would rive up the cost of gasoline and home heating fuels, it is likely to present a political challenge.

Large-source downstream cap-and-trade more politically acceptable than upstream cap-and-trade Nordhaus and Danish, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2003
(Robert R. and Kyle W., “Designing a Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program for the US”, http://ww.pewclimate.org/docUploads/AspenProceedings_PolicyFramework.pdf#page=19 p. iv, accessed July 08) Large-source downstream cap-and-trade. A large-source downstream program (i.e., one applicable only to electricity generators and large industrial sources of greenhouse gases) is administratively feasible and could be environmentally effective with respect to the sectors it covered. To be fully effective, however, such an approach would have to be coupled with a program to cover other sectors. A large-source downstream program might be more acceptable politically than an upstream economy-wide program because it would not result in price increases for gasoline and home heating fuels (though it still would result in price increases for electricity.)

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Link – Fossil Fuel Industry Wants Federal Liability for Carbon Sequestration
Energy companies pushing for federal liability for carbon sequestration
Ridgeway, Mother Jones Washington Bureau senior correspondent, 8 (James, 5-1-8, MotherJones.com, “Scrubbing King Coal,” http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/05/scrubbing-king-coal.html, accessed 7-17-8) To solve this problem, companies say they will employ carbon sequestration or carbon capture and storage (ccs), in which the CO2 emissions are stored, usually deep underground, rather than released into the atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that ccs could reduce CO2 emissions from a plant by 80 to 90 percent; on the other hand, it also could increase a plant's energy requirements by anywhere from 10 to 40 percent, and the overall cost of generating energy from 25 to 125 percent. In addition to being difficult and expensive, ccs is potentially dangerous: In 1986, an eruption of CO2 from a naturally occurring pocket under a Cameroon lake bed instantly suffocated nearly 1,800 people; leaks from an underground storage site could be likewise deadly. "That stuff is crazy," says Tyson Slocum, who heads Public Citizen's energy project. "Totally unproven. Stuffing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the ground—there are huge liabilities." For this reason, Slocum says, energy companies are pushing to transfer as much legal and financial responsibility as possible to the federal government. Last April industry lawyer Kipp Coddington of Alston & Bird testified before a Senate committee that if the industry was going to invest billions of dollars in carbon sequestration, the related risks had to be "identified, quantified, and minimized." As Slocum puts it, "Once underground, [the CO2] becomes the responsibility of the American people." Small-scale carbon sequestration has been carried out primarily by pumping CO2 into depleted oil wells, which serves the additional purpose of forcing more oil to the surface. But no power plant is yet operating with a full ccs system. The muchpublicized FutureGen facility—a U.S. government-funded, coal-fueled plant that was supposed to achieve zero emissions through ccs—was canceled in January 2008, five years after it was announced. (The Department of Energy cited cost overruns and said it intended to fund several smaller plants instead.) Peter Montague, director of the Environmental Research Foundation, has noted that the coal, oil, gas, and mining industries, as well as electric utilities, "are eager to get carbon sequestration going" because it will benefit them all by "removing the need for substantial innovation and reducing competition from renewable fuels." But for the coal industry, he writes, ccs may be the key to survival—not because it is actually a viable solution to coal's vast environmental problems, but because it seems like one.

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Link – Climate Change Salient with Congress
The Senate recently supports climate change policies because of economic reasons Ferguson, Fellow of Science & Technology for the Council of Foreign Relations, 2007. (Charles D., "Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks", April, http://www.cfr.org/publication/13104/nuclear_energy.html)
Accessed July 10th Despite the failed efforts to pass the emission reduction legislation, in 2005 the Senate passed a Sense of the Senate resolution on climate change. The resolution finds that (1) greenhouse gases are increasing and raising average global temperatures, (2) a mounting scientific consensus concludes that human activity has significantly caused the increase in greenhouse gases, and (3) mandatory steps will be needed to slow or stop the growth in greenhouse gas emissions. The resolution calls on Congress to enact a comprehensive national program using market-based mechanisms to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the resolution expresses the view that such a program should not significantly harm the American economy and should encourage comparable efforts by other countries that contribute to global emissions and are major trading partners of the United States.

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Link – Climate Salient with Public
After weather and infrastructure problems, the American public is worried about the climate. O'Riordin, Editor for Environment, 2007. (Timothy, "Grassroots energy and carbon initiatives", March, 49.2)
To the European mind, the U.S. approach to climate change is shaped by the oil, gas, and coal lobbies coupled to an intransigent yet paradoxically lobby-sensitive White House. In practice, Americans now worry about climate change, recognizing the emergence of new and unusual weather patterns with huge consequences for the local economy (unpredictable snowfalls, avalanches, floods, excessive summer heat, and storms and the costly infrastructure, roof, and other building damages that result). In addition, all manner of initiatives are emerging at regional, state, and municipal levels and in the day-to-day behavior of U.S. citizens.

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********** Links – Fuel Efficiency **********

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Link – Obama Critical of McCain Battery Prize
Obama will bash the plan as a gimmick – doesn’t go far enough
CNN.com, 6-25-8 (McCain says being the underdog suits him, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/25/campaign.wrap/index.html, accessed 625-8) Obama on Tuesday said McCain's policies were "gimmicks" that would "only increase our oil addiction for another four years." Watch what Obama says about McCain's proposals » Obama praised McCain's push to develop a better car battery but was critical of his proposal to offer a $300 million prize for the development of a suitable 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 -- not just in the private sector but also in the public sector," he said at an event in Las Vegas.

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Link – Obama Supports Ethanol
Obama is a strong supporter of ethanol
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) The carbon addiction. To a large extent, hypothetical numbers--80 percent of this, 60 percent of that--are meaningless in the absence of concrete plans for alternative, cleaner technologies. Here the candidates disagree broadly on how to fund them. Obama, hailing from a farming state, is a strong backer of incentives and tax breaks for wind and solar power, as well as for biofuels, including corn-based ethanol. In a recent speech, he proposed spending $150 billion to develop alternative energies. McCain, by contrast, tends to favor a more market-based approach. "In our quest for alternative energy," McCain said recently, "our government has thrown around enough money subsidizing special interests and excusing failure." On the stump, he speaks favorably of wind and solar power. But in the past two years, he has missed votes that would have spurred research within these industries.

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Page 138 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Ethanol Popular with Public
Ethanol, wind, and solar supported are highly credible and supported by the public
Victor, Stanford Law School professor & Freeman Spogli Institute's Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David G., 3-3-8, “Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, Newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087/output/print, Accessed July 8-08) The only policies that survive in this political vacuum are those that target narrower political interests with more staying power. Thus America has a highly credible policy to promote corn-based ethanol, because that policy really has nothing to do with energy; it is a chameleon that takes on whatever colors are needed to survive. It is a farm program that masquerades as energy policy; at times, it has been a farm program that masquerades as rural development. As an energy policy it is a very costly and ineffective way to cut dependence on oil. As a global warming policy it is even less cost effective, since large-scale ethanol doesn't help much in cutting CO2 and other warming gases. Similarly, the United States has a stiff subsidy for renewable electricity-mainly wind and solar plants-because environmentalists are well organized in their support for it. The coal industry periodically gets money for its favored technologies, as in FutureGen, but even that powerful lobby has a hard time getting the government to stay the course. Europe is in danger of contracting the same affliction. To be sure, most European countries long ago started taxing energy as a convenient way to raise revenues, which fortuitously also makes energy more costly and creates a strong incentive for efficiency. That approach did not originate as an energy policy, but it has emerged as a keystone of Europe's more successful efforts to tame energy consumption. And Europe is in the midst of shifting policymaking from the individual countries to Brussels, which may create a more coherent approach. But despite these advantages, Europe is notable for its inability to be strategic. For example, Brussels is touting a new pipeline called Nabucco that would help Europe cut its dependence on Russia for its natural gas. So far, Brussels is good at talking about the Nabucco dream but can't agree on a route, financing, or even on where to get the gas that would replace Russia's.

Environmental advantages increasing political support for ethanol in the US
Pernick & Wilder, Clean Edge, Inc., (research & publishing firm) 2007 (Ron and Clint, The Clean Tech Revolution: the next big growth and investment opportunity, p. 92) Ethanol provides similar improvements. According to an Argonne National Laboratory study, ethanol blends of just 10% reduce global GHG emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) by 12% to 19%, compared with conventional gasoline. The Renewable Fuels Association says that ethanol reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30% and tailpipe fine particulate matter emissions by 50%. For the United States, a nation that uses a quarter of the world’s oil output but has only 3% of the world’s remaining petroleum reserves, biofuels are gaining political steam.

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Link – Ethanol Lobby Has Clout
Ethanol lobby calls the shots – they have clout and will spin ethanol to suit the political climate
Victor, Stanford law professor & Spogli Institute Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David, Newsweek.com, “The Energy Trap, Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087, accessed 6-29-8) Whenever the public seizes on energy issues, the cabal of Washington energy experts imagines that these problems can be solved with a new comprehensive energy strategy, backed by a grand new political coalition. Security hawks would welcome reduced dependence on volatile oil suppliers, especially in the Persian Gulf. Greens would favor a lighter tread on the planet, and labor would seize on the possibility for "green-collar" jobs in the new energy industries. Farmers would win because they could serve the energy markets. The energy experts dream of a coalition so powerful that it could rewire government and align policy incentives. This coalition, alas, never lasts long enough to accomplish much. For an energy policy to be effective, it must send credible signals to encourage investment in new equipment not just for the few months needed to craft legislation but for at least two decadesenough time for industry to build and install a new generation of cars, appliances and power plants, and make back the investment. The coalition, though, is politically too diverse to survive the kumbaya moment. Just two weeks ago the feds canceled "FutureGen," a government-industry project to develop technologies for burning coal without emitting copious greenhouse gases, demonstrating that the government is incapable of making a credible promise to help industry develop these badly needed technologies over the long haul. (The project had severe design flaws, but what matters most is that the federal government was able to pretend to support the venture for as long as it did and then abruptly back off.) Similarly, legislation late last year to increase the fuel economy of U.S. automobiles will have such a small effect on the vehicle fleet that it will barely change the country's dependence on imported oil and will have almost no impact on carbon emissions. Democrats and Republicans alike claim they want to end the country's dependence on foreign oil, but neither party actually does much about it. The only policies that survive in this political vacuum are those that target narrower political interests with more staying power. Thus America has a highly credible policy to promote corn-based ethanol, because that policy really has nothing to do with energy; it is a chameleon that takes on whatever colors are needed to survive. It is a farm program that masquerades as energy policy; at times, it has been a farm program that masquerades as rural development. As an energy policy it is a very costly and ineffective way to cut dependence on oil. As a global warming policy it is even less cost effective, since large-scale ethanol doesn't help much in cutting CO2 and other warming gases. Similarly, the United States has a stiff subsidy for renewable electricity-mainly wind and solar plants-because environmentalists are well organized in their support for it. The coal industry periodically gets money for its favored technologies, as in FutureGen, but even that powerful lobby has a hard time getting the government to stay the course.

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Page 140 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Obama Supports Farm Bill
Obama supports the current farm bill
Sabar, Christian Science Monitor, 6-10-8 (Ariel, Christian Science Monitor, “Economy is top priority for Obama, McCain, and voters”, June 10 2008, http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0610/p01s06-uspo.html?page=2, accessed 7-6-08) Obama would keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone except those with incomes above $200,000. He would cut taxes for lowerincome workers and the elderly and impose higher payroll taxes on wealthier Americans to shore up Social Security. He wants to tie trade to overseas labor and environmental standards, opposes a gas tax holiday, and backed the recent farm bill.

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Page 141 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – McCain Opposes Tighter Fuel Efficiency
McCain opposes tightening fuel efficiency standards
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) Scientists, for their part, say the best immediate remedy for the country's energy and environment troubles is conservation. "Conservation is something we can do instantaneously," says Ronald Mitchell, a professor of political science at the University of Oregon. "In the 1970s, we decided to switch the national speed limit from 65 to 55 in response to the OPEC crisis. We could do that again." Neither candidate has made much ado about speed limits, but they do speak about fuel efficiency. These plans, too, would take time to implement. McCain recently announced a $300 million prize--to be funded, he says, by cutting a few "pork barrel projects"--for an electric car battery that will make plug-in vehicles commercially viable; Obama has called the proposal a "gimmick." In the Senate, Obama has supported increasing fuel-efficiency standards above 40 mpg as a way to reduce demand for oil; McCain has voted against them but says he supports tougher enforcement of existing standards.

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Link – SUVs Popular
SUVs are widely popular – especially among moms
Esmarts.com, no date (“Spotlight: SUVs” http://www.esmarts.com/cars/suv/suv.htm, accessed 7-18-8) Why are SUVs so Popular? An SUV is popular for many reasons: * Large cabins and higher ride height create additional comfort and safety. * A full-size SUV can tow trailers, RVs, and boats. * More women are attracted to the styling of an SUV, which looks “cooler” than a mini-van while still allowing them to transport a lot of kids, groceries, and sports gear. * The external size of an SUV makes driver feel safer on the road than in a small sedan or other type of passenger car.

Despite energy issues, SUVs still hugely popular, and will be more so when prices drop
Tampa Tribune 7-18-8 (“Carter's Energy Policy Looks Better All The Time” http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2008/jul/18/la-carters-energypolicy-looks-better-all-the-time/, accessed 7-18-8) As much as a lot of people will choke just hearing this, President Jimmy Carter was right. His energy policy, if it had been continued, would have had this country oil independent today. But leaders who followed him in the Oval Office didn't have the courage or political will to make it happen. When Carter was president, gas lines were the norm. That's because OPEC started messing with oil production, and the result was a mess here at home. Besides gas lines, new policies were put into place lowering the national speed limit to 55 mph and forced electrical production to move from oil-burning facilities to coal and natural gas. Also during that time, Carter pushed setting winter thermostats lower, using solar power and boosted funding for all kinds of alternative fuel research. By the time Carter left office, oil use for generating electricity was way down. Oil consumption throughout the nation had declined and big advances were being made in alternative energy. When Ronald Reagan took office, almost all of Carter's energy initiatives were tossed. Funding for research was slashed and big oil was back in business. No one was complaining back then, of course, because Carter had an economy filled with high inflation and staggering interest rates, and free-flowing cheap oil quickly made us forget those long lines at gas stations just a few years before. The American people, and we're all guilty of it, just didn't want to buckle down and do what we needed to do. We didn't hold automakers' feet to the fire on mileage requirements. Instead, we did just the opposite, and made SUVs hugely popular. It's a fair bet that even today, if gas prices fell to, say, $2.50 per gallon, that SUV sales would spring back to life, car-pooling would fade and most of us would return to the way we were living just a year or so ago. As terrible as it sounds, perhaps Americans need this gas price slap in the face to see the reality of our energy consuming ways. As billions of our dollars flow into the hands of enemies of our country who supply us oil, we weaken while they grow stronger. It's a recipe for disaster.

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********** Links – Fossil Fuel **********

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Link – Fossil Fuel Subsidies Reductions Contentious
Cutting fossil fuel studies is politically contentious.
Moltke, UNEP Economic Affairs Officer, 4 (Anja von, United Nations Environmental Program, “Energy subsidies” learned lessons in assessing their impact and designing policy reforms”, p. 49) While subsidy reform, involving a reduction in certain types of subsidy to fossil fuels may yield positive environmental effects, it can also have major social implications. Dealing with distributional effects is often a major element in overcoming political obstacles to subsidy reform. In some cases energy security may be affected. This explains the difficulties some OECD governments face in trying to reform remaining environmentally harmful energy subsidies.

It is politically different to combat energy subsidies because of political control exerted by lobbyists.
Moltke, UNEP Economic Affairs Officer, 4 (Anja von, United Nations Environmental Program, “Energy subsidies” learned lessons in assessing their impact and designing policy reforms”, p. 49) Even when there is general agreement that the cost of a particular subsidy outweighs its benefits, it can be very difficult to reform the subsidy in the face of hostility from those who benefit from it and politicians who champion their cause. By its very nature, the costs of an energy subsidy are usually spread throughout the economy, while its benefits are usually enjoyed by only a small segment of society – not necessarily the targeted group. Those beneficiaries will always have an interest in defending that subsidy when their gains exceed their share of the economic or environmental costs – a phenomenon known as political mobilization bias (IEA 1999). It is easier to lobby political support for the clear interests of small, homogenous groups than for the comparatively vague “public interest.” This helps to explain why subsidies are as popular in practice as they are unpopular in theory.

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Page 145 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Coal Lobby Has Clout
Fossil fuel companies lobby for subsidies, at the expense of renewables – they have enormous clout
Ridgeway, Mother Jones Washington Bureau senior correspondent, 8 (James, 5-1-8, MotherJones.com, “Scrubbing King Coal,” http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/05/scrubbing-king-coal.html, accessed 7-17-8) Energy companies have made it abundantly clear that any forward movement on ccs, as well as other clean-coal technology, depends on the government's shouldering a good share of the expense. They got a fair bit of what they wanted in last year's energy bill, which jettisoned key measures to support solar and wind power (including a requirement that utilities move toward generating 15 percent of their power from renewables) but set aside billions for research into CO2 sequestration. The subsidies come on top of an even larger set of handouts found in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which included some $4 billion in direct grants, loan guarantees, and tax incentives for gasification and other clean-coal initiatives. This isn't surprising, as the coal industry, and coal-rich states, enjoy clout in Congress that even Big Oil can only dream about. West Virginia legend Robert Byrd chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the state's Nick Rahall heads the House Natural Resources Committee. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is from Kentucky, and majority leader Harry Reid is from Nevada. Last year, Kentucky's Republican senator Jim Bunning and Illinois' Barack Obama launched an informal coal caucus on Capitol Hill (see "Fossil Fools"); the two cosponsored legislation supporting coal-to-liquid plants (Obama has since backpedaled from the idea), and Bunning plans to refloat it this year. North Dakota's powerful senator Byron Dorgan also backed legislation that would support a ctl plant in his home state. And the push is likely to continue—at the state level, as well as in Washington. Last year in Kentucky, the governor signed a bill to provide a subsidiary of Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal company, with $250 million in tax breaks and other incentives to build a coal-gasification plant. In Wyoming, the legislature put through an exemption on the sales tax for synthetic fuel made from coal and has pursued a public-private partnership to develop it. Legislators are also looking at a new category of below-ground rights, which could provide a free, publicly controlled zone for storing sequestered carbon. Says Bill Bensel, an organizer with Wyoming's Powder River Basin Resource Council, "We're just trying to show we can be as green as we can, so we can sell more coal." [Note – CCS = carbon sequestration or carbon capture and storage (ccs)]

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Page 146 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Coal Lobby Clout Weak
Coal lobby weakening – cancellation of FutureGen program proves they no longer have political staying power
Victor, Stanford law professor & Spogli Institute Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David, Newsweek.com, “The Energy Trap, Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087, accessed 6-29-8) Whenever the public seizes on energy issues, the cabal of Washington energy experts imagines that these problems can be solved with a new comprehensive energy strategy, backed by a grand new political coalition. Security hawks would welcome reduced dependence on volatile oil suppliers, especially in the Persian Gulf. Greens would favor a lighter tread on the planet, and labor would seize on the possibility for "green-collar" jobs in the new energy industries. Farmers would win because they could serve the energy markets. The energy experts dream of a coalition so powerful that it could rewire government and align policy incentives. This coalition, alas, never lasts long enough to accomplish much. For an energy policy to be effective, it must send credible signals to encourage investment in new equipment not just for the few months needed to craft legislation but for at least two decadesenough time for industry to build and install a new generation of cars, appliances and power plants, and make back the investment. The coalition, though, is politically too diverse to survive the kumbaya moment. Just two weeks ago the feds canceled "FutureGen," a government-industry project to develop technologies for burning coal without emitting copious greenhouse gases, demonstrating that the government is incapable of making a credible promise to help industry develop these badly needed technologies over the long haul. (The project had severe design flaws, but what matters most is that the federal government was able to pretend to support the venture for as long as it did and then abruptly back off.) Similarly, legislation late last year to increase the fuel economy of U.S. automobiles will have such a small effect on the vehicle fleet that it will barely change the country's dependence on imported oil and will have almost no impact on carbon emissions. Democrats and Republicans alike claim they want to end the country's dependence on foreign oil, but neither party actually does much about it. The only policies that survive in this political vacuum are those that target narrower political interests with more staying power. Thus America has a highly credible policy to promote corn-based ethanol, because that policy really has nothing to do with energy; it is a chameleon that takes on whatever colors are needed to survive. It is a farm program that masquerades as energy policy; at times, it has been a farm program that masquerades as rural development. As an energy policy it is a very costly and ineffective way to cut dependence on oil. As a global warming policy it is even less cost effective, since large-scale ethanol doesn't help much in cutting CO2 and other warming gases. Similarly, the United States has a stiff subsidy for renewable electricity-mainly wind and solar plants-because environmentalists are well organized in their support for it. The coal industry periodically gets money for its favored technologies, as in FutureGen, but even that powerful lobby has a hard time getting the government to stay the course.

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Page 147 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Obama Opposes Drilling/Tar Sand
Obama aligned with greens now – opposes drilling and tar sand oil
Beschloss, Desert Sun contributor, 6-27-8 (Morris R., Desert Sun, “Energy policy hinges on election,” Lexis) The Obama campaign's position to forego drilling, in alignment with the "greens" is sending tremors throughout Canada. Our neighbors to the north are worried the "climactic change prevention" lobby will convince the Democratic president, if elected, to issue an executive order to prevent oil derived from tar sands to be cut off from further U.S.-bound delivery.

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Link – Obama Supports Fees for Un-drilled Land
Obama supports fees for un-drilled land
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) Meanwhile, Obama said that oil companies already own drilling rights to some 68 million acres of federal lands, both onshore and offshore, that they haven't touched. He said that if he wins the race for the White House in November, he will "charge companies a fee for every acre of land they own but don't drill on." "If that compels them to drill, we'll get more oil," Obama said. "If it doesn't, the fees will go toward more investment in renewable sources of energy." The US House may take up legislation embodying this so-called 'use-it-or-lose-it" approach later the week ending June 27, according to an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat-California.

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Link – Obama Opposes Gas Holiday
Obama opposes gas holiday
Sabar, Christian Science Monitor, 6-10-8 (Ariel, Christian Science Monitor, “Economy is top priority for Obama, McCain, and voters”, June 10 2008, http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0610/p01s06-uspo.html?page=2, accessed 7-6-08) Obama would keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone except those with incomes above $200,000. He would cut taxes for lowerincome workers and the elderly and impose higher payroll taxes on wealthier Americans to shore up Social Security. He wants to tie trade to overseas labor and environmental standards, opposes a gas tax holiday, and backed the recent farm bill.

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Page 150 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Democrats Oppose New Drilling
Democrats support drilling in currently leased areas
Hunt, Associated Press, 7-14-8 (Terence, The Huffington Post, “Bush, Congress, Both?: Who's To Blame For Energy Prices?”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/14/bush-congress-both-whos-t_n_112492.html, accessed 7-14-8) Democrats say they are for drilling, but argue that oil companies aren't going after the oil where they already have leases. So why open new, protected areas? they ask. Democrats say there are 68 million acres of federal land and waters where oil and gas companies hold leases, but aren't producing oil. "Americans are fed up every time they go to fill up and they're right to demand action. But instead of a serious response, President Bush and his allies simply repeat the same old line more drilling," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said in the Democrats' radio address. "Democrats support more drilling," he said. "In fact, what the president hasn't told you is that the oil companies are already sitting on 68 million acres of federal lands with the potential to nearly double U.S. oil production. That is why in the coming days congressional Democrats will vote on 'Use It or Lose It' legislation requiring the big oil companies to develop these resources or lose their leases to someone else who will."

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Link – Democrats Support Tapping Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Democrats pushing tapping of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Hunt, Associated Press, 7-14-8 (Terence, The Huffington Post, “Bush, Congress, Both?: Who's To Blame For Energy Prices?”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/14/bush-congress-both-whos-t_n_112492.html, accessed 7-14-8) "But we know that drilling by itself will not solve the problem of high gas prices," Van Hollen said. "We cannot drill our way to energy independence." He cited Democrats' calls to tap the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, because it is full and "America's rainy day is now." And he said the country must focus on new energy policies that focus on alternatives to oil. [NOTE: Van Hollen = Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.]

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Page 152 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Obama Supports Energy Market Regulation
Obama calling for tighter regulation of energy markets
Platts.com 6-23-8 (Obama calls for tighter regulation on energy markets, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/2.xml, accessed 6-29-8) June 23, 2008 - Senator Barack Obama on June 22 called for tighter regulation of energy markets and speculators as a way to rein in high prices. The presumptive Democratic nominee for president in a statement urged Congress to go beyond steps it took earlier this year to expand the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) authority over energy futures, including closing a "loophole" that allows unregulated trades on offshore exchanges. "For the past years, our energy policy in this country has been simply to let the special interests have their way ..." -- Senator Barack ObamaThe Illinois senator also said he would work with the International Organization of Securities Commissioners to tighten such regulations worldwide. "For the past years, our energy policy in this country has been simply to let the special interests have their way - opening up loopholes for the oil companies and speculators so that they could reap record profits while the rest of us pay $4 a gallon," Obama said. Obama said that speculation has added about $20 to $50 to a barrel of oil. CFTC, however, has said fundamentals of tight supply and higher demand are mainly responsible for record oil prices and that speculators merely follow trends, rather than set them. Obama said his administration would require that US energy futures trade on regulated exchanges, and that US energy futures cannot be traded on "unregulated" offshore exchanges, a direct reference to ICE Futures Europe, where more than a third of WTI light sweet crude futures are traded.

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Page 153 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – Obama Campaigning Against Energy Special Interests Now
Obama strongly opposes influence of energy special interests
Platts.com 6-23-8 (Obama calls for tighter regulation on energy markets, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/2.xml, accessed 6-29-8) June 23, 2008 - Senator Barack Obama on June 22 called for tighter regulation of energy markets and speculators as a way to rein in high prices. The presumptive Democratic nominee for president in a statement urged Congress to go beyond steps it took earlier this year to expand the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) authority over energy futures, including closing a "loophole" that allows unregulated trades on offshore exchanges. "For the past years, our energy policy in this country has been simply to let the special interests have their way ..." -- Senator Barack ObamaThe Illinois senator also said he would work with the International Organization of Securities Commissioners to tighten such regulations worldwide. "For the past years, our energy policy in this country has been simply to let the special interests have their way - opening up loopholes for the oil companies and speculators so that they could reap record profits while the rest of us pay $4 a gallon," Obama said. Obama said that speculation has added about $20 to $50 to a barrel of oil. CFTC, however, has said fundamentals of tight supply and higher demand are mainly responsible for record oil prices and that speculators merely follow trends, rather than set them. Obama said his administration would require that US energy futures trade on regulated exchanges, and that US energy futures cannot be traded on "unregulated" offshore exchanges, a direct reference to ICE Futures Europe, where more than a third of WTI light sweet crude futures are traded.

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Page 154 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

Link – McCain Supports Expansion of Drilling
McCain supports expansion of outer continental drilling
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain, for his part, continued his push his plan to open more areas of the OCS to energy development, saying "common sense requires that we draw upon America's own vast reserves of oil and natural gas."

McCain supports offshore drilling
CNN Politics, Election Center 2008, 6-17-8. ("McCain wants to lift ban on oil drilling", http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/17/mccain.energy/, ) (CNN) -- Sen. John McCain on Tuesday proposed lifting the ban on offshore drilling as part of his plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil and help combat rising gas prices. "The stakes are high for our citizens and for our economy," McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president, said at a press conference Tuesday in Houston, Texas. Hours later, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said President Bush on Wednesday will ask Congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling. Bush has long called for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, but Perino said he now wants to go further. "For years, the president has pushed Congress to expand our domestic oil supply, but Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked such action," she said. Earlier in the day, McCain, describing the high price of fuel, confused the cost of gallons versus barrels, which drew laughs from the crowd and the candidate himself. He quickly corrected himself. "And with gasoline running at more than $4 a barrel ... a gallon ... I wish ... $4 a gallon, many do not have the luxury of waiting on the far-off plans of futurists and politicians," he said. "We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use." McCain's plan would let individual states decide whether to explore drilling possibilities. The proposal could put McCain at odds with environmentalists who say it is incongruous with his plans to combat global warning. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a McCain ally, opposes offshore drilling. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist had expressed opposition to exploring coastal waters, but he said this week he supports McCain's plan to lift the moratorium and would not rule out letting his state choose to drill offshore. "It's the last thing in the world I'd like to do, but I also understand what people are paying at the pump, and I understand the drag it is on our economy," Crist told the St. Petersburg Times. "Something has to be done in a responsible, pragmatic way." The current law, which has been in effect since 1981, covers most of the country's coastal waters. Many officials from coastal states oppose offshore drilling because of the risk of oil spills. Environmentalists want offshore drilling to stop to protect oceans and beaches from further pollution. "The next president must be willing to break with the energy policies, not just of the current administration, but the administrations that preceded it, and lead a great national campaign to achieve energy security for America," McCain said Tuesday. McCain on Monday said incentives could possibly be provided for states that choose to permit exploration off their coasts, adding that "exploration is a step toward the longer-term goal."

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Link – McCain Opposes Taxing Oil Companies
McCain will bash the plan – he opposes taxing oil companies
Platts.com, 6-18-8 (McCain campaigns on energy plan, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/3.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain slammed prospective Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama on his proposal to tax windfall profits from oil companies. He said Obama's policy is contradictory given the freshman Illinois senator's support for the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which contained tax breaks for oil companies (see Democratic Party: Energy independence agenda).

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Link – Public Supports Expansion of Drilling
Public supports expansion of offshore drilling
Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer, 7-3-8 (David, CNNMoney.com, “Environmental support dips vs. economy – poll, Americans still say protection should be a priority over the economy, but nearly three in four favor offshore drilling”, http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/03/news/economy/environment_economy/index.htm?cnn=yes, accessed 7-3-8) Still, 73% of the more than 1,000 Americans surveyed from June 26 to 29 said they favored an expansion of offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in protected U.S. waters, even though many environmental advocacy groups have deemed offshore drilling as hazardous to the environment.

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********** Links – Nuclear Power **********

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Link – Nuclear Power – Bush Would Push the Plan
Bush is pushing nuclear power Tertzakian, Chief energy economist of ARC Financial Corporation, 2006
(Peter, A Thousand Barrels a Second: The Coming Oil Break Point and the Challenges Facing an Energy Dependent World, Pg. 196) In the United States, big initiatives are brewing from within the Bush administration to rejuvenate the nuclear power industry by building new power plants. It's going to be a difficult sell, as nuclear power plants have been reviled by the US, public since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. The Ukrainian experience at Chernobyl in 1986 only reinforced deep American anxieties about radiation and nuclear waste. Nevertheless, President Bush is trying to convince a nuclear-leery public that, "It's time for America to start building [nuclear power plants] again."

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Link – Nuclear Power Push Burns Political Capital
Pushing nuclear power now would eviscerate all of Bush’s political capital and cost him his whole agenda Financial Times – 1-26-2005
The Democrats, who view the Franklin D. Roosevelt welfare programmes as an essential part of the party's historic legacy, have so far presented an almost united front against the president's proposals, denying the bipartisan compromise that is needed to secure majorities in Congress. The less monumental items on Mr Bush's agenda are nevertheless controversial, potentially sapping the political capital he earned in the election. These include: immigration reform; an energy bill that will ease the way for building more nuclear power capacity as well as drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; medical liability reform; changes to legal awards for punitive damages; as well as tax cuts and the simplification of the tax code. In the background, the Iraq war continues to drag on Mr Bush's popularity; he enters his second term with the lowest approval rating of any re-elected president in modern history. And that is before Washington starts to do battle on one or more Supreme Court nominations. Chief Justice WilliamRehnquist has been largely absent from the bench since late last year as he receives treatment for cancer, which has prompted speculation about his retirement, his replacement and the reprise of the culture wars likely to occur around the confirmation battle over a conservative appointee. The fact of the matter is that despite the impression given by his 3m vote ad-vantage over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and the apparent lock that the Republicans have on the House of Representatives, as well as the small majority in the Senate, the politics of the US are still highly charged and finely balanced. No sooner had Mr Bush sealed his re-election than political eyes started to focus on the mid-term elections in 2006. Democrats have little hope of winning the House, as the system is skewed towards incumbents. But senators and congressmen looking to stay in office are reluctant to embrace unpopular reforms - notably on social security, but to a lesser extent on medical liability too - with a battle for re-election in 21 months. The politics of the 2008 presidential election will also loom large and early, as neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a clear favourite to carry the party's torch. Instead, a long line of Washington politicians - Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden, Evan Bayh; Republicans including John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Bill Frist and Rick Santorum - will be tempering their language and their votes with an eye to the party primaries. Mr Bush, an instinctive politician, has been acutely aware of the pressures on his second term. Since his re-election, he has made clear that he will have to invest his prestige in his reform proposals if they are to make it past Capitol Hill. In practical terms, this means showing a willingness to compromise on details, reward members of Congress one by one for their support and lend the weight of his celebrity to their re-election efforts. Or, as he puts it, to provide "political cover". Even before his re-election, Mr Bush seemed to appreciate that he had a short and closing window of opportunity. At a meeting with Republican fund-raisers behind closed doors, Mr Bush referred to the imminent danger of becoming a lameduck president. "I'm going to come out strong after my swearing-in," he was quoted as saying, "with fundamental tax reform, tort reform, privatising of Social Security." Victory gives the Republicans "two years, at least, until the next mid-term. We have to move quickly, because after that I'll be quacking like a duck."

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Link – Nuclear Power – Triggers Political Backlash
Federal promotion of nuclear power would be contentious and elicit an overwhelming backlash. Zink, Ph.D., P.E., Contributing Editor, 2003
( John C., Power Engineering, “Clouds Threaten Nuclear Parade”, July, http://pepei.pennnet.com/display_article/181463/6/ARTCL/none/none/1/Clouds-Threaten-Nuclear-Parade/, accessed 7-8-08) With regard to new plant construction, there is also a downside to the positive news. The proposed National Energy Policy provides for financial assistance to those companies willing to exercise the new and untried regulatory process, but the legislation is stalled in Congress. Furthermore, as the country approaches the 2004 elections it becomes less likely that politicians will be willing to tackle such a politically contentious issue. The four participating companies have now made it clear that simply applying for--and receiving--a Construction Permit does not mean they are committed to actually begin new plant construction. Many feel the financial risks are still too great. According to press reports, Progress Energy CEO Bill Cavanaugh told the recent stockholders' meeting that he doesn't think new nuclear power plants will be built in the U.S. until companies receive environmental tax credits for nuclear plants' low emissions. This is what it will take to make companies confident that nuclear operating costs will be competitive with natural gas plants. In spite of the remarkable technical and political progress the Department of Energy has made on the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository, that battle is not yet over. The state of Nevada continues to search for peripheral ways to render the project unworkable, from denying water rights to imposing onerous transportation restrictions. Hopefully, these subterfuges will not fatally wound the project. Nevertheless, they increase costs and create uncertainty. They postpone the day when the nuclear industry has a firm answer to the standard anti-nuclear objection that there is no way to dispose of nuclear waste. The potential for vociferous opposition to all things nuclear stands behind the hesitancy on the part of utility executives and the lack of courage on the part of many politicians. Although the mass media have not given much exposure to anti-nuclear causes of-late, it wouldn't take much for nuclear controversies to again become lead stories on television and in newspapers. The antinuclear propaganda continues unabated just below the surface of the general public's consciousness level: there is no shortage of anti-nuclear Web sites, and nearly all environmental groups remain rabidly anti-nuclear. Industry executives recognize that it would take only one new nuclear power plant project to bring all of this opposition to the forefront.

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Link – Obama Opposes Nuclear Power Expansion
Obama opposes expansion of nuclear power
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) Obama, in his speech, also blasted McCain's recent proposal to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030, saying the US has still not "figured out a way to story the waste in a safe and effective manner." Obama's comments were well received in Nevada, where most residents oppose the Energy Department's plan to entomb nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site about 100 miles North of Las Vegas.

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Link – Anti-Nuclear Lobby Will Hold Obama Accountable
Anti-nuclear power lobby expect Obama to stick with them against nuclear power
Feltman, Radnor Geopolitical Reports, 7-5-8 (Kenneth E., “Can Obama Pay the Pump Price” Etalkinghead: An Online Political News Magazine. July 5. http://www.etalkinghead.com/archives/can-obama-pay-the-pump-price-2008-07-05.html date accessed: July 6, 2008) The meeting was depressing, sometimes frightening. True believers are always a bit grim and these anti-nuclear energy zealots were no exception. They refused to listen to anyone who suggested that nuclear power could be part of the solution to America's continuing energy crisis. Several times, they cited Presidential Candidate Barack Obama as a friend in their campaign to prevent not just expansion of nuclear energy but also to prevent increased production of oil and natural gas. They loudly opposed any further drilling in Alaska or off the coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico. They called for excess profits taxes on oil companies and the automobile industry. They went further. The United States was not the only country singled out for emotional criticism. Sweden was accused of burying its nuclear waste in a negligent way that allows radioactive material to bleed out of the soil and into the Baltic sea where it endangers its neighbors as it washes ashore. France, they claim, is so careless in regulating nuclear power facilities that all of Europe may someday disappear in a giant fireball. Norway and Scotland were charged with spilling oil into the sea, threatening the shores of neighboring countries. When is a flip not a flop? The charges are untrue. But the anti-nuke crowd did not care. They were preaching to each other. Still, some people may have to listen as the campaign heats up. Obama must listen. He is a target and an ally of the anti-nuke, anti-drilling crowd. He has a problem because as good as the alternative energy advocates make solar power, wind power and ethanol sound, those energy sources have problems, too. Nobody thinks that solar and wind power can replace petroleum anytime soon. Ethanol is questioned by an ever-growing number of people. For the near future at least, we are stuck with oil.

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Link – Democrats Oppose Nuclear Power
Democrats oppose nuclear power Las Vegas Review-Journal, Editorial, 2008
(“Democrats and gasoline prices”, April 28, Pg. 6B) To march us in their preferred direction and curry favor with radical environmentalists, Democrats have for years killed any new effort to develop our own domestic oil resources or to build green- friendly nuclear power plants. This nation has not built a new oil refinery in 25 years.

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Link – Public Opposition to Nuclear Power
Politicians and the American public are distrustful of nuclear power Cohan, Associate Editor of the New Atlantis, 2004
(Stephanie, The New Atlantis, “Energy Dreams and Energy Realities”, Spring, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/energydreams-and-energy-realities, accessed 7-9-08) This points to a second salient fact in the history of energy technology: the quest for an endless, stainless, and guiltless source of energy. For a time, some people thought nuclear power might be the answer -- it produced no emissions, involved limited purging of the earth's resources, and seemed almost magical in the extent of power it could produce. In 1973, 41 nuclear power plants were ordered for construction in the United States, a one-year record. But the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania devastated the nation's nuclear energy industry. Although no one suffered injuries, the image of nuclear power was permanently tarnished, and the American faith in nuclear technology has never fully been restored. Still, the debate over nuclear energy remains a crucial one -- far too significant to be handled adequately here. Many countries around the world (especially in Europe) rely extensively on nuclear power as a national energy source; many American conservatives have attempted to spur a "nuclear revival"; but in the end, the ire of American environmentalists and fears about nuclear weapons proliferation mean that nuclear power will not, at least for now, be the guiltless source of fuel America longs for.

Public opposition prevents the continued expansion of nuclear energy Hillman et al, Senior fellow Policy Institute in London, 2007
(Mayer, The Suicidal Planet: How to Prevent Climate Catastrophe, Pg. 101-102) The United States is the world’s largest user of nuclear energy. In 2005, there were 104 reactors providing 20 percent of the country's electricity supply. However, the expansion of nuclear power has been limited since the Chernobyl reactor explosion of 1986 and the less serious accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, which led to the cancellation of over 100 reactor orders. No nuclear plants have come online since 1996. However these incidents have not stopped governments and the nuclear industry in recent years from promoting a revived program of construction.

Strong public opposition to the expansion of nuclear power Salvador, Professor of Petroleum Geology University of Texas, 2005
(Amos, Energy: A Historical Perspective and 21st Century Forecast, Pg. 96) However, there are serious reasons for concern about nuclear power plants. Most worrisome problems are the disposal of the high-level radioactive waste (HLW), the product of the operation of nuclear reactors; the radioactivity of the plutonium generated as a result of the fission reaction, particularly in the case of the breeder reactors; and the possibility that the availability of the high-grade plutonium may increase the possibility of the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Because of these concerns, intensely scrutinized and widely publicized in the press, television, and journals are stridently magnified by vocal environmental organizations, there is now a lack of public confidence in nuclear power. Mistaken public perception of the reality of nuclear power has resulted in a strong opposition to the increase in electric generation in nuclear plants.

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Link – Political Opposition to Nuclear Power
Politicians reluctant to be branded as “pro-nuclear energy” Salvador, Professor of Petroleum Geology University of Texas, 2005
(Amos, Energy: A Historical Perspective and 21st Century Forecast, Pg. 96) Beck (1999) summarizes the situation by stating: “The worldwide future of nuclear energy is a highly disputed subject; one side is certain that nuclear energy will have to expand in the next century to meet energy demand, whereas the other side is equally certain that this energy form is too dangerous and uneconomical to be of long-term use.” He adds: “Both sides believe so strongly in the logic of their case that they see the opposition as either illogical or deliberately untruthful, and therefore, not worth talking to…Both parties try to convince the public that their position is correct, and it has to be said that in most democratic countries the antinuclear lobbies seem to have been more convincing. Although this has convinced only a few governments to withdraw form the production of nuclear energy, it has made politicians reluctant to be seen to support nuclear power, so that decisions that are needed, such as the destination of nuclear waste, are not made; thus, the industry is drifting.

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Link – Nuclear – Political Opposition to Reprocessing
Political opposition to siting reprocessing plants Coplan, Associate Professor of Law Pace University, 2006
(Karl S., “The Intercivilizational Inequities Of Nuclear Power Weighed Against the Intergenerational Inequities of Carbon Based Energy”, Fordham Environmental Law Review, Volume: 17, Pg. 240) Congress has obliged the DOE proposal by providing $ 50 million for research and development of these reprocessing technologies. Nevertheless, experts on nuclear waste reprocessing remain skeptical. Success for this reprocessing proposal would require the siting and construction of a series of reprocessing facilities and nearby dedicated nuclear power plants. The new power plants would have to be near to the reprocessing facilities because the plutonium fuel would be so dangerous that it could not safely be transported. Siting such facilities is likely to be a political impossibility.

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Link – McCain Supports Nuclear Energy Incentives
McCain supports nuclear energy incentives
Garber, U.S. News & World Report, 7-21-8 (Kent, US News & World Report, “Protecting Mother Nature”, Pg. 29 Vol. 145 No. 2) McCain, though he tends to oppose incentives for alternative energy, does not discount them altogether. He is a strong proponent of nuclear energy, which receives about $4 billion a year in federal support. He recently called for the construction of 45 nuclear reactors by 2030, perhaps as many as 100. "Clearly, Senator McCain sees nuclear power as one of the most critical parts of his energy policy, given that it produces 20 percent of electricity in the U.S. and doesn't produce greenhouse gases," says Scott Peterson of the Nuclear Energy Institute. Obama says nuclear energy deserves "a place at the table," but he has embraced it more hesitantly, citing unresolved concerns about waste disposal.

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Link - Republicans Support Nuclear Power
Republicans are nuclear power hacks – energy bill proves Kriz, National Journal environmental writer, 2003
(Margaret, “Still Radioactive”, National Journal, Volume: 35, October 4) With private investors unwilling to open their wallets to stoke the nuclear power industry, Uncle Sam is under pressure to loosen his purse strings. Leading congressional Republicans want the energy bill now in conference committee to include sweeteners for the nuclear power industry's potential investors. The comprehensive energy strategy is expected to include an energy-production tax credit and other tax incentives to build nuclear plants in the future. The bill currently includes $1.1 billion for the creation of an experimental nuclear reactor that would produce electricity and hydrogen. Congress is also expected to use the energy measure to extend the Price-Anderson Act, which caps at $10 billion the industry's liability in the event of a nuclear accident or attack. Nuclear power advocates are pushing for language that would require the Energy Department to study the feasibility of building commercial reactors on federal property.

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Link – Congress Supports Nuclear Power Loan Guarantees
Congress supports loan guarantees for nuclear power Pope, The Oregonian, 2007
(Charles, “Climate change reheats interest in nuclear power”, December 30, Pg. A1) Nuclear's resurgence came into clear view as Congress struggled to pass a giant spending bill before Christmas. Included in the bill was $20.5 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear energy. That's twice as much as was given for renewable energy.

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Link – Public Supports Nuclear Power
Public support for nuclear power increasing
CNS News, September 28, 2007, Even so, recent polling data show that more and more Americans are receptive to the idea of nuclear power as are some key environmental figures, such as Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore. In recent congressional testimony, Moore expressed strong support for nuclear energy as a viable, environmentally safe option.

Nuclear power enjoys its strongest political support in 30 years Kriz, National Journal environmental writer, 2003
(Margaret, “Still Radioactive”, National Journal, Volume: 35, October 4) Through aggressive public-relations campaigns, the industry has neutralized the fervent public opposition to nuclear power that developed after the Three Mile Island accident and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in what was then the Soviet Union. The United Nations estimates that the Chernobyl meltdown -- the world's worst nuclear disaster -- caused about 25,000 deaths and 1,800 cases of thyroid cancer in children. That Ukrainian accident has also been blamed for countless birth defects. The U.S. nuclear industry is enjoying its strongest political support in Washington in 30 years. The Republican leadership in Congress firmly supports it. Domenici, one of nuclear power's most steadfast friends, has vowed to use his chairmanship to breathe new life into an industry that he sees as a source of clean, safe, reliable energy. Domenici's House counterpart, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin, R-La., shares that perspective. The Bush administration enthusiastically backs nuclear power, featuring it prominently in its May 2001 National Energy Policy report. In early 2002, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham formally approved Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a permanent storage site for the nation's commercial nuclear waste. Congress subsequently gave its blessing to that decision. Nuclear power industry officials see approval of the Yucca Mountain facility as critical to reassuring the public, as well as state officials, that nuclear power plants will not become permanent dumps for the 45,000 metric tons of radioactive waste now in "temporary" storage there.

Public opinion on nuclear power has swung – it’s popular now
Power Engineering, October 1, 2003, p. online According to the American Nuclear Society and other sources, public opinion polls have turned around on nuclear power, with 6070% of the American public favorably disposed toward the clean power provided by nuclear reactors. As former FERC commissioner Branko Terzic put it at the Deloitte Energy Conference recently,

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Link – Nuclear Power Has Political Support
Nuclear power has strong political support in Washington and with the public Worthington, Executive director U.S. Energy Association, 2003
(Barry K., “Where does the future of energy lie?”, The World and I, Volume: 18, November 1, Pg. 32) A new political imperative is emerging from the grass roots up. Americans are indicating that they in fact do want affordable, abundant, and reliable supplies of energy. They want the environment protected. They also want prices to be competitive, so that manufacturers can afford to keep production lines running and not export U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. Reassessing the consequences, intended and unintended, of actions (and inaction) is necessary and has been under way. A reappraisal of policy options has led to some coalitions unheard of only a few years ago. It started at WSS In September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the auspices of the United Nations. WSSD highlighted the reality that upward of one-third of the earth's population has no access to commercial supplies of energy. Two billion people were doomed to repeated generations of poverty. Zero chance exists for these individuals to grasp even the lowest rung on the ladder of economic and social progress. Development experts, social and political scientists, international policymakers, and environmentalists came to realize that only conventional energy technology and greatly expanded fossil fuel utilization could meaningfully address the plight that energy poverty presented. Even nuclear power was recognized for the contribution it could provide. As reality has set in, the experts have come to understand that a future based exclusively on renewable energy will shortchange the world's poor. Recognition that the global energy future must be based on low-cost rather than high-cost fuels, on abundance, not scarcity, and on widespread availability, not a scenario of plentifulness for some and zero availability for others, has led to a major rethinking of energy options. These truths, coupled with an ever-growing global awareness of the value in protecting our natural ecosystems, present a new road map. Advanced technological developments will allow future generations to utilize the world's abundant supplies of uranium and fossil fuels. New nuclear technologies offer the promise of flexibility, modularity, and duplication of design not previously fully exploited. Nuclear power remains the single largest emission-free energy supply today. About 20 percent of electricity in the United States is generated by nuclear power. Steady improvements in plant efficiency, availability, and reliability have contributed to meeting America's growing energy needs. Numerous nuclear plants are lowcost producers, contributing to economic vitality and stability of electricity prices. Countless American jobs in manufacturing have been preserved by the availability of safe, reliable, and economical kilowatt-hours of nuclear generation. Public opinion polls indicate strong support for nuclear power. A clear majority of Americans support both operation of existing plants and use of advanced technology for new plants. Political support for nuclear continues to grow. Policymakers believe the nuclear power option provides energy security from import disruptions. Individuals and groups concerned about global climate change see nuclear energy as "carbon free." Nuclear power and building new hydroelectric facilities are the only options currently available to provide energy in high volumes to an energy-starved world without increasing atmospheric emissions.

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Link – Nuclear Power Has Political Support
Domenici supports nuclear power Kriz, National Journal environmental writer, 2003
(Margaret, “Still Radioactive”, National Journal, Volume: 35, October 4) Earlier this year, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., advocated offering $15 billion in loan guarantees to encourage companies to build a new generation of nuclear plants. He also sought to require the federal government to help guarantee the profitability of new reactors by signing long-term contracts to buy power at premium prices. He dropped those proposals, however, at the insistence of fiscally conservative Republicans.

Bush and the GOP are strong nuclear power supporters Lewis, Environment News Service, 2004
(Sunny, “Environment, what environment?”, September 1, http://www.alternet.org/environment/19759, accessed 7-9-08) Nuclear power finds ample support in the Republican camp. It "provides America with affordable, emissions-free energy. We believe nuclear power can help reduce our dependence on foreign energy and play an invaluable role in addressing global climate change." President Bush "supports construction of new nuclear power plants through the Nuclear Power 2010 initiative, and continues to move forward on creating an environmentally sound nuclear waste repository," the platform says, referring to the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada for which the Department of Energy is preparing a license application.

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********** Links – Other **********

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Link – McCain Supports Smart Metering
McCain supports smart meter technology
Cash, Platts, 6-24-8 (Cathy, Platts.com, “Obama and McCain clash over energy policy”, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/index.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain, meanwhile, called June 24 for a transformation of the national electric grid, saying the system needs to expand to eventually allow low-carbon sources of generation to power electric cars. McCain said "smart meter" technologies will have to be deployed as part of a "redesign" of the grid to spur efficiencies and conservation. The meters, when used in conjunction with time-based rate plans or dynamic pricing options, allow consumers to adjust their consumption and reduce peak demand in response to prices. "Our national power transmission system has not been built to match supply and demand," the Arizona Republican said at a campaign stop in Santa Barbara, California. "The result is an excess of power where it's not needed, and a shortage of power where it is needed."

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Link – Greenwashing
Companies greenwash their image to make fossil fuel use pass as “green”
Ridgeway, Mother Jones Washington Bureau senior correspondent, 8 (James, 5-1-8, MotherJones.com, “Scrubbing King Coal,” http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/05/scrubbing-king-coal.html, accessed 7-17-8) "We need to be really cautious of what we're putting into our cars," explains a slacker dude. "What we're doing is really messing things up. We need to make that change." As portentous music swells, an animated sun blooms into a yellow and green flower. The lovely sentiment is brought to you by BP, which since 2000 has touted its "Beyond Petroleum" identity with a multimilliondollar ad campaign as well as a pledge to spend $8 billion on "alternative energy" by 2015. But the reality is a bit more complex than the commercials suggest. Of the $3 billion the company will spend for 2006-2008, only about half is going toward wind and solar, with the rest dedicated to more dubious alternatives like synthetic gas made from petroleum. By comparison, in 2006 alone, BP's capital expenditures on oil and gas exploration, production, refining, and marketing came to $16.2 billion; its revenues were $274 billion, and its profits $22 billion. BP may be the most audacious practitioner of fossil greenwashing, but it is hardly the only one. Shell has invested big in such environmentally devastating ventures as the Canadian tar sands and liquefied natural gas while making only modest forays into wind energy, solar, and hydrogen fuel cells—a total investment of about $1 billion as of 2006. Meanwhile, Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, an industry-funded coal advocacy group, has been running ads with slogans like "Our commitment goes beyond clean." And in 2005, GE announced its "ecomagination" campaign, which included a TV commercial featuring buff, sweaty models posing as coal miners and the voice-over, "Harnessing the power of coal is looking more beautiful every day." Across the board, the companies that control fossil fuels have begun to respond to rising concern about global warming with what amounts to a three-point strategy: First, make small overtures toward developing renewable energy, and milk them for maximum PR value. Second, invest more generously in carbon-based "alternative energy" that gets passed off as green. Third, invoke the goal of energy independence to pump, mine, transport, and sell more and more of the same old fuels to an ever-hungrier market. One of the slipperiest tactics involves redefining what constitutes clean energy. In a 2006 report, the oil-industry-friendly Institute for Energy Research said that U.S. oil and gas companies had invested $98 billion in "emerging energy technologies" in North America from 2000 to 2005. But the vast majority of this funding went to develop "frontier hydrocarbons"—new, often filthy methods of producing more oil and gas. In fact, a report from the Center for American Progress found that between 2001 and 2007, a period of unprecedented profits, the top five private oil companies spent an average of just one-half of one percent of total profits on renewable fuels. (BP and Shell topped the list at 1.2 percent; ExxonMobil occupied the bottom at 0.)

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Link – Interest Groups
Interest group involvement ensures plan is politically costly
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 74) A final impediment to the exercise of presidential power is the impact of interest groups and social movements on domestic politics and the governmental process. The United States contains thousands and thousands of groups organized to promote their own goals and interests, regardless of what the president believes or wants. These groups utilize all avenues available to them in making their views known and promoting their interests, including influencing Congress, members of the executive branch bureaucracy, the media, and the American public. Presidents who attempt to change aspects of public policy find resistance not only within the federal bureaucracy and Congress but throughout society from groups that are quite comfortable with the status quo. At the same time, many social movements and groups demand changes in governmental policy that, if opposed by the president, may result in the creation of political antagonists or enemies. Interest groups and social movements tend to be more visible when it comes to domestic issues, but as discussed in chapter 16, they have grown in importance in the area of foreign policy as well, thus complicating the lives of presidents even further.

Interest groups wield clout in the political process
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 445) Interest groups and social movements influence the domestic political environment and the governmental policymaking process in a number of ways. First and most well-known, groups usually “lobby” policymakers involved in the policy process. This is done by providing information and money, as well as mobilizing followers to provide support or cause political trouble. Second, the same techniques are used to influence domestic politics more generally, including the political agenda, public beliefs and behavior, and electoral politics. Third, members of some groups, especially those that are well established and have close relationships with government agencies and personnel, are consulted often by and actually participate with policymakers in the policy process. Fourth, well-established groups also tend to serve as important sources of political recruitment for official positions within government. As was discussed in chapter 5, major presidential appointees usually come from business, law, and academia. Finally, groups that are extremely active internationally, such as multinational corporations, affect U.S. foreign policy and the policymaking process because of their visibility and activities abroad.

Public cynicism ensures vocal interest groups strongly influence foreign policy-making
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 441-2) Second, current political campaigning and electioneering methods are losing the interest of the American public. Many observers attribute the low voter turnouts to such things as difficult registration requirements, the demands of everyday life, and even general satisfaction with public policy. There is some truth to these explanations, but the tremendous drop in public trust of government officials and decline in citizen political efficacy since the 1960s also suggest that there are too many elections, too much politicking and manipulation, and too few concrete results for people’s lives. In other words, the public has acquired a high degree of cynicism about the nature of American politics, including party and electoral politics. If low voter turnout is explained by factors other than public satisfaction, it raises serious questions about the democratic nature of a political system in which only a minority of the citizenry participates in electoral politics. This general perception of the declining relevance of political parties and low participation in electoral politics also contributes to the growing importance of social movements and interest groups in the politics of U.S. foreign policy, the subject of the next chapter.

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Link – AT – No Perception
Salience ensures a link – policies that are salient with the public receive congressional scrutiny
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 309-11) The third pattern to consider is that Congress is the ultimate political body within the U.S. government. Members of Congress are “political animals” who are preoccupied with their institutional status and power, their electoral security, and how they are perceived within and beyond the Washington beltway. They tend to be obsessed with reelection and are constantly soliciting funds from private contributors for reelection campaigns. A preoccupation with reelection also makes them overly sensitive to public perceptions, political support, political trends, and their public images. If the public and their constituents are interested in an issue and have staked out a position, members of Congress tend to reflect the dominant public mood. If the public is uninterested, members of Congress have more freedom of action; yet they are constantly pressured by the president, executive agencies, congressional colleagues, special interest groups, and their constituents.

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********** Credit/Blame **********

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Credit/Blame – AT – Dems Won’t Get Credit/Blame/Bush Would Push the Plan
Bush won’t push the plan – he’s refusing to push energy conservation measures
McClatchy Newspapers, 7-16-8 (Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee), p. A10) WASHINGTON -- President Bush tried Tuesday to calm consumers who are worried about rising energy prices and the nation's shaky financial markets, saying that the financial system is "basically sound." And although he said he sympathized with the plight of people battered by energy prices, he refused to use his bully pulpit to demand specific conservation measures. "They're smart enough to figure out whether they're going to drive less or not," Bush said of the American public. At his first news conference since late April, the president also said that while he understood the country's jitters over the staggering economy, record energy prices and a slumping housing market, he wasn't inclined to take any dramatic steps. "There is no short-term solution," Bush said, referring to energy prices. Bush's chief mission Tuesday seemed to be reassuring the public that times aren't as grim as they may seem. "I think the system is basically sound, I truly do," he said. "I understand there's a lot of nervousness."

Bush won’t push conservation
McClatchy Newspapers, 7-16-8 (Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee), p. A10) The president emphasized, as he has repeatedly in the past, that no single act can suddenly bring down energy prices. "You just can't say, 'low gas,"' he said. "It took us a while to get here, and we need to have a good strategy to get out of it." Bush refused to urge consumers to use less energy, however. "It's interesting what the price of gasoline has done, is it caused people to drive less," he said. "That's why they want smaller cars. They want to conserve. But the consumer's plenty bright ... the marketplace works."

Bush won’t push the plan – he’s pushing everything but renewables
Investor's Business Daily, editorial, 7-16-8 (“Ball Squarely In Congress' Court”, p. A11) He envisaged a future of battery-powered cars, while making the realistic point that "it's not going to happen overnight" and highlighting the need for more nuclear power "to make us less dependent on oil and better stewards of the environment." But he also refused to play the role of national nanny calling for less consumption. "The consumer is plenty bright," he said. "That's why I was so much in favor of letting them keep more of their own money." [Note: He = President Bush]

Bush won’t push energy conservation measures
Crawley, Reuters, 7-16-8 (John, Reuters, Bush: Conserve fuel, don't expect GM bailout, http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssConsumerGoodsAndRetailNews/idUKN1529157320080715, accessed 7-16-8) Bush touted last year's energy law that requires 40 percent auto fuel efficiency gains by 2020. He also urged Americans to conserve fuel but rejected any suggestion that he launch a national campaign to reduce energy use. "I think people ought to conserve and be wise about how they use gasoline and energy, absolutely," he said, stressing that consumers are "smart enough" to figure out how far they want to drive.

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Credit/Blame – Democrats Would Be Accountable for Plan
Energy ball in Democrats’ court – Bush has put burden on them to take action
Investor's Business Daily, editorial, 7-16-8 (“Ball Squarely In Congress' Court”, p. A11) Leadership: Policy paralysis in Washington keeps fuel prices high and the economy sluggish. The Democratic-controlled Congress refuses to act -- which means the voters may act against it come November. President Bush has begun a bully pulpit offensive demanding that Congress act regarding today's high energy costs. We like what we hear. "Now the ball is squarely in Congress' court," he said Monday, calling for "legislation to facilitate responsible offshore exploration."

Bush gauntlet on energy puts the pressure on Democrats
Kaminsky, Human Events contributor and conservative writer, 7-16-8 (Ross, “Republicans' Drilling Plus”, http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=27544, accessed 7-16-8) Monday, President Bush lifted the Executive Order blocking offshore drilling, throwing down a gauntlet daring the Congress not to follow suit. "Today I've taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration of the OCS (Outer Continental Shelf). This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action by the U.S. Congress." A Congressional ban remains in place, meaning that while Bush's action is to some degree symbolic it nevertheless puts tremendous pressure on the Democratic leadership in Congress. President Bush clearly knows he’s struck a rich vein which could benefit not only his approval ratings but electoral chances for Republicans across the nation: “The time for action is now. This is a difficult period for millions of American families. Every extra dollar they have to spend because of high gas prices is one dollar less they can use to put food on the table or send a child to school. And they are rightly angered by Congress' failure to enact common-sense solutions….The American people are watching the numbers climb higher and higher at the pump -- and they're waiting to see what the Congress will do.”

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Credit/Blame – AT – McCain Gets Credit for Plan
McCain can’t get credit from the plan – only blame – his support for alternative energy gets lost amid his oil-business-as-usual policies
Dickerson, Slate Chief Political Correspondent, 6-18-8 (John, Slate Magazine, "Straightening Out McCain's Straight Talk", Lexis) I felt as though I were in a time machine as I listened to John McCain 's aides detail how to run against Barack Obama. Enhanced Coverage Linking I could have been on the phone with Bush aides in 2000 talking about McCain: He survives on the strength of his rhetoric; the press that follows him each day doesn't challenge him but serves merely to record his historic rise; the standards of coverage for the two candidates are different. Tuesday brought more frustration for Team McCain. A carefully planned two-week rollout of the candidate's energy plan was in danger before he'd given the kickoff speech. The message was supposed to be that McCain was offering a multifaceted plan to wean the United States off foreign oil. Among his proposals was an unartful call to end the federal ban on offshore drilling-a reversal of his position in 2000. But instead of talking about biofuels and hydroelectric cars, the campaign found itself fighting charges of flip-flopping opportunism. The wobbly start of the GOP candidate's push on energy raised the possibility that the whole thing might topple-just like his previous efforts to get voters to compare him and Barack Obama side by side. Earlier this month, campaign aides tried having McCain deliver a speech on the night when Obama clinched the nomination. It was a disaster. A funky green background, a small crowd, and a weak delivery buried McCain's argument that he has a record of reform and leadership where Obama just has promises. Then the campaign suggested a series of 10 town halls to put the two men onstage together. The more free-flowing format was supposed to play to McCain's strength of talking off the cuff. Obama, recognizing this, has accepted only a watered-down set of appearances. It looks as if none of it's going to happen. The energy plan was supposed to showcase both McCain's boldness in facing hard problems and his party-challenging, solutionsoriented approach. An ad released along with the kickoff speech heralded the fight McCain had with his party five years ago over whether to confront the challenges of global warming. (Did I mention that today was supposed to be about being bold?) Instead, critics won ammunition for a line of attack they've been pushing for the last year and a half. "I think John McCain has exhibited the ongoing debate in his own campaign between John McCain and John McCain, " said John Kerry, no doubt relishing the chance to tar a Republican with the brush that killed him. "You don't know what he means on torture, taxes, tolerance of Jerry Falwell, changed on drilling. ... Here you have a flip-flop by John McCain, flipping to the right and then flipping backward." Whether this bungled start does sustained damage depends on the durability of McCain's Straight Talk brand. Though his aides admit the rollout isn't going as planned, they think the Arizona senator can risk taking a hit on flip-flopping. Voters can be convinced that drilling is the only medium-term solution, and with 80 percent of respondents in a recent Washington Post/ABC poll saying gas prices worry them, they may care less about his flip-flopping than about lowering even the current price of oil. Plus, Obama recently (and accidentally) said that higher oil prices wouldn't bother him if they came about slowly. So, McCain gets to paint his opponent as being out of touch with the woes of regular folks. This should help McCain make up a 16-point deficit in polls showing that people trust Obama more on the economy. There's a risk here, too, though: John Kerry reeled off a pretty good list of McCain reversals. You can add McCain's evolution on issues like the estate tax-or the snafus that come from his fatigue, his light familiarity with new policy details, and the probability that when you talk all day long to reporters, you're going to slip up sometimes. At some point, the list of slip-sliding becomes too long for voters. They'll no longer buy the argument that they should overlook McCain's inconsistencies because they can trust him in the end to do the principled and honest thing. Voters consistently tell pollsters they want change, which means they want politicians who do business differently. People may not stick around long enough to hear McCain's energy-plan details if Barack Obama can make his opponent's drilling proposal look like a business-as-usual sop to oil companies.

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Credit/Blame – McCain Will Play the Energy Card
McCain will grandstand on the plan – he will seize on energy as election issue
Senator Boxer, California Democrat, 6-29-8 (Barbara, http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080629/NEWS07/806290307/1006/news01, accessed 6-29-8) And yet in recent weeks, President Bush and Sen. John McCain have proposed that we put our coastline and economy in peril and lift those longstanding moratoria in order to give more access to oil companies who already hold millions of acres of federal leases they have yet to drill. This proposal to open our majestic, unspoiled coastline is wrong for California and it's a phony solution to a real problem. First, according to the Bush administration's own Energy Information Administration, expanding offshore oil drilling would not affect prices at the pump for 20 years. In fact, more than 80 percent of the oil available in the Outer Continental Shelf is in regions that are already open to leasing. In addition, oil companies hold 68 million acres of leases onshore and offshore that they have not developed. If tapped, those leases could produce an estimated 4.8 million barrels of oil a day - six times what the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would produce at its peak. The offshore oil drilling proposal, much like the gas tax holiday gimmick Sen. McCain rolled out earlier this year, is nothing more than an election year stunt designed to tap into the real pain Americans are feeling at the gas pump. Sen. McCain, who had supported the moratoria, even admitted last Monday that offshore drilling wouldn't offer Americans any immediate relief, but that he believes it would provide a positive "psychological impact."

McCain will play the energy card to score points with middle class voters
Platts.com, 6-18-8 (McCain campaigns on energy plan, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/3.xml, accessed 6-29-8) June 18, 2008 - Senator John McCain made a plea to middle-class US voters June 18 by pushing his energy policy plan founded on more offshore oil drilling and nuclear power (see Republican Party: Energy issues) . The presumptive Republican candidate for president has been courting swing voters by emphasizing his ideas for bringing down gasoline costs, now above $4/gallon. "The price of oil is too high, and the supply of oil is too uncertain." -- Senator John McCain"Working Americans rightly believe their government has a duty to finally assure the energy security of this country," he said in remarks prepared for a speech in Missouri.

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Credit/Blame – Democrats Get Energy Crisis Blame
Bush will blame Congress for gas prices because of opposition to drilling
Hunt, Associated Press, 7-14-8 (Terence, The Huffington Post, “Bush, Congress, Both?: Who's To Blame For Energy Prices?”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/14/bush-congress-both-whos-t_n_112492.html, accessed 7-14-8) WASHINGTON — President Bush on Saturday tried to pin the blame on Congress for soaring energy prices and said lawmakers need to lift long-standing restrictions on drilling for oil in pristine lands and offshore tracts believed to hold huge reserves of fuel. "It's time for members of Congress to address the pain that high gas prices are causing our citizens," the president said. "Every extra dollar that American families spend because of high gas prices is one less dollar they can use to put food on the table or send a child to college. The American people deserve better." With gasoline prices above $4 a gallon, Bush and his Republican allies think Americans are more willing to allow drilling offshore and in an Alaska wildlife refuge that environmentalists have fought successfully for decades to protect. Nearly half the people surveyed by the Pew Research Center in late June said they now consider energy exploration and drilling more important than conservation, compared with a little over a third who felt that way only five months ago. The sharpest shift in attitude came among political liberals.

Bush will tag Democrats with the blame for energy crisis
Hunt, Associated Press, 7-14-8 (Terence, The Huffington Post, “Bush, Congress, Both?: Who's To Blame For Energy Prices?”, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/14/bush-congress-both-whos-t_n_112492.html, accessed 7-14-8) Bush said that Democrats are at fault and that "Americans are increasingly frustrated with Congress' failure to take action. "One of the factors driving up high gas prices is that many of our oil deposits here in the United States have been put off-limits for exploration and production. Past efforts to meet the demand for oil by expanding domestic resources have been repeatedly rejected by Democrats in Congress." Bush repeated his call for Congress to lift the restrictions, including a ban on offshore drilling. A succession of presidents from George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton to the current president have sided against drilling in these waters as has Congress each year for 27 years, seeking to protect beaches and coastal states' tourism economies.

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Internal Link – Flip Floppers Win
A well-calculated flip flop projects strength
Harris, Politico.com editor-in-chief, 7-14-8 (John, Bryant Park Project, NPR, “Politicians: Flip-Flopping Or Changing Their Minds?”, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92510153, accessed 7-14-8) Can politicians change positions without being accused of the now familiar criticism that they are flip-flopping? Take, for example, Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. When he announced at the beginning of the month that he would be making his second visit to the war-torn country, he said that he would be making a "thorough assessment" of the situation while he was there, adding, "I'm sure I'll have more information and continue to refine my policy." That immediately opened him up to questions about whether he would alter his position that, as president, he would take the United States out of Iraq within 16 months of his election. John Harris, editor-in-chief of Politico.com, says it is possible for politicians to change their stands without being perceived as flipfloppers, but he says it depends on the issue, the political climate, and the agility of the politician. Obama is walking a line, he says, and if he is going to change his position, "it will tell us about how skillful a politician he really is." McCain has what is perhaps the flip side of the flip-flop question on Iraq. Harris says that McCain, long identified as a strong supporter of the war, "knows that he's sort of exposed on this issue." Harris says McCain won't try to alter his position substantially. Instead, he says, McCain will highlight his support of the war head-on: "Rather than trying to talk his way out of the issue or downplay the issue, he's going to say, 'Look, let's have an argument about Iraq and who's been right over this past year about the surge." On the issue of the war in Iraq, says Harris, he thinks most Americans have already made up their minds, deciding that the war was a mistake in the first place. These voters, says Harris, don't look at whether the war is going well for the U.S. on any particular month. "At least, that's what Barack Obama will hope," Harris says. Harris believes that the American public will allow politicians to change their positions, but only under the correct circumstances. "On the one hand," he says, "we don't want politicians who look just nakedly expedient, totally transparent — they're flipfloppers." He says that there are many times when the electorate will admire politicians who change their positions: "They're flexible, they're shrewd, they're willing to stand up to the extremists in their own party, and they're willing to fight for maneuvering room." "I believe that with the exception of the most ideologically committed partisans, most voters are not that worked up about flipflops," says Harris. "They know that situations change, politicians change their mind. What they are looking for is strength, and the key is projecting strength." "Strength can be consistency," says Harris. "It can also be judgment."

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********** Obama Internals **********

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Internal Link – Political Capital Key to Obama
Political capital key to Obama – he has to pick and choose his battles to preserve his leadership
Wilson, Skynews Business Editor, 7-7-8. (Mike, New Mexico Daily Lobo, "Column: Flip-flopping won't hurt Obama", http://media.www.dailylobo.com/media/storage/paper344/news/2008/07/07/Opinion/Column.FlipFlopping.Wont.Hurt.Obama3388451.shtml, accessed 7-7-8) Editorial boards across the nation have come together in condemnation of Sen. Barack Obama's "flip-flop" decision to abide by public financing for his presidential campaign. Though he did not unequivocally vow to follow it, the presumed Democratic nominee repeatedly proffered strong support for public financing, promised to "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election" and later declared he would "sit down with Sen. John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody" in a meeting that never occurred. On June 19, in a video to his supporters, Obama explained that he made this decision in order to combat the anticipated 527 Republican attack ads and move past the current "broken" system, since a large amount of small donors could achieve success while removing his campaign from the influence of special interests. But could this flop possibly damage Obama in the same way that John Kerry suffered from flip-flopitis in 2004? Fortunately for Democrats - and unfortunately for Republicans - it won't. The public financing system matters little to the average voter. Unless there are salacious details related to cigar or golf club transactions in return for business investments, mention of public financing tends to fall on deaf ears. For most Democrats, having the money advantage for once just feels too good to merit a public denunciation. And Republicans can't clamor too loudly because they're just as eager to get rid of campaign finance reform. Further, the tag of being a flip-flopper just won't have the same connotation or effect it did in 2004. McCain recently flip-flopped on the policy of the opening of unleased public lands to oil drilling after changing his mind on the Bush tax cuts. Furthermore, throughout this campaign, the public hasn't really paid attention to Obama's shifts, such as his support for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill, even though it carries a provision he promised to filibuster, or his retreat from a protectionist stance on NAFTA. With his vote against the Iraq War and the political success of his refusal to support McCain and Hillary Clinton's "gas tax holiday," Obama has earned enough "strong leadership" currency to last quite a while. Criticism from editorialists and the Republican camp argue that Obama's switches betray his rhetoric of change. No matter. As many have said, the change candidate in a change election will win. McCain, for his maverick past, is too firmly ensconced within the policies of the last eight years to be the change candidate. The American response to the ever-changing minds of politicians doesn't exist with the same vitriol it did in 2004, when being seen as a flip-flopper was tantamount to being a slimy wuss without a backbone. After dealing with Bush's hard-headed stubbornness for the last eight years, the ability to change one's mind is no longer such an immediate cause for disapproval. After all, there's a reason the Ralph Naders and Ron Pauls of the world will never be president. Politics isn't about sticking to your guns on each vote and each position. It's about trading your vote on lesser issues to fight for the ones you think really matter.

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Internal Link – Base Support Key to Obama
Credibility with base key to Obama’s ability to triangulate and win
Berger, Fox News, 7-7-8 (Judson, Fox News, “Meet the Candidates: Obama, McCain Fine Tune Image for November” http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/07/meet-the-candidates-obama-mccain-fine-tune-image-for-november/, accessed 7-17-8) Obama, the “Post-Partisan Candidate,” Tries to Please Left and Center In 2007, the National Journal ranked Obama the most liberal U.S. senator. However, his public policy positions lately seem out of character with that title, as he tries to craft an image of the candidate who transcends partisanship and can usher in a shinier, better America. But Obama must first undo the perception that he’s a “radical,” Mayer said. “He’s trying to pass that very unquantifiable test of looking presidential,” Mayer said. Fortunately, he added, his credibility with the Democratic base will enable him to swim toward the center to counter that radical perception. [NOTE: Mayer = Jeremy Mayer, public policy professor at George Mason University]

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Internal Link – Centrism Hurts Obama
Perceived further tilt to the center will weaken Obama
Merritt, TalkLeft founder & Denver criminal defense attorney, 7-12-8 (Jeralyn, TalkLeft.com, “Obama's Disgruntled Liberal Supporters”, http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/7/12/18026/2374, accessed 7-14-8) The New York Times interviews several progressives, including bloggers about their support for Sen. Barack Obama given his recent FISA vote and the other centrist positions he's staked out in recent weeks. Will it cost Obama in votes? I hope not. I want a Democratic president. But if it does, it's Obama's own fault. He's now at risk of "being viewed as someone who parses positions without taking a principled stand." On this, the Times quotes liberal writer and blogger David Sirota who says: “I’m not saying we’re there yet, but that’s the danger,” said David Sirota, a liberal political analyst and author. “I don’t think there’s disillusion. I think there’s an education process that takes place, and that’s a good thing. He is a transformative politician, but he is still a politician.”

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Internal Link – Anti-Bush Key to Obama
Anti-Bush image key to bolster Obama
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) Finally, with Bush a much-reviled figure among Democrats and independents, carrying late spring job-approval ratings of just 28 percent, Clinton would seem to represent a dramatic change from the incumbent. Yet, Obama has come to be seen as the anti-Bush, someone who would show the world that the United States had repudiated Bush and shown repentance for having elected and reelected him. Inexplicably, Clinton does not seem to be enough change from Bush, and Obama is the real change.

Anti-Bush sentiment key to Obama victory
Yglesias, Atlantic Monthly Associate Editor, 7-4-8. (Matthew, Atlantic News dot com, http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/the_flipflop_flap.php) I think that if Obama becomes unpopular and loses the election it'll be because a larger number of voters decide that having a "tough" foreign policy is the most important thing. But if they reach that conclusion, they'll find themselves suddenly agreeing with all manner of other attacks from John McCain's camp. By contrast, if voters continue to be focused on their desire for a sharp break with Bushism, voters will find pretty much anything Obama throws at McCain persuasive.

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Internal Link – AT – Centrism Costs Obama Votes
Wide streak of pragmatism - Obama supporters won’t abandon Obama for moderating
Yardley, New York Times, 7-13-8 (William, New York Times, “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin, accessed 7-14-8) For all the idealism and talk of transformation that Mr. Obama has brought to the Democratic Party — he managed to draw a crowd of more than 70,000 here in May — there is also a wide streak of pragmatism, even among many grass-roots activists, in a party long vexed by factionalism. “We’re frustrated by it, but we understand,” said Mollie Ruskin, 22, who grew up in Baltimore and is spending the summer here as a fellow with Politicorps, a program run by the Bus Project, a local nonprofit that trains young people to campaign for progressive candidates. “He’s doing it so he can get into office and do the things he believes in.” Nate Gulley, 23, who grew up in Cleveland and is also here as a Politicorps fellow, said too much was being made of Mr. Obama’s every move. “It’s important not to get swept up in ‘Is Obama posturing?’ ” Mr. Gulley said. “It’s self-evident that he’s a different kind of candidate.”

No internal link – Obama shift to center on FISA wasn’t enough siphon off supporters
(William, New York Times, “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin, accessed 7-14-8) Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com, a progressive Web site, started asking his readers last month to pledge money to an escrow fund for Mr. Obama, as opposed to contributing to him outright. The idea was to make Mr. Obama rethink his decision to support the Bush administration’s wiretapping measure. Mr. Obama initially said he would try to filibuster a vote, but on Wednesday he was among 69 senators who voted for the measure, which to many liberals represents a flagrant abuse of privacy rights. The legislation grants legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the wiretapping program. So far, 675 people have pledged $101,375 to Mr. Fertik’s escrow fund, money that theoretically would be donated to Mr. Obama once he showed a firm commitment to progressive values, Mr. Fertik said. But Mr. Fertik also said that while Mr. Obama’s change on the spying issue upset some supporters, it was not necessarily emblematic of a troubling shift to the center. He said he continued to support the senator, though he added, “We don’t see the need to close our eyes and hold our noses until November.”

Far left complaints non-unique – they like Kucinich and Nader better now
(William, New York Times, “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin, accessed 7-14-8) Many Obama supporters said the most vocal complaining about various policy positions was largely relegated to liberal bloggers and people who might otherwise support Ralph Nader, the independent candidate, or Dennis J. Kucinich, the liberal Ohio congressman who dropped out of the presidential race earlier this year. “I think it’s accentuated by the fact that Obama’s appeal is an appeal to idealism,” said Kari Chisholm, who runs a blog, blueoregon.com, and does Internet strategy for Democratic candidates. “They believe their ideology is the only idealism and Obama’s is very mainstream. I’m not surprised they’re getting a little cranky. They’ve always been kind of cranky. A mainstream Democrat has always been too mainstream for them.”

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********** McCain Internals **********

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Internal Link – Independent Framing Bolsters McCain
Framing as independent, especially on energy policy, would bolster McCain’s case, and experience
Dickerson, Slate Chief Political Correspondent, 6-18-8 (John, Slate Magazine, "Straightening Out McCain's Straight Talk", Lexis) Do McCain's aides have the capacity to recognize this tipping point? They're still going through the emotions (grief, anger, acceptance) associated with receiving tougher press coverage and losing the favored-candidate status they had in the last race. Plus, the charge that McCain is a party hack simply leaves them dumbfounded. To counter Kerry's bill of particulars, they offer a list of cases in which McCain has risked genuine anger from his party. These include his positions on confirming judges, immigration, global warming, and interrogating terrorists, as well as early criticism of Donald Rumsfeld and the way the Iraq war was managed. McCain's staffers are right that if the choice is a question of who has risked more in his own party-and therefore might do so as president-McCain has the strong advantage. What should McCain do to fix the problem he created for himself today? McCain's best argument may be that contradictions and reversals are necessary byproducts of attempts to get things done in changing circumstances. Obama doesn't have any blemishes, they'll argue, because he's never tried anything hard. Finding solutions is harder than merely minting rhetoric, said one McCain aide-echoing, almost exactly, a line from Hillary Clinton's campaign. That echo may be the best bet for now. He can't change the positions he's already modified, and if he really believes that offshore drilling is the only medium-term solution, then he wouldn't want to. He can't change himself-he's going to keep talking, and that will mean gaffes and policy contradictions. Cut him off from the press, and, well, he wouldn't be McCain any more.

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Internal Link – Independence Key to McCain
Solid independent credentials key to bolstering McCain
Berger, Fox News, 7-7-8 (Judson, Fox News, “Meet the Candidates: Obama, McCain Fine Tune Image for November” http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/07/meet-the-candidates-obama-mccain-fine-tune-image-for-november/, accessed 7-17-8) With July 4th in the rear view mirror and the end of summer’s political conventions fast approaching, John McCain and Barack Obama have a scant seven weeks to tackle major issues: retooling their campaigns for the general election, cementing their brand image and finding running mates. In the midst of it all, they also need to reintroduce themselves to a broad swath of voters who may not have been paying attention to electoral politics since their own state’s primaries. Gearing up for an ambitious and offensive 50-state strategy, Obama is moving to shed his liberal image and put a finer point on his working-class values after losing those voters to Hillary Clinton during the primary. McCain is making clear he’s no 20th century dinosaur. His new slogan, “reform, prosperity and peace,” is a far cry from the Winston Churchill-invoking Web ad from March that featured McCain declaring, “We’re Americans, and we’ll never surrender. They will.” “It’s clear that Obama has begun the classic swim to the middle,” said Jeremy Mayer, public policy professor at George Mason University. With McCain, “he still wants to present himself as the maverick Republican … There’s been a bit of schizophrenia in his presentation.” In the early weeks of the presidential race, Obama still has a front-runner glow. He is leading in almost every national poll and pulling ahead in critical battlegrounds. On controversial issues — most recently, gun control and Iraq — he’s no longer playing for the hard left of his party. McCain is in a whole different game — taking on the scrappy underdog role. Like Clinton did in the closing weeks of her failing primary bid against Obama, McCain is challenging the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to debates and forums the Illinois senator so far has no intention of joining. “I’m the underdog. I’m behind,” McCain said last week. “I’ve got to catch up and get ahead. And I expect to do that about 48 hours before the general election.”

Distancing from Bush and burnishing his independent credentials key to McCain support
Berger, Fox News, 7-7-8 (Judson, Fox News, “Meet the Candidates: Obama, McCain Fine Tune Image for November” http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/07/meet-the-candidates-obama-mccain-fine-tune-image-for-november/, accessed 7-17-8) McCain the Maverick Asserts Independence, Stays the Course in Iraq McCain will have less work to do than Obama to appeal to a middle-of-the-road constituency, since he is already seen largely as a center figure in American politics, said Mayer. But image-crafting has its risks. McCain is already on shaky ground with conservatives, though he has worked to mend fences. Still, moderate voters swing elections. A June FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 16 percent of voters consider themselves independents. That’s a far larger percentage than the gap that separates McCain and Obama in national polls. McCain is also trying to foster a patriotic image. At a town hall meeting stacked with McCain supporters, questioners last month praised him for his military service and called him a “hero.” For McCain, the biggest challenge to closing the polling gap with Obama will be to distance himself from President Bush. On June 3, the night Obama secured the Democratic delegates to win the nomination, McCain insisted he is not, as Democrats charge, running for a third Bush term. He has called such claims “false,” and highlighted his past disagreements with Bush over detainee treatment, federal spending, climate change and energy policy. [NOTE: Mayer = Jeremy Mayer, public policy professor at George Mason University]

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Internal Link – Independence Key to McCain
Distancing from Bush key to McCain victory
March, Tampa Tribune, 6-11-8 (William, Tampa Tribune, “McCain Bucks Ties To Bush”, http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jun/11/na-mccain-bucks-ties-tobush/, accessed 7-4-8) John McCain can read polls as well as anyone, and what he reads might make him nervous. Voter job approval ratings for President Bush are around 28 percent; in a recent Gallup poll, 69 percent called his presidency "a failure." Bush is the president of McCain's party, the man McCain endorsed for president twice, and the president whose decisions to go to war in Iraq, seek partial privatization of Social Security and cut taxes for upper-income people McCain has supported. But he is not the man McCain wants to come to voters' minds when they think about McCain for president. So he is doing his best, as he showed during a tour of Florida last week, to distance himself from Bush, even to the point of harshly criticizing the president. •In appearances before newspaper editors Thursday in Orlando and Friday in the Everglades, he emphasized two areas where he says he differs: his interest in environmental issues and his openness to being questioned by the public and the media.

Linkage to Bush drags McCain down
Todd, MSNBC First Read, 6-12-8 (Chuck, Mark Murray, & Domenico Montanaro, “First Thoughts: Obama’s Bump”, http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/12/1134992.aspx, accessed 7-14-8) *** The 200-pound ball and chain: We hate to sound like a broken record, but just how bad is the political environment for McCain and the Republican Party? Let’s start with Bush, whose job approval rating is just 28%, up one point from his all-time low. Then add this: 54% say that they’re looking for a new president who would bring greater changes to current policies, even if that person is less experienced and tested. By contrast, 42% say they’d rather have a more experienced and tested person become president, even if that means fewer changes to current policies. “The 200-pound ball and chain around McCain’s foot is George W. Bush,” says NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter D. Hart (D). “Unless he figures out a way to cut it loose, he’s going to be dragging it throughout this election.” Newhouse adds: “Voters are not convinced that McCain represents the change they want and that he’ll be all that different from Bush.” Indeed, according to the poll, 48% say it’s likely that Obama will be real change to the country. Just 21% say that of McCain.

Unpopular Bush helps Obama – distancing key to McCain
Sabar, Christian Science Monitor, 6-10-8 (Ariel, Christian Science Monitor, “Economy is top priority for Obama, McCain, and voters”, June 10 2008, http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0610/p01s06-uspo.html?page=2, accessed 7-6-08) In choosing a president, voters are swayed less by their own pocketbooks than by their views of the national economic picture, says Garrett Glasgow, a political scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. And when times are bad, the incumbent president – and his party – tend to get the blame. Voters now rank the economy as their top election issue, and according to a Gallup poll last week, more than 80 percent see the economy as worsening. That helps Obama. In a recent Pew Research Center poll, 51 percent of voters said they saw him as best able to improve the economy, compared with 36 percent for McCain. "The shaky state of the national economy is going to be a problem for John McCain," Glasgow said via e-mail. "McCain will want to paint an optimistic picture and also try to distance himself from the current administration on economic policy. He'll probably do this by trying to convince voters that national security" – on which the Vietnam War hero enjoys higher ratings – "is the biggest concern facing the nation."

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Internal Link – De-linking From Bush Key to McCain
McCain is tied to Bush – distancing key to winning crucial votes
West, Tribune Washington Bureau, 6-14-8 (Paul, The Swamp, “Can McCain fix his brand?”, www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/can_mccain_fix_his_brand.html, accessed 7-14-8) Interviews this spring with swing voters in primary states underscored the depth of McCain's challenge. Even some of those who dislike Barack Obama said they would not vote for McCain, because it would be like giving Bush a third term. That line is already an Obama staple and figures to remain at the center of the Democrat's argument until Election Day. In the three months since McCain wrapped up the nomination, he has yet to project a consistent general election message, some Republicans say, and his campaign's efforts to rebrand him as an independent have been halting, at best. For many voters, his image today is as an outspoken defender of an unpopular war in Iraq and a supporter of Bush's economic policies, including the tax cuts McCain voted against in the Senate but now promotes as a presidential candidate. Interviews this spring with swing voters in primary states underscored the depth of McCain's challenge. Even some of those who dislike Barack Obama said they would not vote for McCain, because it would be like giving Bush a third term. That line is already an Obama staple and figures to remain at the center of the Democrat's argument until Election Day. In the three months since McCain wrapped up the nomination, he has yet to project a consistent general election message, some Republicans say, and his campaign's efforts to rebrand him as an independent have been halting, at best. McCain's first general election campaign commercial, which debuted recently in 11 battleground states, highlights his military background, rather than his political independence. A McCain campaign adviser was privately critical of the ad, calling it a war-based appeal and arguing that McCain should be reaching out instead to disaffected supporters of Hillary Clinton, especially women.

GOP turnout can’t ensure McCain win – securing independents with maverick agenda key
West, Tribune Washington Bureau, 6-14-8 (Paul, The Swamp, “Can McCain fix his brand?”, www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/can_mccain_fix_his_brand.html, accessed 7-14-8) John McCain once had the most powerful brand in American politics. He was often called the country's most popular politician and widely admired for his independent streak. It wasn't too many years ago that "maverick" was the cliché of choice in describing him. But that term didn't even make the list this year when voters were asked by the Pew Research Center to sum McCain up in a single word. "Old" got the most mentions, followed by "honest," "experienced," "patriot," "conservative" and a dozen more. The words "independent," "change" or "reformer" weren't among them. Voters have notoriously short memories, but it could be argued that McCain cheapened his own brand. He embraced President Bush and attempted to become, like Bush, the choice of the Republican establishment. In the process, he helped obliterate recollections of his first run for president, when he became the first Republican in a long time with strong crossover appeal to independents and Democrats. Losing his reputation for independence could prove particularly costly this year. The current campaign environment is among "the worst in modern history for Republicans," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said recently. Simply driving up turnout by the Republican base--a strategy good enough to win the last two presidential elections--won't work as long as Democrats hold a double-digit advantage in party identification. Instead, McCain's chances of becoming president will depend largely on his ability to persuade independents and disaffected Democrats to back him over Obama. "The most important thing that McCain can do in this campaign is reoccupy that change and reform territory," says Todd Harris, who worked for McCain in 2000 but isn't on his campaign payroll now.

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Internal Link – De-Linking from Bush Key to McCain
McCain must distance himself from Bush and remind voters of the Reagan era to win Hutchinson, political analyst, 6-7-8
(Earl, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/how-mccain-can-win-the-wh_b_105821.html, accessed 7-17-8) …This isn't enough. McCain must duck the economic mess Bush made by pushing his economic plan that calls for lowering the corporate income tax rate, more tax breaks for business, and making Bush's tax cuts permanent. Though it looks a lot like Bush's plan, McCain can spin it his way with the standard GOP line that his plan is progrowth, in contrast to the shop worn tax and spend Democrat's approach to growth. This still has tremendous reverb with wide segments of American voters. He can claim that his plan will save homes from foreclosure, spark business growth, and create more jobs. He can remind voters that Reagan economic policies sparked the economic boom of the 1980s and his updated version of supply side economic policies is a mirror reflection of Reagan's. This gives him the hook he needs to boast that Americans will reap rewards with his economic policies.

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Internal Link – De-Linking from GOP Key to McCain
McCain must go against the GOP platform to win
Stark, Real Clear Politics, 8 (Steven, RealClearPolitics.com, 5-29-8, “How McCain Can Win,” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/how_mccain_can_win.html, accessed 7-17-8) If McCain runs as a traditional conservative -- just repeating a mantra of no new taxes, support for the conservative social agenda, and a continued presence in Iraq -- he's toast. Instead, as political analyst Dick Morris has suggested, he needs to run counter to some Republican principles and become a rampaging populist on certain issues -- attacking outrageous executive pay, corporate greed, and high credit-card fees, for instance.

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Internal Link – McCain Must Attack Democrats to Win
McCain must oppose the Democratic Congress to win
Stark, Real Clear Politics, 8 (Steven, RealClearPolitics.com, 5-29-8, “How McCain Can Win,” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/how_mccain_can_win.html, accessed 7-17-8) Obama is going to spend the whole campaign trying to tie McCain to George W. Bush. Fair enough, but there is an institution with even less favorable public-opinion numbers than the president: the Democratic Congress. Taking a page from Harry S. Truman's uphill 1948 campaign, McCain should spend the next six months running against Congress and warning that, if the Democrats control both branches of government come January, the country is in for the kind of change it may not want to endorse. This line of attack should come naturally to McCain, who has spent much of his political life attacking congressional perks and "earmarks." And it's a line of reasoning. that should resonate with voters the closer they get to November. After all, is McCain more like Bush or is Obama more like the other Democrats in Congress? The answer to that question favors the GOP

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Internal Link – Framing Obama Liberal Key to McCain
McCain must paint Obama’s policies as liberal to win Hutchinson, political analyst, 6-7-8
(Earl, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/how-mccain-can-win-the-wh_b_105821.html, accessed 7-17-8) …McCain must openly and subtly stoke middle and working class workers' disdain for liberal solutions to problems. Only a minority of American voters call themselves liberal. The Republican's repeated smear of the Democrats as tax and spend, liberal big government proponents still strikes a chord with millions of voters.

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Internal Link – Democratic Disunity Helps McCain
McCain can win if the democratic party appears fractured Hutchinson, political analyst, 6-7-8
(Earl, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/how-mccain-can-win-the-wh_b_105821.html, accessed 7-17-8) …McCain needs a fractured Democratic Party. Exit polls in the bruising Clinton and Obama Democratic primary battles showed that the bruises are firmly tattooed on some fervent Clinton backers. Nearly a quarter, mostly blue collar, rural, and non-college educated whites, said they would vote for McCain or stay home if the nominee were Obama. And since he is the nominee, if many mean what they say, McCain is the big winner with them. The historic nomination of an African-American as the Democratic presidential standard bearer is applauded by many publicly but privately it raises doubts even dread among many others. McCain can't and won't stoke those racial fears. He doesn't have to they're already there and that's a campaign plus for him. Then there's the issue of how many voters turnout for the Democrats and the GOP. Much is made that the Democrats scored near record turnouts in the number of voters and registration in their primaries in the winter of 2008 and that Republicans lagged way behind. Yet, in fairly recent presidential election history there was lower turnout and seemingly less enthusiasm in the Republican primaries in the election battles of Bush Sr. and Reagan. Both were still elected. The variables that work for McCain against Obama are the war on terror, a victory spin on Iraq, the experience factor, the voter's inherent fear of an untested candidate, the strong tradition in millions of households of voting for GOP candidates especially among male voters, a bickering, divided Democratic Party, and the X factor of race. McCain can and will exploit these variables (race more subtly) on the campaign trail. He can win the White House with them.

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Internal Link – Scapegoating Against Dems Backfires
Scapegoating Democrats on energy backfires
Froomkin, Washington Post White House Watch columnist, 7-16-8 (Dan, Washingtonpost.com, “The 28 Percent President”) The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader editorial board writes: "President Bush is blaming environmentalists for the price of gasoline. "That's not surprising, given his track record. This is the guy who, after Al-Qaida attacked us from Afghanistan, went after Saddam Hussein in Iraq. "It's also not helpful. We need solutions and leadership, not trumped-up scapegoats."

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Internal Link – McCain Winners Lose
Winners lose – narrowing the gap with Obama only makes McCain campaign over-confident, shutting out good advice
West, Tribune Washington Bureau, 6-14-8 (Paul, The Swamp, “Can McCain fix his brand?”, www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/can_mccain_fix_his_brand.html, accessed 7-14-8) In a much-criticized speech on the final night of the Democratic primary fight, McCain tried to highlight his policy differences with Bush. He attempted to remind voters of his record of standing up to fellow Republicans on issues such as global warming and stem-cell research and his success in working with Democrats on campaign finance and ethics reform. Thanks to his campaign's ineptitude, however, that message reached almost no one. McCain began his speech late, and cable TV channels cut away partway through his remarks to break the news that Obama had clinched the nomination. A decade ago, McCain's rise was assisted by his popularity among members of the news media, which he used to half-jokingly refer to as his base. Today, Obama is the media favorite, with all the campaign money in the world and a gift for inspiring rhetoric. McCain is dragging the weight of Bush behind him and can no longer count on the media to help him do his work. The latest national polling shows McCain within striking distance of Obama, in spite of the Democrat's perceived advantages. But that, paradoxically, may make it less likely that McCain will do what it takes to close the gap. Winning the nomination, against all odds, is likely to have made McCain even more inclined than ever to trust his own instincts and dismiss unwelcome advice. So far, his campaign's inner circle has been slow to open up. A one-man effort of heroic proportions--in particular, appearances at more than 100 town hall meetings in New Hampshire, a state that remembered him well--helped McCain defeat his primary rivals. Restoring the McCain brand across the rest of America is likely to be much more difficult.

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Internal Link – De-Linking From Bush Hurts McCain
McCain can’t bash Bush without running the risk of alienating the GOP base
Klain, Democratic political consultant, 8 (Ron, The New York Times, “McCain and His Shadow”, 4-23-8, http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/mccain-and-his-shadow/?ref=opinion, accessed 7-14-8) Second, there is a political “box” created by the leanings of John McCain’s own party loyalists. Though President Bush is profoundly unpopular — a 28 percent approval rating in the latest CBS/NY Times Poll — given the arithmetic of the electoral politics a majority (or nearly so) of those who will vote for Senator McCain in November remain Bush backers. Put another way, even if the country is 3-to-1 “anti-Bush,” the 40 percent of the country that is the McCain base is dominated by the minority of voters who approve of the Bush presidency. This dynamic will force a careful calibration on Senator McCain’s part, typified by the fact that his first campaign event, after securing the G.O.P. nomination, was a photo op with the person he least needed to be pictured with to win over the country at large: President George Bush.

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Internal Link – “Average America” Key to McCain
McCain must appeal to small town average America to win
Stark, Real Clear Politics, 8 (Steven, RealClearPolitics.com, 5-29-8, “How McCain Can Win,” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/how_mccain_can_win.html, accessed 7-17-8) The way for McCain to dramatize his empathy for the "average American" is to ditch his coat and tie and get back on the "Straight Talk Express" bus, making a number of daily stops at small rallies and town-hall meetings. McCain is at his best when he's in his leather jacket, surrounded by like-minded folks, as he was in New Hampshire. Campaigning by bus -- the mode of transportation for the powerless -- and hitting the small towns is an enormously powerful symbol, especially in contrast with what is sure to be the Democrats' more corporate, big-scale approach.

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Internal Link – Base Key to McCain
McCain must appeal to the right to win
Stark, Real Clear Politics, 8 (Steven, RealClearPolitics.com, 5-29-8, “How McCain Can Win,” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/how_mccain_can_win.html, accessed 7-17-8) …How does McCain run right at the same time? By taking positions on the various initiative campaigns that will get hot in the fall. California is sure to have a measure on its ballot attempting to overturn the recent state supreme court's decision that legalized gay marriage. McCain should endorse that initiative and challenge Obama to do the same. Initiatives banning affirmative action are also scheduled to be on the ballot in five states, including the key swing states of Colorado and Missouri. Again, McCain should express his support and ask Obama where he stands.

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*********October Surprise (Big Obama Win Bad)

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October Surprise 1NC
A. Candidates are running neck-and-neck now – too close to call
Rasmussen Reports, 7-16-8 (“Daily Presidential Tracking Poll” http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll, accessed 7-16-8) The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows Barack Obama attracting 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 48% and McCain 45% (see recent daily results). Other polling shows that, in a hypothetical match-up, Obama leads the current President by twenty percentage points while Hillary Clinton does a bit better than Obama against McCain. Tracking Polls are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day.

B. Link – Plan locks in an Obama victory

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October Surprise 1NC
C. Impact - Faced with an Obama victory, Bush will launch catastrophic strike on Iran, destroying global markets and ensuring collapse of the Middle East into chaos
Palermo, CSU-Sacramento history professor, 6-26-8 (Joseph A., Huffington Post, “John McCain and Charlie Black’s October Surprise,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-apalermo/john-mccain-and-charlie-b_b_109370.html, accessed 7-16-8) But the really chilling thing about what Charlie Black told Fortune magazine is the mindset it reveals. We're in big trouble if the McCain people really believe this stuff. They might truly believe that any act of violence that reminds Americans of the "war on terror" will cut their way this November. They might even believe that a well-timed military strike against Iran will do the trick and help them win the election. If they really see political gold in another 9-11 what would stop them from being delighted if Bush attacked Iran if the timing were right, say in mid- October? "National Security" would be thrown onto the front burner of American politics and shift the debate over to McCain's putative turf. There are historical precedents for this type of thinking. Although it is impossible to prove conclusively, there is evidence that in 1968 and in 1980 the Republican presidential campaigns engaged in their own freelance foreign policy to gain domestic political advantage. In 1968, the Richard Nixon campaign used its secret contacts with Anna Chennault, the widow of the famous "Flying Tigers" commander General Claire Chennault, to urge the South Vietnamese government to scuttle the Paris peace talks. The Nixon campaign feared that Vice-President Hubert Humphrey would get a boost if some kind of peace accord were reached before the election. President Lyndon Johnson knew about these contacts because he had bugged South Vietnam's embassy. Hence, the Republican Party might have blocked winding down the Vietnam war in order to win the election of 1968. In 1980, the Ronald Reagan campaign allegedly used secret contacts to get word to the Iranian regime of Ayatollah Khomeini that the Islamic Republic would get a better deal if they held the 52 American hostages until after the election. The Reagan campaign feared the Iranians would release the hostages to President Jimmy Carter. Some of the "cut-outs" and arms dealers and other intermediaries who might have orchestrated the deal, such as the Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, later surfaced when Congress began investigating the Iran-Contra scandal. The motives behind the secret arms transfers to the Iranian regime during the Reagan Administration were never fully explained. Ultimately, George H. W. Bush pardoned over a dozen operatives who were facing criminal convictions for their Iran-Contra activities, and many of them ended up in high-level positions in George W. Bush's administration. (If McCain becomes president we can expect a similar bevy of pardons for Bush's cronies. That's why Bush desperately wants McCain in the White House to give him at least four years of cover-up that only a do-nothing Justice Department can provide.) In 2008, an October Surprise might take the form of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. "National security" would be front and center, which Charlie Black believes helps McCain. It could also put Barack Obama on the defensive. Obama could find himself in the unenviable position of having to answer the war hawks. McCain will throw red meat to a voracious corporate media about how Bush's "prudent action" saved Israel or even Europe from future nuclear annihilation. And if Obama sheepishly concurred it would be a disaster for the Democrats. With his tough talk on Iran at a recent gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Obama has boxed himself in. In the event Bush attacks Iran we must press Obama to stand firm in opposition and show us that he doesn't "do cowering." Every time I hear any American politician threaten Iran with military violence I ask myself: Don't these guys understand how fucking crazy an attack on Iran would be? My guess is that after the initial assault there'd be a short lull, maybe a week or two, and Bush and McCain will declare "Mission Accomplished" while the corporate media celebrates. And then all hell will break loose in the Middle East. Energy markets will go nuts. And the United States will find itself in a shooting war with a nation of 70 million people. War-weary Americans will have neither the money nor the will to pursue a war against yet another Islamic nation. The skies above Haifa will light up with Katyusha rockets. And we can kiss Iraq goodbye, not to mention the free flow of the world's oil supply. If Bush orders air strikes on Iran before he leaves office for whatever reason, political or otherwise, it will be a catastrophe. McCain's key strategist believes a terrorist attack against Americans will help his campaign. They might also believe that some form of military action against Iran could be beneficial as well. That's a very dangerous scenario. But with Karl Rove and his Mayberry Machiavellians still creedling about in the shadows who knows how far these people are willing to go.

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Obama Bad Impact – October Surprise – Iran
Inevitability of Obama presidency would risk a strike on Iran
New York Sun editorial, 8 (“October Surprise?”, 4-17-8, http://www.nysun.com/editorials/october-surprise/74817/, accessed 7-14-8) Suppose that, as October 1 rolls around, Senator Obama is leading Senator McCain in the polls by 10 percentage points. The situation in Iraq is much as it has been — moving in the right direction but dangerous nonetheless. American generals say that Iran has been funding attacks on American troops on the Iraq field of battle. Iranian gunboats are regularly harassing American navy vessels in the Persian Gulf, and Iranian-backed terrorists are lobbing mortars and rockets at the Israeli city of Sderot. Iran is enriching uranium to build an atomic bomb. President Bush will then face a choice. Does he launch an attack on Iran's nuclear sites or regime command and control targets, hoping either to decapitate the Iranian leadership and achieve a regime change there or to set back the Iranian nuclear program by several years, before the Obama administration takes office? Or does he leave the problem to Senator Obama, who has pledged to negotiate directly with President Ahmadinejad? It's not an easy decision. On one hand, Mr. Bush is a politician who probably thinks that the candidates to succeed him deserve to battle it out without a campaign-changing event by the incumbent. He has also seen, in the battle of Iraq, that military action can sometimes be more complicated than ever initially imagined. He knows that the United States Congress is in the hands of Democratic leaders who have asserted, however wrongly under the Constitution, he lacks the authority to attack Iran. Yet Mr. Bush also takes seriously his obligation to make a success out of Iraq, and, more importantly, to protect America's security. A nuclear-armed Iran, led by the mullahs who now control the country, would be a serious threat to the national security of America and of American treaty allies in Europe and to our friends in the Middle East. Mr. Bush would have doubts about the fortitude of a President Obama in the face of such a threat, and would certainly be at least tempted to act were he to conclude that he could extend by several years the envelope within which America would be safe from a nuclear-armed Iran. We are not making a prediction that Mr. Bush will move against Iran but fate may yet take things in hand.

Inevitable Obama victory would trigger October Surprise attack on Iran
Doyle, Independent (newspaper) US editor, 6-24-8 (Leonard, “Does a Bush 'October surprise' await Iran?, “ http://blogs.independent.co.uk/the_campaign_trailers/2008/06/does-abush-oct.html, accessed 7-16-8) Bill Kristol, editor of the Murdoch owned neocon house journal the Weekly Standard says Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he believes Barack Obama is going to be elected. Speaking on Sunday to Fox News' Chris Wallace he said, "If the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out," before suggesting Bush might move more quickly if he thought Obama was going to win. Wallace then asked if Kristol was suggesting that Bush might "launch a military strike" before or after the election. Watch it: Kristol has bloviated about Bush attacking Iran before leaving office in the past. In April, he opined that it wasn't "out of the question" that Bush would consider such a strike because "people are overdoing how much of a lame duck the president is." The idea that an Obama victory could encourage Bush to act has also done the rounds. The right-wing scholar Daniel Pipes has been telling the National Review Online that "President Bush will do something" if Obama wins.

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Uniqueness – Too Close to Call
Candidates are tied now – too close to call
Rasmussen Reports, 7-17-8 (“Daily Presidential Tracking Poll” http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_ poll, accessed 7-18-8) The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama attracting 44% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 46% and McCain 46% (see recent daily results). McCain is viewed favorably by 56% of voters, Obama by 54%. Tracking Polls are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day. State polling released yesterday showed Obama with a steady lead in Oregon and McCain with a twenty-point lead in Kansas.

Candidates are in a dead heat now
Aspen Daily News 7-7-8 (Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News staff writer, “Election loomed at large at Ideas Fest”, http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/127924) Although the presumptive presidential nominees were not here to speak for themselves, Barack Obama and John McCain were an ever-looming presence at the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival, which wrapped up yesterday at the Aspen Institute. The fourth annual weeklong Woodstock of the wise — the first held during a presidential election year — included presentations on the next president’s impact on America’s children, how the candidates might approach climate change and the economy, the role of race and religion in voter choices, campaign media coverage, separate sessions on polling and “prognosticating,” and one titled “The Bard & the Ballot: Shakespeare and Politics ’08.” Pollster Douglas Schoen said Friday that his numbers indicate that the horse race is in a near dead heat — with Obama garnering 45 percent of the potential national vote and McCain attracting 42 percent.

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Uniqueness – Too Close To Call
The race is too close to call – doubts about Obama remain Baehr, chief political correspondent, 7/9/8
(Richard, American Thinker, “The State of the Race”, 7-9-8, http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/the_state_of_the_race_2.html, accessed 7-17-8) The closeness of the race suggests that many Americans are not yet sold on Barack Obama. The Illinois Senator had his worst weeks of the campaign when the Reverend Wright videos surfaced and then again after the Reverend went off at the National Press Club. Throw in Obama's remarks in San Francisco about rural/small town and working class voters clinging to guns and God and it is likely that some doubts about Obama which developed during this period have lingered on.

The race is too close to call – there are scenarios for either candidate winning Baehr, chief political correspondent, 7/9/8
(Richard, American Thinker, “The State of the Race”, 7-9-8, http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/the_state_of_the_race_2.html, accessed 7-17-8) The reason Obama is the favorite is that he has many more paths to victory, since he is targeting many more red states, than McCain has blue states to target. A national lead of 4-5% for Obama moves the playing field about 7% overall from where it was in 2004 when Bush won by 2.4%. If the playing field moved 7% the other way, McCain would be ahead by nearly 10% nationally, and he would be targeting many more blue states and Obama would have far fewer targets among the red states. Put simply, no candidate who loses the popular vote by 10% will even come close in the Electoral College. It is also highly unlikely that a candidate who loses by 5% in the national popular vote can win an Electoral College majority. But a smaller deficit -- 3% or less -- could leave the door open to a repeat of the 2000 result. Had 60,000 voters shifted from Bush to Kerry in Ohio, Kerry would have won the Electoral College in 2004 and lost the popular vote by 3 million (over 2% margin). My own view is that such a split result is far more likely to favor McCain than Obama this year. Obama will have lots of states with big margin wins (wasted votes in other words) -- New England, New York, Maryland, DC, California, Illinois -- and will suffer narrower losses in many Southern states than was the case for John Kerry, due to heavy turnout of African American voters. If McCain can win enough of the tossup states, most likely by a small margin, he can win. However, he will have to close the national popular vote gap from the current 4-5% level to have a chance, or alternatively, the national poll numbers would need to overstate Obama's lead by a few points. Both of these are possible, but no national campaign can count on the latter being the case.

It is still uncertain who will win McFeatters, Scripps Howard columnist, 7/17/8
(Ann, Scripps Howard News Service, “Obama’s great overseas adventure”, 7-17-8, http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/34832, accessed 7-17-8) This race is too close to call -- only a truly inexperienced journalist would predict with certainty that Obama will win even though the economy is tanking. We all know that the fall campaign will get ugly. Third parties will question Obama's patriotism because of his meaningless middle name. John McCain's greater national security experience will sway voters. Obama, who is only halfway through his first term in the Senate, will charge that a McCain presidency would be a third Bush term.

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Uniqueness – Both Candidates Favorable Now
Both candidates are polling favorably now
Rasmussen Reports, 7-16-8 (“Daily Presidential Tracking Poll” http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll, accessed 7-16-8) Both candidates are viewed favorably by 55% of voters nationwide. McCain is viewed favorably by 71% of Evangelical Christians, 59% of other Protestant voters, and 64% of Catholic voters. Obama earns favorable reviews from 39% of Evangelical Christians, 53% of other Protestant voters, and 51% of Catholic voters. Among all other voters, Obama is viewed favorably by 67%, McCain by 38% (see other recent demographic highlights).

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********** Generic Bush Agenda Internal Links **********

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Link – Normal Means Spends Capital
The plan crowds the agenda and burns capital
Pastor, Emory political science professor, 91 (Robert, WASHINGTON QUARTERLY, Autumn 1991, p. Lexis) The third dysfunction in interbranch relations is the length of time and the amount of presidential capital needed to gain approval of a major foreign policy law or treaty. When the president makes a compelling case that the national security of the United States demands the approval of a particular bill or treaty, Congress rarely rejects him. This was true for the Panama Canal treaties and the war in the Persian Gulf. But if the policy is unpopular, the president will almost certainly have to devote a much larger proportion of his time and political capital to gaining approval for it, and he will have less time for and influence on other foreign policy issues. Also, if he needs to ask Congress repeatedly to approve an unpopular policy -- such as contra aid -- he will deplete his political capital and is likely eventually to lose the votes, as Reagan did. The increasing complexity of the world and its growing interdependence with the United States means that the agenda will grow, the trade-offs between domestic and international interests will become more delicate, and the role of Congress will increase proportionately. A few difficult issues -- like the canal treaties or contra aid -- can delay consideration of the entire foreign policy agenda for prolonged periods. Given a fixed amount of time and a limited number of decision makers, this systemic delay might be among the most important problems that stem from interbranch politics. The president must be very conscious of his agenda and very selective in his approach.

Normal means ensures the plan spends finite political capital - policymaking and resource distribution require extensive use of White House resources
Light, Brookings Center for Public Service director, 99 (Paul C., THE PRESIDENT'S AGENDA, 1999, p. 2. ) The President's domestic agenda also reflects the allocation of resources, which often are fixed and limited. As a President moves through the term, each agenda choice commits some White House resources - time, energy, information, expertise, political capital. Each agenda item also commits some policy options, whether federal funds or bureaucratic energy. The sheer number of participants in the policy process both inside and outside the White House has increased rapidly over the last two decades; interest groups and individuals have "discovered" Congress and the Presidency. This growing pressure has placed greater emphasis on the agenda as a topic of political conflict. Policy-makers increasingly turn to the agenda for the first battles over the distribution of scarce resources. Given the ever-tightening policy options, this pressure will not abate in the near future.

Controversial policies spend political capital
Light, Brookings Center for Public Service director, 99 (Paul C., THE PRESIDENT'S AGENDA, 1999, p. 2. ) Presidential priorities also involve more conflict, both inside the administration and out. And the greater the conflict, the more time, information, expertise, and energy necessary to settle the disputes. "You'd be surprised how long it takes to iron out the differences," a Johnson legislative assistant argued. "Compromise doesn't usually happen overnight. It takes a heft investment of presidential influence and effort." Once again, welfare reform serves as an example. One highly placed Nixon observer maintained that "the [Family Assistance] plan could have been announced much sooner if there hadn't been such a struggle. With Burns and Moynihan at odds, we couldn't move. When one would attack, the other would counterattack. Sure, the issue was intricate, but it could have been handled much faster without the in-fighting. As it was, there was a stalemate for three months."

Controversial decisions burn capital
Thomas & Pika, Professors of Political Science, University of Cincinnati and Delaware, 97 (Norman & Joseph, THE POLITICS OF THE PRESIDENCY, 1997, pg. 215 "Political Capital" is the reservoir of popular and congressional support with which newly elected presidents begin their terms. As they make controversial decisions, they "spend" some of their capital, which they are seldom able to replenish. They must decide which proposals merit the expenditure of political capital and in what amounts.

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Link – Normal Means Spends Capital
Enacting legislation burns political capital
Seidenfeld, Florida State University College of Law Professor 94 (Marc, IOWA LAW REVIEW, 80 Iowa L. Rev. 1, October 1994, pg. Lexis) The cumbersome process of enacting legislation interferes with the President's ability to get his legislative agenda through Congress much as it hinders direct congressional control of agency policy-setting. A President has a limited amount of political capital he can use to press for a legislative agenda, and precious little time to get his agenda enacted. These constraints prevent the President from marshalling through Congress all but a handful of statutory provisions reflecting his policy vision.

Legislative efforts drain political capital
Edwards & Barrett, Texas A&M University, 99 (George & Andrew, PRESIDENTIAL AGENDA SETTING IN CONGRESS, February 6, 1999, pg. http://www-polisci.tamu.edu/Edwards/cps%20w-info/work_papers/SP13Agenda.pdf) In addition, the White House wants to ensure that its proposals compete favorably with other proposals on the agenda. If presidents are not able to focus Congress's attention on their priority programs, the programs will become lost in the complex and overloaded legislative process. Moreover, presidents and their staff have the time and energy to lobby effectively for only a few bills at a time, and the president's political capital is inevitably limited. As a result, presidents wish to focus on advancing their own initiatives rather than opposing or modifying the proposals of others. Thus, the White House not only wants its initiatives to be on the congressional agenda but also prefers to have fewer congressional initiatives with which it must deal.

Policies that force the president to choose between short-term political influence and long-term effectiveness restrict the use of political capital
Light, NYU Professor of Public Service and Brookings Center for Public Service Director 99 (Paul C., The President’s Agenda: domestic policy choice from Kennedy to Carter (with notes on Ronald Reagan), p. 6) Though we are primarily interested in patterns of agenda-setting, we will also study recent changes that have altered the basic thrust of the domestic Presidency. Over the past decade, a number of changes have created what might be called a No Win Presidency. This No Win Presidency is marked by cross-pressures that allow little room for compromise. The President is often forced to choose between legislative success and "good policy," between short-term political influence and long-term policy effectiveness. Presidents increasingly are faced with severe restrictions on their internal resources, as well as a seeming decline in the impact of party in the congressional process. These declines, coupled with a growing fragmentation of the national policy process, affect the domestic agenda directly. The price of policy has increased dramatically, with little growth in the President's ability to absorb the "inflation"; the value of the presidential "dollar," however, has dropped.

Congressional backlash against plan will influence other agenda items
Thomas, University of Cincinnati Political Science Professor, 96 (Norman, THE POLITICS OF THE PRESIDENCY, 1996, p. 222. In their relations with Congress, presidents can follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining, arm twisting, and confrontation. As befits a relationship among professional politicians, bargaining is the predominant mode of presidentialcongressional relations. Occasionally, the president bargains directly with members of Congress whose support is regarded as essential to the passage of a bill. In May 1981, for example, the Reagan administration agreed to revive a costly program to support the price of sugar in exchange for the votes of four Democratic representatives from Louisiana on a comprehensive budget reduction bill. Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources available to trade, and the desire among members for resources is keen. Moreover, Congress is so large and congressional power so decentralized that it is not possible for presidents to bargain extensively over most bills. In some instances the president may be unable or unwilling to bargain. Fortunately, much presidential-congressional bargaining is implicit. Rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes, implicit bargaining involves generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur.

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Link – Congressional Role
Congress plays an active role in energy policy
Simon, University of Nevada associate professor of political science, 2007, (Christopher A., Alternative Energy: political, economic, and social feasibility, p. 196) Regulatory reform advanced to congressional leadership the fall of 2005 has also shown Congress to be an active institutional actor in shaping the energy policy agenda. In early October 2003 the House of Representatives passed a restructuring of regulatory policy related to petroleum refineries by slim margin. The bill allows energy producers to build new refinery facilities and streamlines the process by which permitting will occur. Critics claim that the bill also relaxes environmental regulatory related to fuel mixtures and manufacturing. What is particularly interesting is that this bill originated in Congress and was not advanced by the White House, which demonstrates the changing role of Congress as an institution operating within an evolving energy paradigm nationally congressional majorities are effectively standing their ground as part of the existing fossil fuel energy paradigm adjusting for changing conditions in terms of petroleum quality and supply. Congress is also responding to the interests of their constituencies, who demand reasonably priced liquid fuels for their petroleum based vehicles.

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Link Booster – Political Capital Can Collapse Quickly
Congressional support can collapse quickly
Thomas, political science professor, University of Cincinnati, 96 (Norman, THE POLITICS OF THE PRESIDENCY, 1996, p. 203.) Congressional support must be cultivated and maintained, and when the conditions that created it change, it can rapidly disappear. Without such support, presidents face frustration and ineffectuality.

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Link – AT – Our Plan Is Popular
Only a risk of a link – There’s always opposition to be overcome
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 388) The fragmentation of public ideological and foreign policy beliefs gives a president great opportunities but also creates great risks. Unlike those in the 1950s, presidents now are no longer driven to pursue only an anticommunist containment policy. Yet it is unclear how far a president may go in pursuing any policy before losing public support. Presidents no longer come to office with automatic majorities behind their policies. No matter what the president and his advisers believe, a substantial number of Americans – in the mass public and especially the elite public – disagree, or are open to disagreement, with presidential policy. Hence, the continual presidential search for, and frustration in obtaining, consensus and policy legitimation.

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Link – AT – President Does Not Get Credit/Blame
Presidency is the focal point of politics – president gets the credit or the blame, deserved or not
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 4 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 80) Given the popular image of presidential power, presidents receive credit when things are perceived as going well and are blamed when things go badly. Unfortunately, American politics and the policy process are incredibly complex and beyond considerable presidential control. With so many complex issues and problems to address – the debt problem, the economy, energy, welfare, education, the environment, foreign policy – this is a very demanding time to be president. As long as presidential promises and public expectations remain high, the president’s job becomes virtually an impossible task. Should success occur, given the lack of presidential power, it is probably not by the president’s own design. Nonetheless, the president – the person perceived to be the leader of the country – will be rewarded in terms of public prestige, greater power, and reelection (for him or his successor). However, if the president is perceived as unsuccessful – a failure – this results not only in a weakened president but one the public wants replaced, creating the opportunity to challenge an incumbent president or his heir as presidential nominee.

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Internal Link – Political Capital Key to Agenda
Political capital is finite and determines agenda success
WASHINGTON TIMES, July 7, 2003

"Political capital is a very finite commodity and you want to spent it strategically," said Matthew T. Felling of the Center for Media and Public Affairs. "Previous administrations have had to spend their political capital or have just had it deducted from their account through various scandals." For example, when the Clinton scandals reached critical mass beginning with the Monica Lewinsky affair and ending in the first impeachment of an elected president in U.S. history the president was politically paralyzed for more than a year, leaving his agenda largely unfulfilled.

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Internal Link – Popularity Key to Agenda
A dip in popularity ensures backlash against the president – politicians are emboldened when they smell blood in the water
NEW YORK TIMES, 3 (September 13, 2003, p. A1.) "A presidential speech, instead of boosting support, is followed by a seven-point drop and suddenly the atmosphere changes," said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution who follows Congress. "Republicans, who have been reluctant to get off the reservation, now say, 'Wait just one minute.' And Democrats have all the more reason to be unified." Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University, agreed. "Any sign of weakness out of the White House is going to be perceived by the president's allies in Congress as an opportunity to act a little bit more like free spirits, and on the part of the opposition to be more aggressive," Professor Baker said. "It's the blood-in-the-water syndrome."

The president’s agenda lives and dies by the polls – public approval is crucial
Gregg, Clarion political science professor,97 (Gary , THE PRESIDENTIAL REPUBLIC, 1997, p. 143-44.) But if presidential power thrives by the polls, it might also die by the polls. While popular presidents tend to get much of what they want and are willing to fight for, unpopular presidents are trapped and constrained by the polls. As a senior aide to President Carter mused about that president's problems with Congress controlled by his own party, "When the President is low in public opinion polls, the members of Congress see little hazard in bucking him...They read the polls and from that they feel secure in turning their backs on the President with political impunity." Unquestionably, the success of the President’s policies bear a tremendous relationship to his popularity in the polls. Without effective public relations, modern presidents and their programs whither on the vine of public opinion.

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Internal Link – Winners Win
Offense is Bush’s best defense – Bush will use the plan to build political support
Johnson, Brodeur Worldwide-Washington DC director, 4 (Jerry, PR WEEK, January 26, 2004, p. 8.) Second, they stay on offense. One need only spend a few minutes watching a John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, or Condi Rice press conference to understand the style of the George W. White House: offense. Although this 'in your face' approach rubs against the grain of pundits at home and American allies overseas, it has been instrumental in the President's ability to build and maintain political support. From tax policy to the war on terror, the Bush White House is on message and on the attack. They never 'negotiate against themselves' and often succeed because competitors are simply worn down by their constant pursuit of their policy objectives. Compare that to two of the world's most successful companies - Wal-Mart and Microsoft. Although they make money in different ways, their approach is the same: stay aggressive, stay on offense, and never back down. Both dominate their sectors and neither is a stranger to controversy. But competitors challenge them at their own risk. Indeed, many experts cite WalMart and Microsoft's relentless (some would say fanatical) and aggressive nature as key to their success.

Perception of successful policy boosts president’s power to control agenda
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 98) It was the sense of national emergency associated with the cold war during the fifties and sixties, after all, that was the ultimate source of presidential power and American global leadership following World War II. This means that the fragmented and pluralist political environment that has prevailed since Vietnam will likely continue in the post-cold war future, posing greater foreign policy opportunities and political risks for presidents and American leadership abroad. And as the American public focuses its concern increasingly on “intermestic” (and especially economic) issues, presidents who are perceived as dealing successfully with those issues are likely to enjoy an increase in their popularity and ability to govern in foreign policy and in general. But much will depend on the image that Americans have of a president’s policies and of their relative success, at home and abroad – a function of the turn of events and the strength of presidential leadership.

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********** Drilling/ANWR Bad Supplement **********

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ANWR Drilling Bad – Oil Spills
Drilling causes major spills near Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Strickler, Sierra Club Spokeswoman, 2006
(Annie, Sierra Club, “DRILLING CAUSES MAJOR CRUDE OIL SPILL NEAR ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE -POTENTIALLY LARGEST IN ALASKA NORTH SLOPE HISTORY,” March 7, 2006, http://www.sierraclub.org/pressroom/releases/pr2006-03-07.asp, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) March 7, 2006. Last week during the Senate Energy Committee�s hearing on the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget, Chairman Domenici praised Secretary Norton and the Department of Interior for promoting "environmentally-gentle" oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Just days after these remarks, America got an unfortunate preview of just how "gentle" oil drilling operations could be if allowed on the Arctic Refuge�s fragile Coastal Plain. On Thursday, March 2, a BP oil operator discovered signs of an oil spill at a caribou migration site on the snow-covered tundra of Alaska�s North Slope. Three days later, response workers finally uncovered the source of the spill � a breach in an oil transit pipeline feeding into the larger trans-Alaska oil pipeline infrastructure stretching some 800 miles across the state. Clean-up crews have already vacuumed up more than 50,000 gallons of crude oil and melted snow off the delicate tundra, but at least one report from an industry expert has indicated that up to 798,000 gallons could be unaccounted for, possibly making this the largest crude oil spill in the history of the North Slope, and second in Alaska only to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Oil is still dripping from the breached pipeline and the full extent of the damage and affected acreage are unknown. The multi-agency spill response team will attempt to come up with an estimated spill volume in the next two days. This weekend�s accident is just one in a long history of substantial spills seen on Alaska�s fragile North Slope since development began there. In fact, despite industry hype about the safety of development and new technology, the Prudhoe Bay oil fields and Trans-Alaska Pipeline have caused an average of 504 spills annually on the North Slope since 1996, according to the Alaska�s own Department of Environmental Conservation. Past spills have included a 300,000 gallon crude oil spill from the Trans-Alaska pipeline that was detected as far as 166 miles away; a 110,000 gallon crude oil spill caused by a bulldozer which created a geyser that spewed oil over 20 acres of tundra wetlands; the infamous 285,000 gallons of crude oil that spilled into the boreal forest after a local hunter shot the pipeline with a high powered rifle; and the disastrous 675,000 gallons that were leaked after a saboteur exploded a two inch hole in the pipeline just a few miles north of Fairbanks. As crews of up to 70 people work 12-hour shifts around the clock to clean up after this massive oil spill, we are sadly reminded that there is no such thing as "environmentally gentle" oil drilling. Some places, like America�s Arctic Refuge, are just too important to be put at risk for a speculative oil fix.

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Drilling Bad – Spills Devastate Fishing
Oil spills devastate fishing industry. Clair, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Member and Red State Rebels Editor, 2008
Jeffrey St., Red State Rebels “Pacific Fishermen Oppose Offshore Drilling,” July 9th, 2008 http://redstaterebels.org/2008/07/pacific-fishermen-oppose-offshore-drilling/, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) San Francisco, July 7 – The West Coast’s largest commercial fishermen’s organization took aim on the Bush Administration proposal to lift the 28-year old moratorium on offshore oil drilling, saying it will put the nation’s seafood resources at risk for a small amount of oil that won’t be available for a decade. “New offshore drilling, such as the President proposes, won’t make a dent in the price at the pump, but it sure as hell could damage our fisheries,” said Zeke Grader, Executive Director for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA). “Our members have experienced first hand drilling in the Santa Barbara Channel and this is not something we want expanded into pristine ocean waters and some of our nation’s best fishing grounds.” PCFFA’s members include the Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, Inc., and the Southern California Trawlers Association. It has worked for thirty years to protect fish and ocean habitats. “The simple fact is that it will take at least a decade before any oil comes to market from new offshore leasing and that oil will go into a world market,” continued Grader. “Offshore drilling isn’t about helping consumers at the pump, it’s about the President helping his oilmen cronies who have already been making obscene profits off the backs of average citizens; it’s psycho babble from politicians looking for campaign contributions from big oil.” The fishing group said the oil industry still hasn’t developed all of its existing leases for offshore drilling and said most of the problems that existed 30 years when fishermen fought drilling along the Central and North Coast of California, Oregon and Washington, Bristol Bay (Alaska) and offshore New England’s Geroges Bank still exist. PCFFA acknowledges advances in slant drilling may mean fewer wells, but serious problems remain for fisheries from offshore drilling. [NOTE: Zeke Grader, Executive Director for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA).]

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Drilling – Alternative Energy Solves Demand
Alternative energy will prevent the negative consequences of oil drilling Clair, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Member and Red State Rebels Editor, 2008
(Jeffrey St., Red State Rebels “Pacific Fishermen Oppose Offshore Drilling,” July 9th, 2008 http://redstaterebels.org/2008/07/pacific-fishermen-oppose-offshore-drilling/, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) “New drilling technologies won’t help when we’ve got the same old policies guiding offshore oil development; that is, ‘drill as much as you can as cheap as you can, the fisheries and the environment be damned’,” said Grader “Indeed, the new technologies we should be talking about are developing renewable energy sources, not looking for more fossil fuels whose greenhouse gasses are causing floods, droughts and the acidification of our oceans.” Eureka fisherman and PCFFA President Dave Bitts said there is a disconnect between those wanting to drill for old energy sources with the need to develop renewable energy. “We know there are bad consequences from drilling for oil and from burning it,” said Bitts. Some scientists have pointed to the fact that developing solar energy in the California and Nevada desert could be done within the next decade to supply the nation’s total electricity needs. This, in turn, would significantly reduce the nation’s demand for petroleum while new energy sources are sought for vehicles, farm machinery and fishing vessels. “Why drill when a massive investment now in renewable solar sources could provide the nation with a permanent energy source with risking our fisheries or environment?” asked Bitts. “Spending all this effort to go after oil offshore for a few months supply makes no sense when we could be developing permanent renewable energy in the same time frame.” [NOTE: Grader = Zeke Grader, Executive Director for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA).]

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********** Elections Aff **********

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Non-Unique – Obama Flip Flop Now
McCain bashing Obama on oil tax flip flop now
Platts.com, 6-18-8 (McCain campaigns on energy plan, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/3.xml, accessed 6-29-8) McCain slammed prospective Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama on his proposal to tax windfall profits from oil companies. He said Obama's policy is contradictory given the freshman Illinois senator's support for the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which contained tax breaks for oil companies (see Democratic Party: Energy independence agenda).

Obama flip flopping now – he promised he’s the candidate of change, but his positions have become politics as usual
Merritt, TalkLeft founder & Denver criminal defense attorney, 7-12-8 (Jeralyn, TalkLeft.com, “Obama's Disgruntled Liberal Supporters”, http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/7/12/18026/2374, accessed 7-14-8) I disagree. I see no transformational quality to either Obama or his candidacy. Obama said he was a new kind of politician. He sold an entire younger generation on the theory of change, a new kind of politics in Washington and he's delivered the status quo. He's shown us that on FISA, the death penalty, guns, religion, Iraq, Afghanistan and trade policy (so far) he's all about preserving the status quo and not rocking the boat in his quest for votes. How much more "politics as usual" can you get?

Obama flip-flop on the Iraq war causing outrage on the left
National Post editorial, 7-5-08. ("Obama's Flip-Flop", http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=633140, accessed ) Barack Obama landed himself in hot water on Thursday over a flip-flop on his policy regarding the Iraq war. The criticism he's received is well-deserved. For months now, Senator Obama has been insisting he would have all U. S. troops home within 16 months of being sworn in as president. Even if this were a realistic timetable for bringing Iraq to the point where it can police itself -- which it isn't -- it is foolish to announce it to the world. If al-Qaeda in Iraq and other terror groups know for sure when U. S. troops will be gone, they will simply lay low and preserve their resources until then. Iran, which has been equipping terror groups and sectarian militias, can also bide its time. Mr. Obama seemed to recognize the rashness of his earlier promise -- for about four hours on Thursday. Speaking at a press conference in Fargo, N. D., the Illinois senator said he would "refine" his policy on Iraq after visiting there later this summer and speaking with commanders. But so immediate -- and outraged -- was the reaction in the Democratic blogosphere that Mr. Obama felt the need to go back before reporters later the same afternoon and insist his Iraq pledge had not changed. "I intend to end this war," he said. "I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring troops out safely at a pace of one to two brigades per month…I continue to believe that it is a strategic error for us to maintain a long-term occupation in Iraq at a time when conditions in Afghanistan are worsening." Were it not for Mr. Obama's restrictive definition of "long-term," he is actually onto something here. Iraq has become much safer over the last year. Coalition casualties there have fallen by 75% since their peak in early 2007. And, most importantly, violence against innocent Iraqis -suicide attacks, market and mosque bombings and sniping -- has declined by half or more. (In Afghanistan, by contrast, attacks on NATO forces are up 40% in the first six months of this year over the same period in 2007. The recent jailbreak by 800 Taliban, too, shows Afghan forces are not yet as prepared to patrol on their own as their Iraqi counterparts.) But all of that progress has come about precisely because of the stable security situation created with the help of the U. S. military. Why would Mr. Obama want to pull the rug out from Iraq's nation-building at such a crucial juncture? Mr. Obama is wrong to give a firm departure date for American soldiers serving in Iraq. Perhaps he will think better of his plan when he visits Iraq, and sees first-hand the progress being made. And this time, one hopes, he will not let a bunch of pacifist bloggers change his mind.

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Non-Unique – Obama Centrism Angering Left Now
Obama is losing his key liberal base because of his shift on hot-button issues.
Lambro, Washington Times Correspondent, 7-5-8 (Don, “Obama’s move to center irks left”, The Washington Times, July 5, 2008, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/05/obamas-move-to-center-irks-left-wing/ accessed 7/6/08) In the midst of his heated primary battle with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama fully embraced red-meat liberal issues that he said offered Americans "change you can believe in." He had outpromised Mrs. Clinton on every hot-button issue and nailed down the nomination by appealing to the party's liberal base. But his makeover in recent weeks has enraged many in that base who say his sudden abandonment of long-held liberal positions is a betrayal of his claim to be a new kind of politician. In the past week alone, Democratic advocacy groups say their Web sites have been lit up by angry complaints attacking Mr. Obama's character and honesty, threatening to withhold their contributions, or worse, shift their allegiance to independent candidate Ralph Nader. "We've been hearing more from voters who are disconcerted about Obama's move to the right. We're hearing from antiwar folks, civil-liberties people and other activists concerned about his flip-flops and considering voting for Nader," said Chris Driscoll, media director for the Nader for president campaign. Independent candidate Ralph Nader could be the fallback choice for liberals angry over Sen. Barack Obama's perceived moves away from the Democratic base. "We've had a big increase in the past couple of weeks in our Web site hits and our online fundraising contributions," he said. A CNN poll of 906 registered voters reported this week that Mr. Nader's support has risen to 6 percent, potentially enough of a margin to deny Mr. Obama close-fought battleground states.

Obama flip flopped on numerous liberal issues, angering the left
Lambro, Washington Times Correspondent, 7-5-8 (Don, “Obama’s move to center irks left”, The Washington Times, July 5, 2008, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/05/obamas-move-to-center-irks-left-wing/ accessed 7/6/08) During the primary, Mr. Obama was a fire-breathing critic of free-trade deals, condemning the North American Free Trade Agreement as a job-killer that he vowed to renegotiate or scrap. He opposed renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which would give telephone companies immunity from lawsuits when they help the government tap phone lines. He was a leading gun-control advocate as an Illinois state senator and backed the District's gun ban. He was a sharp critic of President Bush's faith-based services program to help the poor that was blocked by Democrats. He told Planned Parenthood he "would not yield" on abortion and denounced a Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion. But in the past few weeks, Mr. Obama has, at a minimum, nuanced if not outright flip-flopped on all of those positions in a race to the political center to reposition himself for the general election. He told Fortune magazine he believes in free trade and does not want to overturn or pull out of NAFTA. He endorsed the pending FISA bill, saying "the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people." He declared himself a "supporter of the Second Amendment" after the Supreme Court struck down the District's gun ban. He announced a faith-based plan of his own, saying that government alone could not solve every problem. Most recently, he told a Christian magazine that laws restricting partial-birth abortions needn't have an exception allowing the procedure if the pregnancy might damage the mother's mental health. Nowhere is criticism of the presumptive Democratic nominee more intense than on the Internet, the cyberspace world where the Obama campaign has received hundreds of millions of dollars from more than 1.7 million donors and whose bloggers have been among his biggest fans. "There is a line between 'moving to the center' and stabbing your allies in the back out of fear of being criticized. And, of late, he's been doing a lot of unnecessary stabbing, betraying his claims of being a new kind of politician," said Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, the top site of the liberal netroots community. "Not that I ever bought it, but Obama is now clearly not looking much different than every other Democratic politician who has ever turned his or her back on the base in order to prove centrist bona fides," he said.

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Non-Unique – Obama Centrism Angering Left Now
Centrism non-unique – Obama has already alienated left wing
Yardley, New York Times, 7-13-8 (William, New York Times, “Obama Supporters on the Far Left Cry Foul” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin, accessed 7-14-8) PORTLAND, Ore. — In the breathless weeks before the Oregon presidential primary in May, Martha Shade did what thousands of other people here did: she registered as a Democrat so she could vote for Senator Barack Obama. Now, however, after critics have accused Mr. Obama of shifting positions on issues like the war in Iraq, the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants, gun control and the death penalty — all in what some view as a shameless play to a general election audience — Ms. Shade said she planned to switch back to the Green Party. “I’m disgusted with him,” said Ms. Shade, an artist. “I can’t even listen to him anymore. He had such an opportunity, but all this ‘audacity of hope’ stuff, it’s blah, blah, blah. For all the independents he’s going to gain, he’s going to lose a lot of progressives.” Of course, that depends on how you define progressives. As Ms. Shade herself noted, while alarm may be spreading among some Obama supporters, whether left-wing bloggers or purists holding Mr. Obama’s feet to the fire on one issue or another, the reaction among others has been less than outrage.

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Non-Unique – Obama Energy Market Regulation Now
Energy market regulation link non-unique – Obama policies being implemented now
Platts.com 6-23-8 (Obama calls for tighter regulation on energy markets, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/2.xml, accessed 6-29-8) Most of the changes proposed by Obama are already in the works, either through CFTC itself, or by legislators. In the week ended June 20, ICE Futures Europe agreed to "begin the process" of imposing position and accountability limits on its linked crude oil contract, Walter Lukken, acting chairman of the commission, told Senate committees. Obama also called for more "vigorous" investigations by CFTC into what he called market manipulations of oil futures.

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Non-Unique – McCain Flip Flop Now
Obama calling McCain out on drilling flip flop now
CNN Politics, Election Center 2008, 6-17-8. ("McCain wants to lift ban on oil drilling", http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/17/mccain.energy/, ) Obama on Tuesday blasted McCain for changing his stance on offshore drilling. "John McCain's support of the moratorium on offshore drilling during his first presidential campaign was certainly laudable, but his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades," he said. "It's another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil," he said. Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson also criticized McCain's plan, saying it would ruin his state's tourism industry and would not solve the problem. "I thought John McCain was serious when he said he wanted to make America less dependent on oil. I didn't think he was a flipflopper. He knows that more drilling isn't the solution to high gas prices," Nelson said Tuesday.

Non-unique – McCain flip flopped on offshore drilling
Platts.com, 6-18-8 (McCain campaigns on energy plan, http://www.platts.com/Electric%20Power/Resources/News%20Features/uselection08/3.xml, accessed 6-29-8) "The price of oil is too high, and the supply of oil is too uncertain." He came out June 16 in favor of more offshore drilling, as long as the individual affected states agree, marking a policy reversal for the four-term Arizona senator. His speech June 18 focused on the need to increase production, although he did not specify by how much domestic production might lower high oil prices. "Petroleum-related imports came to $331 billion last year, and the bill keeps rising. We are actually borrowing from foreign lenders to buy oil from foreign producers," he said.

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Uniqueness Answer – McCain Age Impacts Election
McCain’s age has become an issue in the campaign – voters and comedians are concerned Wang, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2008
(Herman, “Septuagenarian John McCain is hoping to become the oldest person elected to a first term in the White House”, July 5, Pg. 0) But the Republican presidential candidate's age -- he's 71 -- could be a liability, political experts say, even as he touts his long history of public service. Pundits and election observers say voters have been peppering the Arizona senator's town-hall campaign appearances with questions about his health and stamina, and his age has become fodder for late-night comedians. Democratic candidate Barack Obama, 46, "will try to do to McCain what Bill Clinton did to Bob Dole in 1996 -- define him as too old and out of touch, an American hero whose time has passed," said Michael Baudinet, who writes for the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

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Uniqueness Answer – McCain Low Now
McCain down now – negatives at all time high, and they dislike his politics
West, Tribune Washington Bureau, 6-14-8 (Paul, The Swamp, “Can McCain fix his brand?”, www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/can_mccain_fix_his_brand.html, accessed 7-14-8) McCain's popularity peaked in 2004, about the time he threw his energy into re-electing Bush, according to the polls. Last week, McCain's negatives among registered voters hit an all-time high of 34 percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey. Voters who don't like McCain are, by an overwhelming margin, rejecting his political beliefs, not the kind of person he is, a recent Pew poll found. McCain will be running as the nominee of the incumbent party in the White House, with the U.S. economy in distress, Bush's job rating in the toilet and the sourest public mood in at least 20 years. "It's tough," McCain said in an NBC interview last week, when asked how hard it is to be the Republican candidate. "But I think the American people didn't get to know me yesterday. They know me."

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Uniqueness Answer – October Surprise Would Change Election
McCain wins with another terrorist attack Hutchinson, political analyst, 6-7-8
(Earl, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/how-mccain-can-win-the-wh_b_105821.html, accessed 7-17-8) In a talk with reporters in Louisiana, Republican presidential contender John McCain implored disgruntled Hillary Democrats to back him. His pitch was, I'm the toughest, most knowledgeable and most experienced on national security. The unmistakable inference is that rival Obama is too green, fresh, and untested to gamble with on national security. McCain's aim was to lop off disgruntled Hillary Democrats. But it also staked out what he must do to win the White House. The terrorism issue is still a McCain election trump card. Many Americans think there could be a terrorist attack on American soil at some point in the future. Those who think that are susceptible to McCain's pitch that he can best defend the nation's security and with America under mortal danger from a terror attack, that it's risky to change to the Democrats.

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Uniqueness Unpredictable – World Events Influence Election
Uniqueness unpredictable – a change in world events would reshape the election
Braverman, CNNMoney.com contributing writer, 6-12-8 (Beth, CNNMoney.com, “Voters favor Obama's economic policy – poll, Democratic presidential candidate holds slight edge over GOP rival McCain on key election issue.”, http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/12/news/economy/president_poll/index.htm, accessed 73-8) As the economy continues to sputter, it has become a central issue in the November presidential election. ""The media is increasingly focusing on the economy and indicators that we are in or on the verge of a recession," Taylor said. "The economy moves slowly and it's unlikely we will have a massive change in the economy before November, which is only five months away." A major change in world affairs or in U.S. foreign policy between now and the election could diminish the importance of the economy, Taylor added [Note: Taylor = Andrew Taylor, chairman of the political science department at North Carolina State University]

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Uniqueness Answer – Electoral Volatility Overwhelms the Link
Election extremely volatile – 14 or more states could swing either way and a number of issues could influence the outcome, overwhelming the link to the plan
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) The General Election The 2000 presidential general election basically came down to one state: Florida, with Bush prevailing over Gore by just 537 votes out of almost 5 million ballots cast in the state. In 2004, the election came down to Ohio, with Bush again winning, this time by 118,599 out of almost 5.6 million cast. It was not quite as close as four years earlier, but still very close, with the outcome not clear until the very end. Exit polls even suggested that Kerry would win. Although the dynamics of 2008 are very different from those of four and eight years ago, the signs currently are pointing toward yet another very close race. National polls show that regardless of whether Democrats nominate Obama or Clinton, either one would be essentially tied with McCain. Their support among various specific groups would differ greatly, with Obama outperforming Clinton and carrying historically high support among the best-educated voters, while Clinton carried the party's traditional strength among less educated voters. Obama does extraordinarily well with younger voters yet underperforms among older ones; Clinton does better with older voters and underperforms among younger ones. Either way, both run essentially even with McCain. From an electoral college perspective, with 270 electoral votes needed to win, Democrats begin with 10 states and the District of Columbia solidly in their camp, for a total of 165 electoral votes, and Republicans have 19 states holding 157 votes. Three more states with 18 electoral votes are likely but not solidly in the Democratic camp, while Republicans will have four more states with 37 electoral votes likely in their column, bringing the cumulative totals to 183 for Democrats and 194 for Republicans. Next, Democrats have five states with 59 electoral votes that are leaning their way: Michigan, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This brings the totals to 19 states (including D.C.) with 242 electoral votes that are leaning, likely, or solidly in the Democratic column, 28 short of the 270 needed to win the presidency. For Republicans, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia lean their way with 66 electoral votes, bringing their totals up to 27 states with 260 electoral votes, 10 short of the 270 needed to win. That leaves five states with a total of 36 electoral votes as toss-ups: Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, and New Mexico. Democrats need 28 of the 36 electoral votes, and Republicans need 10 of these 36. This electoral map and this election are incredibly volatile. Fourteen states that are in the toss-up or leaning columns are effectively up for grabs, and there will certainly be ups and downs for each party in each column. There also may be surprises, with a state on one side or the other popping out of one of the likely columns either to appear to be in play or to genuinely come into play. This election is likely to turn on events that have not yet occurred and circumstances that have not yet developed. How will the still relatively unknown Obama be seen as he becomes better defined in voters' minds? Turning 72 years of age in August, will McCain be perceived as experienced and wise or as too old and living in the past? What roles will the war in Iraq and the weak economy play? This has been a wild and turbulent year. There is no reason to think that will change between now and November.

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Uniqueness Answer – Predictions Flawed – No Winner Yet
Neg’s uniqueness flawed – race too close to call now – and that’s in spite of deflated GOP enthusiasm
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) All of these are various manifestations of a morale problem within the Republican Party. GOP partisans seem more demoralized than they have since the mid-1970s during the Watergate scandal, whereas Democrats seem unusually energized. Gallup asked voters in February if, compared to previous elections, they were more or less enthusiastic about voting. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic than normal, and 15 percent were less enthusiastic. Only 44 percent of Republicans were more enthused, and 48 percent were less motivated. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in early March asked voters how interested they were in this election, on a scale of one to 10, with one being "not at all interested" and 10 being "very interested." Seventy-two percent of Democrats said that they were 10s, compared to just 63 percent of Republicans. This is not to argue that Republicans will not vote in normal numbers this November. This is a presidential year and very likely to be a very high turnout election. Republicans had every reason in the world to stay home in the November 2006 midterm elections, but their turnout was down only slightly from past midterm performance. More plausible is that Democrats might vote in unusually high numbers, given higher voter turnout among Democrats in their presidential primaries and caucuses this year than among Republicans. In terms of Congress, these circumstances combine with the fact that many more Republican incumbents than Democrats have opted not to seek reelection, opening their seats up to a greater risk of turnover in most cases. GOP losses in the Senate and House are thus quite likely. Five senators have announced that they are not seeking reelection, all five being Republicans (this does not include Senator Trent Lott [Miss.], who simply resigned, with Representative Roger Wicker [Miss.] appointed to take his place). In the House, 26 Republican and just seven Democratic incumbents have indicated that they are not seeking reelection. Although not all of these open seats are highly vulnerable to Democratic takeover, many are. Republicans are currently expected to lose between three and six net Senate seats and between five and 15 House seats this fall. With Democrats raising significantly more money than Republicans in the congressional races for the first time in memory, this outcome is even more likely to occur. All of this will not likely give Democrats a veto-proof Congress or even a filibuster-proof Senate, but it would give Democrats a firmer hold on both chambers. In the face of all of this, it is remarkable that McCain runs even in the national polls with Obama and Clinton. State-by-state electoral college rundowns similarly show a general election that is too close to call, likely to turn on events that have not yet occurred and circumstances that have yet to develop.

Neg’s uniqueness flawed – either candidate could win now – race too close to call now
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) Heading toward the summer of 2008, national polls and state-by-state electoral college analyses point toward another very close race, just as the last two have been. Yet, the fact that McCain is running even in some polls and slightly ahead or behind in others, with roughly a 50-50 chance of winning the general election, is pretty amazing given the virtual 50-mile-per-hour political headwind that he, as the Republican nominee, is facing this year. It is difficult to imagine a set of circumstances more challenging for a Republican to face.

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Uniqueness Answer – Polls Flawed
Public opinion fluctuates wildly and quickly during election – overwhelms any link to the plan
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 4 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 369.) Such dramatic fluctuations in public opinion can be readily observed for most major events, such as presidential elections. As Americans acquire new information and images about the various candidates during the primaries and the general election, their opinions often change greatly in a very brief time.

Opinion polls are only a snapshot – they are not representative of long-term or strong opinions
Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 4 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 368-369.) Low levels of attention and information produce a third pattern in public opinion – its tendency to be volatile and to fluctuate over time. Since most Americans are uninterested and ill informed, their opinions about national and international issues tend to be very “soft” and open to change. Most Americans give little thought to most issues and are not committed to particular positions. Still, they have opinions and readily offer them when solicited by a public opinion poll. Secretary of State Dean Acheson once observed that most Americans do not feel it necessary to become informed before expressing an opinion. Not surprisingly, as an issue gets more media coverage, public attention increases for a while, members of the mass public acquire more information, and individual opinions change. Hence, opinion is volatile and fluctuates over time; and a public opinion poll is no more than a general snapshot of what the mass public may think at that brief moment.

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Link Answer – AT – Issues Key to Obama
Obama phenomenon is post-partisan, not governed by partisan politicking
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) The Obama Phenomenon If a chemistry professor were attempting to diagram the elements of Obama's appeal, it might look like this. First, take "the future," "new ideas," and a "change" approach to issues that previous New Age Democratic presidential candidates such as Hart in 1984 and Bradley in 2000 articulated in their bids for the Democratic presidential nomination. The appeals were not so much driven by ideology or really by many specific issues, but by the mantra that change and ideas are good, and the more the better. Next, add idealism, romanticism, symbolism, and the power of a handsome, young, charming, charismatic, even glamorous figure, a modern-day Kennedy with the hope and implied promise of a return to Camelot. Again, this is not driven by ideology or issues, but an emotional and inspirational attraction, one that resonates far better among the young and more independent minded, but also with a contagious effect that eventually wins over more than a few older and more partisan Democrats. Third, add in what has become one of the newest of Washington buzz phrases: "post partisan," an appeal or approach to politics that portrays itself as beyond traditional partisan politics, as personified by the Bushes, Clintons, Doles, and others who have dominated the two major parties for some time. Whether Obama in fact is this transcendent political figure is open to personal interpretation, but he certainly attempts to project that image and is seen by his backers in that way. He is further helped by concerns that Americans are creating familial dynasties, with seven of the last 10 major party nominees of the Bush, Clinton, or Dole families.

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Link Answer – AT – Energy Key Issue/Mobilization Link
No mobilization – no public urgency to seriously deal with energy issues or climate
GreenBiz, 6-17-8 (Confronting Energy Efficiency in an Election Year, http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2008/06/17/confronting-energy-efficiencyelection-year, accessed 6-29-8) New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman delivered keynote speeches. Friedman, author of the upcoming book, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - and How It Can Renew America,” called for a sense of urgency in battling energy issues and climate change. "I would be less than truthful, though, if I said that America as it operates today is ready for this mission,” Friedman said. “We are not."

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Link Answer – AT – Plan Perceived As Economic Boost
Public doesn’t think a stimulus will solve the recession
Corpus Christi Caller Times, 2-5-8 Public views of the national economy are now more negative than at any point in nearly 15 years, and few people believe that the kind of stimulus plan being devised by President Bush and Congress is enough to stave off or soften a recession, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. More than eight in 10 Americans describe the economy as "not so good" or "poor," and nearly six in 10 believe the United States is already in a recession. While voters appear more sanguine about their own circumstances, three in 10 are now pessimistic about their financial prospects over the coming year, double the percentage holding a dour outlook in December 2006. The new poll, conducted Jan. 30-Feb. 1, shows how thoroughly the souring economy has overtaken the war in Iraq as the electorate's principal concern. Thirty-nine percent of all Americans now cite the economy and jobs as the No. 1 issue in the presidential campaign, up 10 percentage points in the past three weeks; more than twice as many people now highlight the economy as call Iraq the top issue. On Friday, the Labor Department said the economy lost jobs in January, the first time in 53 months that had happened.

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Link Answer – October Surprise Overwhelms the Plan
October Surprises possible – including war crime arrest – which would rock the election
Mayer, George Mason University public policy master’s program director, 8 (Jeremy D., Politico, 4-23-8, “War crimes next October surprise?”, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9786.html, accessed 7-16-8) It’s early October 2008, and Democratic nominee Barack Obama maintains a steady lead in the presidential race, although Republican standard-bearer John McCain, the most dogged campaigner in American politics, remains within striking range. Suddenly, something happens overseas that throws the presidential campaigns off the TV screens entirely: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on vacation in Italy, is arrested and brought to The Hague to face war crimes charges. Presidential campaigns try to prepare for these “October surprises,” late-breaking events and crises that can radically alter the race for the White House, such as the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000. But now there’s a new element in the mix, something presidential campaigns have never had to plan for. What if the October surprise is the greatest legal conflict between America and Europe since the creation of the Atlantic alliance? Don’t think it can’t happen. I think the arrest abroad of an American is only a matter of time and, between now and November, is at least as likely as another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. As a former Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. Paul X. Kelley, reminded the nation in a July 2007 Washington Post op-ed, written with a University of Virginia law professor: “Violations of Common Article 3 are ‘war crimes’ for which everyone involved — potentially up to and including the president of the United States — may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are parties to the conventions.” Courts in Italy and Germany already have issued warrants demanding the arrest of CIA operatives for illegally kidnapping and allegedly torturing citizens and residents of their nations. More than 30 U.S. citizens have been named, their CIA covers blown. These warrants have not been executed, primarily for diplomatic reasons. But they could be acted upon rapidly with a simple decision by either government. And other names — of those directly involved in “enhanced interrogation techniques” — are starting to emerge overseas. Former high-ranking government officials might want to also think twice about traveling to Europe this summer. Just this week, new evidence emerged that waterboarding and other blatant methods of torture were specifically and directly authorized in White House meetings. Anyone present is now potentially culpable before an international court. As former Attorney General John Ashcroft is reported to have presciently said at one such meeting: “Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.”

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Internal Link Answer – AT – Flip Flop
Not a flip flop if public has already flipped
Feltman, Radnor Geopolitical Reports, 7-5-8 (Kenneth E., “Can Obama Pay the Pump Price” Etalkinghead: An Online Political News Magazine. July 5. http://www.etalkinghead.com/archives/can-obama-pay-the-pump-price-2008-07-05.html date accessed: July 6, 2008) Into this debate strode Republican Candidate John McCain. He seized the energy issue by modifying his position and letting his opponent attack him. Obama accused McCain of a flip-flop. In politics, Obama may soon learn, it's only a flip-flop if the public has not already flipped. The public has flipped and McCain has, too. The energy crisis is the first issue to differentiate the two candidates since Obama locked up the Democratic nomination and McCain has outmaneuvered Obama. McCain now advocates offshore oil drilling. President Bush's decision to press the issue in Congress puts the Democrats in the position of advocating the wear-your-sweater policies that made Jimmy Carter unpopular.

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Internal Link Answer – AT – Flip Flop Hurts Obama
McCain's hypocrisy has neutralized flip flop charge against Obama
Navarrette, San Diego Union-Tribune Columnist, 7-6-8. (Ruben Jr., San Jose Mercury News, "McCain can end doubts on immigration stance" http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_9800275?nclick_check=1, accessed 7-16-8) SAN DIEGO - Presidential candidates who seem to change positions as they change audiences should avoid accusing others of flip-flopping. It makes them look silly. That's the lesson for John McCain, who has criticized Barack Obama for reversing his views on campaign finance and easing off his keep-up-with-Hillary-Clinton opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Obama also flip-flopped on building hundreds of miles of fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border; the Illinois Democrat voted for the fence before he was against it. "This election is about trust and trusting people's word," McCain recently told supporters in Louisville, Ky. "And unfortunately, apparently on several items, Senator Obama's word cannot be trusted." Obama may be the candidate of change, but he deserves to be hammered for changing course on some issues. Yet McCain isn't one to talk. When it comes to consistency, the Arizona senator has a soft spot of his own - immigration, once a signature issue. And during a recent speech, Obama went right for it. "One place where Senator McCain used to offer change was on immigration," Obama said last month at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. "He was a champion of comprehensive reform, and I admired him for it. But when he was running for his party's nomination, he walked away from that commitment and he's said he wouldn't even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote."

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Internal Link Answer – AT – Flip Flop Hurts Obama or McCain
Flip flop arg is non-unique - Both candidates perceived as flip floppers now, and yet still perceived favorably by voters, and more attacks inevitable
Silverleib, CNN Senior Political Researcher, 7-4-8. (Alan, July 4th, "Voters Say Both Candidates Flip-flop", CNN Polls, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/03/poll.candidates/, accessed 7-16-8) WASHINGTON (CNN) -- How do voters feel about the two major-party presidential candidates this year? As the marathon 2008 campaign for the White House enters its final four months, a solid majority views Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain favorably. At the same time, a majority of voters polled also believes both men are flip-floppers who will change their opinions for political reasons. Voters are also skeptical that either man will be able to end the partisan gridlock in Washington. According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 63 percent of registered voters polled have a favorable opinion of Democrat Obama, while 59 percent have a favorable opinion of Republican McCain. Roughly one-third of voters hold a negative view of both candidates. Compared to President Bush, whose approval ratings continue to hover around 30 percent, both candidates are seen in a remarkably positive light. Judged against the favorable ratings of past presidential nominees at this stage of the campaign, however, Obama and McCain are registering typical favorability numbers. "In previous elections we have often seen both candidates get favorable ratings over 50 percent at this stage," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "In midsummer, both parties tend to be unified behind their candidates, but the negative ads have generally not yet started." The poll also shows both candidates improving on their perceived weak points. The number of voters polled who think Obama has enough experience to be president has increased by eight points since March (40 percent to 48 percent), while the number of voters who say McCain cares about people like themselves has increased by seven points (51 percent to 58 percent). McCain, however, still holds a sizeable advantage over Obama on the issue of experience, with 76 percent of those polled saying the Arizona senator has the right experience to be president. Obama, on the other hand, continues to hold a significant edge on the question of caring, with 67 percent of poll respondents saying the Illinois senator "cares about people like you." Do voters believe the two presumed presidential nominees are willing to stick to their principles regardless of the political consequences? Not exactly. Sixty-one percent of voters polled said McCain has changed his mind for political reasons; 37 percent said he has not. Fifty-nine percent of those polled said Obama also shifts positions with the political winds; 38 percent said he does not. That's a change from 2004, Holland said. "One of the reasons President Bush won re-election in 2004 was that only one-third of voters believed he would change his policy positions because of changing political dynamics. Most voters, on the other hand, believed that John Kerry was a flip-flopper." As the general election continues to heat up, charges of flip-flopping and political opportunism are becoming more regular on the campaign trail. On Tuesday, while en route to Colombia, McCain argued, "I don't switch my position depending on what audience or what time it is in the electoral calendar.... I believe that [voters] will more and more see where Sen. Obama has switched his positions on fundamental issues. The one thing they want is trust and confidence in their leadership, and I think I will win in that area." Campaigning Thursday in North Dakota, Obama replied by saying that McCain "is a person who opposed Bush's tax cuts before he was for them, who opposed drilling in the continental shelf before he was for [it]. [McCain] has reversed himself on a range of very substantive issues during the course of this campaign, and so I'd be happy to have a debate about consistency with John McCain." According to Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst , the flip-flopping charge may not resonate as much with voters this year as it did in the past. "So what if voters think both candidates are flip-floppers?" asked Schneider. "After eight years of George W. Bush, voters may welcome some pragmatism and flexibility in their leaders. Times change."

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Internal Link Answer – AT – Evangelicals Key
Evangelical voters aren’t key to McCain – Catholics are a more important voting block
Miller, Newsweek, 7-14-8 (Lisa, Newsweek, “True Or False: Evangelicals Are Crucial To Winning The 2008 Election”, Pg. 43 Vol. 152 No. 2, Lexis) The right's influence may be felt in unexpected ways. Jim Wallis, editor of the progressive evangelical journal Sojourners, sees an opportunity for Obama in the swayable Christians that Jacobs talks to. He says Obama could get between 35 and 40 percent of the evangelical vote (and late last month Wallis encouraged Obama to advocate for fewer abortions as a way to gain evangelical support). That's irrationally exuberant, but defections by young and moderate evangelicals don't help McCain with the base. To which the McCain camp might say: so what? That's not where McCain needs to concentrate his attention to win. In 2004, so the gospel goes, Karl Rove found every last evangelical voter in every country church--and found 4 million Christian votes that he credited with defeating John Kerry. This year, it's the middle that matters, not the margins. The religious voters who are most critical may be America's 54 million Roman Catholics--conservative on abortion and gay marriage, but progressive on education and health care. While the right sorts through its growing pains, McCain may be focusing less on megachurches, more on mass.

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Housing Impact Answer – Neither Candidate Can Change Housing Market
The next president will have no influence over the depressed housing market.
Aversa, Associated Press, July 6, 2008 (Jeannine, “Candidates: help for borrowers on way”, http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jul/06/candidates-help-forborrowers-on-way/, accessed 7-6-08) Home foreclosures will keep rising next year no matter who is elected president in November. Even the optimism that surrounds a new president's taking office can't resurrect home values overnight, and presidents have no direct ability to reduce rising mortgage rates. Nevertheless, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain both promise help for homeowners facing foreclosure.

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Energy Impact Answer – Neither Candidate Can Change Energy Policy
No impact – neither candidate will significantly influence energy policy, AND plan is unpopular – triggers auto industry backlash – no coalition emerges around the plan
Victor, Stanford law professor & Spogli Institute Program on Energy & Sustainable Development director, 8 (David, Newsweek.com, “The Energy Trap, Why the United States is doomed to be an energy outlaw”, http://www.newsweek.com/id/118087, accessed 6-29-8) It may be a vain hope. It is extremely unlikely that Washington will ever supply a coherent energy policy, regardless of who takes the White House in November. That's because serious policies to change energy patterns require a broad effort across many disconnected government agencies and political groups. Higher energy efficiency for buildings and appliances, a major energy use area, requires new federal and state standards. Higher efficiency for vehicles requires federal mandates that always meet stiff opposition in Detroit. A more aggressive program to replace oil with biofuels requires policy decisions that affect farmers and crop patterns-yet another part of Washington's policymaking apparatus, with its own political geometry. New power plants that generate electricity without high emissions of warming gases require reliable subsidies from both federal and state governments, because such plants are much more costly than conventional power sources. Approvals for these new plants require favorable decisions by state regulators, most of whom are not yet focused on the task. Expanded use of nuclear power requires support from still another constellation of administrators and political interests. And so on. Whenever the public seizes on energy issues, the cabal of Washington energy experts imagines that these problems can be solved with a new comprehensive energy strategy, backed by a grand new political coalition. Security hawks would welcome reduced dependence on volatile oil suppliers, especially in the Persian Gulf. Greens would favor a lighter tread on the planet, and labor would seize on the possibility for "green-collar" jobs in the new energy industries. Farmers would win because they could serve the energy markets. The energy experts dream of a coalition so powerful that it could rewire government and align policy incentives. This coalition, alas, never lasts long enough to accomplish much. For an energy policy to be effective, it must send credible signals to encourage investment in new equipment not just for the few months needed to craft legislation but for at least two decadesenough time for industry to build and install a new generation of cars, appliances and power plants, and make back the investment. The coalition, though, is politically too diverse to survive the kumbaya moment. Just two weeks ago the feds canceled "FutureGen," a government-industry project to develop technologies for burning coal without emitting copious greenhouse gases, demonstrating that the government is incapable of making a credible promise to help industry develop these badly needed technologies over the long haul. (The project had severe design flaws, but what matters most is that the federal government was able to pretend to support the venture for as long as it did and then abruptly back off.) Similarly, legislation late last year to increase the fuel economy of U.S. automobiles will have such a small effect on the vehicle fleet that it will barely change the country's dependence on imported oil and will have almost no impact on carbon emissions. Democrats and Republicans alike claim they want to end the country's dependence on foreign oil, but neither party actually does much about it.

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Foreign Policy Impact Answer – Neither Candidate Will Change Foreign Policy
No impact – new president won’t radically change foreign policy
Brown, California's Center on Public Diplomacy senior fellow & former US Foreign Service, 6-26-8 (John, Guardian, “After the honeymoon, Electing Barack Obama president won't be enough to improve America's standing in the world”, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/26/usforeignpolicy.uselections2008, accessed 6-26-8) It is widely accepted that public diplomacy has been a major failure of the Bush administration. The direction American public diplomacy should take under a new president - Democratic or Republican - is a topic of importance in defining America's global role in the post-Bush era. While John McCain remains associated with the unpopular 43rd president, many commentators view a Barack Obama presidency as a change to rejuvenate America's standing in the eyes of the world. As Timothy Garton Ash has written: "If 'soft power' means 'the power to attract', then Obama is the personification of American soft power." Thomas Friedman echoed this sentiment, writing in the New York Times that Obama's candidacy "has done more to improve America's image abroad than the entire Bush public diplomacy effort for seven years." But any new administration must work under the assumption that whatever honeymoon the outside world will have with a "nonGeorge Bush" in the White House will be short-lived. Though Obama is generally well liked overseas, foreign leaders and publics do harbour concerns about his experience and prejudices about his ethnic background. In an era of instant communication - and revelations - no national leader today can expect permanent world popularity. The new administration should also not give overseas audiences the false hope that its arrival on the world scene will mean a sudden, drastic departure from the policies of Bush, despite his low reputation at home and abroad. The American political system, which leads presidential candidates to adopt "centrist" positions, leaves the options for restructuring American foreign policy limited. This includes Iraq, a fiasco that will take years to settle.

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Iran Impact Answer – Both Candidates Want Hardline on Iran
Advisors to Obama and McCain would both support engaging in pre-emptive strikes against Iran.
Executive Intelligence Review, 8. (“Obama and McCain Advisors Endorse U.S.-Israeli Discussion of Strike on Iran”, Executive Intelligence Review, July 1, 2008, http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/2008/080701obama_mccain_iran.html accessed 7/7/08) Top advisors to Barack Obama's presidential campaign have joined with advisors to John McCain and the Likudnik Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), to issue a call for the next U.S. President to enter into discussions with Israel about means to deal with Iran's nuclear program, including "preventive military action." This report, issued in mid-June, shows that candidate Obama's hawkish speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) on June 4 was no aberation. WINEP's "Presidential Task Force on the Future of U.S.-Israel Relations" held meetings during 2007 and early 2008, including a two-day, closed-door meeting with "ten Israeli counterparts," at the Landsdowne Conference Center near Leesburg, Virginia. Members of the Task Force include Obama advisors Anthony Lake, Susan Rice, and Richard Clarke, and McCain advisors Vin Weber and James Woolsey. Entitled "Strengthening the Partnership: How to Deepen U.S.-Israel Cooperation on the Iranian Nuclear Challenge," the report maintains that the issue of Iran's development of a nuclear-weapon takes priority over all other items on the U.S.-Israeli agenda, including Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. It claims, darkly, that the issuance of the National Intelligence Estimate last fall on Iran's nuclear capability may have increased the possibility of Israel taking unilateral military action against Iran's nuclear program. The Task Force calls for the U.S. President and the Israeli Prime Minister to initiate a new, high-level dialogue to consider the range of policy options regarding Iran, to include (1) diplomatic action, (2) political and economic pressure, (3) "coercive options (such as an embargo on Iran's sale of oil or refined petroleum products)" and (4) "preventive military action." This report was issued simultaneously with another WINEP report called "The Last Resort: Consequences of Preventive Military Action against Iran," which is a detailed discussion of a contemplated military strike against Iran. That report was not endorsed by campaign advisors or anyone besides its authors, but it is obvious that the two reports constitute a package, and that endorsement of the one is an implicit endorsement of the other.

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Iran Impact Answer – AT – Obama Won’t Attack Iran
Obama would be willing to take military action against Iran.
Newbart, Chicago Sun Times Staff Writer, 7. (David, “Obama: Iran threatens us all”, Chicago Sun Times, March 3, 2007, http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/281249,CSTNWS-OBAMA03.article Accessed 7-7-08) Sen. Barack Obama said Friday the use of military force should not be taken off the table when dealing with Iran, which he called "a threat to all of us." Speaking before a pro-Israel crowd at a downtown hotel, Obama also repeated his call for a phased pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq and strongly backed a strong U.S. relationship with Israel. Earlier in the day, the Republican National Committee took aim at Obama, issuing a research memo aimed at highlighting the Illinois freshman senator's lack of experience on foreign affairs. That the gloves-are-off memo was even generated at this time is a testament to Obama's growing strength in the Democratic primary field. Obama campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer dismissed the Republican memo as an "example of the type of politics Barack Obama is hoping to change." He said Obama has spoken out against the war for years. Iranian leader 'reckless' While he was being attacked in Washington, Obama was in friendly territory in Chicago as he appeared at a forum attended by 800 members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobby. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and a hug from one of the group's leaders. Obama said global leaders must do whatever it takes to stop Iran from enriching uranium and acquiring nuclear weapons. He called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "reckless, irresponsible and inattentive" to the day-to-day needs of the Iranian people. The Iranian "regime is a threat to all of us," Obama said. While Obama wouldn't rule out force, he said the United States should engage in "aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions" to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear threat. Visited Israel last year Again taking aim at the Bush administration and the war in Iraq, he said the war had actually strengthened Iran's influence in the region. He noted the war had spurned "anti-U.S. and further anti-Israel propaganda." Obama told of a trip he took to Israel in January 2006, visiting a village that resembled a suburb in the United States. He said he was deeply moved by a visit to a home hit by a rocket launched by Hezbollah. "Our job is to never forget that the threat of violence is real," he said. Obama's appearance was seen as a move to court Jewish donors, although the event wasn't a fund-raiser. He did pose for photos with AIPAC members at a private reception before the speech. Although the event was billed as a "forum," he took no questions from the audience or media and left immediately after his half-hour speech. Even though many in the crowd endorsed his remarks, some said they are waiting to hear more from him in the coming months to better gauge his position on Israel and other foreign-policy questions. "He is an unknown," said Diane Dubey, an AIPAC member from Lincolnwood. Others said Obama, who largely read from prepared remarks, seemed slightly less passionate about the topic than presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who spoke at AIPAC's national convention last year. Both Clinton and Obama will be at the convention March 11 in Washington. "He speaks beautifully, but we don't find a lot of emotion in what he says," said Mark Sherman of Northbrook.

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McCain Impact Answer – Democrats Will Control Congress
Democrats gains will ensure control in both houses in Congress
Cook, NBC News analyst and Cook Report editor and publisher, Summer 8 (Charles E., Jr., The Washington Quarterly, “The 2008 Presidential Primaries: What in America's Name Is Going On?”, Pg. 193 Vol. 31 No. 3, Lexis) All of these are various manifestations of a morale problem within the Republican Party. GOP partisans seem more demoralized than they have since the mid-1970s during the Watergate scandal, whereas Democrats seem unusually energized. Gallup asked voters in February if, compared to previous elections, they were more or less enthusiastic about voting. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic than normal, and 15 percent were less enthusiastic. Only 44 percent of Republicans were more enthused, and 48 percent were less motivated. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in early March asked voters how interested they were in this election, on a scale of one to 10, with one being "not at all interested" and 10 being "very interested." Seventy-two percent of Democrats said that they were 10s, compared to just 63 percent of Republicans. This is not to argue that Republicans will not vote in normal numbers this November. This is a presidential year and very likely to be a very high turnout election. Republicans had every reason in the world to stay home in the November 2006 midterm elections, but their turnout was down only slightly from past midterm performance. More plausible is that Democrats might vote in unusually high numbers, given higher voter turnout among Democrats in their presidential primaries and caucuses this year than among Republicans. In terms of Congress, these circumstances combine with the fact that many more Republican incumbents than Democrats have opted not to seek reelection, opening their seats up to a greater risk of turnover in most cases. GOP losses in the Senate and House are thus quite likely. Five senators have announced that they are not seeking reelection, all five being Republicans (this does not include Senator Trent Lott [Miss.], who simply resigned, with Representative Roger Wicker [Miss.] appointed to take his place). In the House, 26 Republican and just seven Democratic incumbents have indicated that they are not seeking reelection. Although not all of these open seats are highly vulnerable to Democratic takeover, many are. Republicans are currently expected to lose between three and six net Senate seats and between five and 15 House seats this fall. With Democrats raising significantly more money than Republicans in the congressional races for the first time in memory, this outcome is even more likely to occur. All of this will not likely give Democrats a veto-proof Congress or even a filibuster-proof Senate, but it would give Democrats a firmer hold on both chambers.

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ANWR Impact Answer – AT – McCain Would Allow Drilling in the ANWR
McCain opposes drilling in the ANWR
CNN Politics, Election Center 2008, 6-17-8. ("McCain wants to lift ban on oil drilling", http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/17/mccain.energy/, ) Tuesday's discussion marks the first in a series of talks about America's energy security that McCain will hold during the next two weeks as he lays out his plan to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil. McCain opposes drilling in some parts of the wilderness and says those areas must be left undisturbed. "When America set aside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we called it a 'refuge' for a reason," he said.

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Obama Impact Answer – Can’t Predict Obama Agenda
No way to predict Obama agenda now – he has changed plenty of positions already
Merritt, TalkLeft founder & Denver criminal defense attorney, 7-12-8 (Jeralyn, TalkLeft.com, “Obama's Disgruntled Liberal Supporters”, http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/7/12/18026/2374, accesed 7-14-8) I disagree. I see no transformational quality to either Obama or his candidacy. Obama said he was a new kind of politician. He sold an entire younger generation on the theory of change, a new kind of politics in Washington and he's delivered the status quo. He's shown us that on FISA, the death penalty, guns, religion, Iraq, Afghanistan and trade policy (so far) he's all about preserving the status quo and not rocking the boat in his quest for votes. How much more "politics as usual" can you get? Other Obama supporters interviewed for the article are angry at Obama. One says she's going to vote for the Green party candidate. [More...] “I’m disgusted with him,” said Ms. Shade, an artist. “I can’t even listen to him anymore. He had such an opportunity, but all this ‘audacity of hope’ stuff, it’s blah, blah, blah. For all the independents he’s going to gain, he’s going to lose a lot of progressives.” Others aren't angry at Obama and take his latest pronouncements in stride. “We’re frustrated by it, but we understand,” said Mollie Ruskin, 22, who grew up in Baltimore and is spending the summer here as a fellow with Politicorps, a program run by the Bus Project, a local nonprofit that trains young people to campaign for progressive candidates. “He’s doing it so he can get into office and do the things he believes in.” How does anyone know what Obama really believes or, even more problematic, what beliefs he'll decide are worth expending political capital on once he's elected? We don't. I think that's a direct consequence of his having campaigned on generalities like change. People who are unhappy with the current state of affairs just assumed he is on the same side of issues as they are. Since Obama wants change and they want change, they assumed they are all on the same page -- like one big happy progressive family. There's just no way to know that. Another supporter interviewed says: “When are these people going to go, anyway?” Mr. Blanchard said of left-wing critics he believes have hurt Democrats in past elections. “My attitude is lighten up on the guy. We want to win. Moving to the center is not a crime in this country.” True, but that's not the critical issue. In fact, it misses the point. Progressives can accept a centrist candidate. After all, Hillary is a centrist. Before 2008, Edwards was a centrist. Millions of us were fine with Hillary. It's the bait and switch we hate and it makes Obama a tougher sell now. He wasn't honest with us. He promised reform and a new kind of politics and is relying on the same old Washington play book that's been in use for decades. I'm not surprised. It's why I didn't support him before the primaries. It's why I wrote dozens of posts debunking his generic change theme. It has always been just campaign rhetoric. As I was listening to Gary Hart being interviewed in the new Hunter Thompson documentary Gonzo last week (described here), it occurred to me how absolutely disingenuous Obama's whole campaign theme of change has been. There can be no such thing as the politics of change in a presidential race because no one promoting substantial change could ever win. The numbers wouldn't be there. Presidential politics is all about compromise and it's unrealistic to expect anything else.

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Obama Good Impact Answer – AT – Obama Solves US Leadership
Obama won’t improve US image abroad – too many policies are at odds with bolstering relations, and McCain would solve too
Kirchick, New Republic assistant editor, 7-21-8 (James, The Weekly Standard, “The Democrats' Popularity Fetish; Global approval is overrated.”, vol. 13, no. 42) A major theme of this year's presidential campaign is that the United States has lost the respect of the world and that electing a Democrat, especially Barack Obama, is the way to fix it. "What if we could restore America's place in the world, and people's faith in our government?" asks one Obama ad. Obama's supposed ability to make the United States loved again is taken as a given by the pundit class, not to mention his adoring followers. Listing his reasons for supporting the junior senator from Illinois, the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan swooned, "First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan." In a New York Times dispatch datelined Paris, foreign affairs columnist Roger Cohen gushed that the French see Obama as one of "les bons Américains" alongside John F. Kennedy, Michael Moore, and Al Gore. Writing in the Baltimore Sun, University of Maryland professor Thomas Schaller declared that Obama "may yet prove to be America's next great export." The fervor for Obama here at home appears to be matched by equal, if not more ardent, enthusiasm abroad. "Excitement about Obama spreads around the world," read the headline of a recent Associated Press story, which described the junior senator from Illinois as a "global phenomenon." Yet as tempting as some may find it to support Obama for his worldwide appeal, to believe that his election will dramatically improve America's relations with the world is incredibly shallow. In the simplistic narrative of the Obama boosters, President Bush and his party's successor, John McCain, are cranky nationalists who view the world through the barrel of a gun. But the fact is, in this election it is the Democratic candidate who is proposing policies profoundly at odds with his promise to restore America's preeminent place in the world. Take the issue of trade. In Senate debates earlier this year, Obama vocally opposed free trade deals with both South Korea and Colombia. Asked what Congress's failure to pass the Colombia Free Trade Act would mean for bilateral relations between his country and the United States, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe replied, "It would be very serious." But Obama hasn't just opposed free trade pacts with our closest allies in Asia and Latin America. During the Democratic primary, in an attempt to shore up the votes of rust-belt blue-collar workers in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, he vowed to renegotiate NAFTA, the free trade pact between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. A minor scandal erupted when it was revealed that Obama's chief economic adviser had reassured Canadian officials that his boss's protectionist rhetoric was just campaign sloganeering. After he clinched his party's nomination, Obama tried to confirm that the Canadians' fear was unfounded in an interview with Fortune magazine, saying that "sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified." Given his anti-trade voting record, though, it's hard to know whether to take Obama 's latest statements seriously. His easy ability to go from calling NAFTA a "big mistake" to disavowing the comments months later doesn't inspire confidence in his supposedly unshakable principles, never mind his ability to send a positive message to the world that America is open for business. Indeed, so put off was he by Obama's protectionist rhetoric that British foreign minister David Miliband in May sent Obama an implicit warning to unmoor himself from the agenda of American labor unions. "The problem is not too much trade, the problem is too little trade," he told the Financial Times. "That is our position as a British government, and it will be articulated clearly and consistently." Alarmed at Obama's anti-NAFTA rhetoric, Canada's National Post opined, "The treaty is simply too integral to our prosperity to take anything about it for granted," and suggested that should the United States even consider renegotiating NAFTA, Canada, America's largest supplier of oil, should threaten to cut off supplies. Also disconcerting to many around the world is Obama's promise--articulated in a debate last August--to meet with a variety of anti-American dictators without preconditions. He has since tried to backtrack from this off-the-cuff remark, yet its utterance showed Obama's remarkable hubris--his apparent belief that seemingly intractable world problems will be easier to solve simply by dint of his charming personality. He is far from alone in this belief. Writing recently in the Boston Globe, Mark Oppenheimer suggested that "given Obama's popularity abroad, it's possible to imagine that his meetings would embolden pro-American or pro-Western forces wherever he went."

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Obama Good Impact Answer – AT – Obama Solves US Leadership
Card continued, no omissions
Yet negotiating with tin-pot tyrants is a double-edged sword. For every despot a President Obama meets with, he runs the risk of demoralizing the democracy activists suffering under the despot's boot, and the neighboring countries threatened by said tyrant's hegemony. An unconditional meeting with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, for instance, would rightly anger Colombians, as Chávez's Venezuela has provided assistance to Colombia's antigovernment FARC guerrillas. Ah, but then there is the Bush foreign policy, Obama partisans argue. It's true that the Iraq war is exhibit A for America haters around the globe, yet it's unclear how Obama's solution--complete withdrawal in little over a year and unconditional negotiations with the Syrians and Iranians--will win us popularity. Leaving Iraq at the pace the Democrats propose would very likely throw the country into chaos, and the people most obviously pleased by this policy would be the Iranians. Yet let us assume that it is Bush's foreign policy that has earned the evident displeasure with the United States expressed in many countries around the world. Voters desiring to reverse this trend should then give a second look to John McCain, for the Republican's worldwide appeal has been badly underestimated. In March, McCain toured through Europe and the Middle East, and won winning headlines wherever he traveled. The Guardian, a newspaper hardly known for its pro-American or pro-Republican sympathies, noted that "Mr. McCain should not be dismissed as Bush mark two" because he is "made of sterner stuff and he has a lifetime of engagement with the outside world --and the scars to prove it--that gives him the moral seriousness Mr. Bush so lacks." And in the past several weeks, McCain has toured Canada, Mexico, and Colombia in an attempt to highlight--to its potential victims abroad--the differences between his pro-trade agenda and the protectionist pandering of his opponent. McCain has distinguished himself from President Bush on a variety of issues--from the closure of Guantánamo to global warming--that are frequently cited in the litany of alleged American misdeeds that Obama will fix. Ultimately, it remains questionable whether American voters should concern themselves much with "global opinion." In any case, so committed are Obama supporters to the belief that Bush has lowered America's standing to an unprecedented extent that they cannot explain the election of pro-American leaders in Italy (Silvio Berlusconi), Germany (Angela Merkel), and France (Nicolas Sarkozy). Partly because of their candidate's multi-ethnic background, and partly because of their hatred for Bush, many Obama supporters have a wildly overconfident view of their candidate's powers, one that assumes his emergence onto the world stage will, in the candidate's own phrase, begin to heal the planet. It won't.

Note: This is a continuation of this card:
Obama won’t improve US image abroad – too many policies are at odds with bolstering relations, and McCain would solve too Kirchick, New Republic assistant editor, 7-21-8 (James, The Weekly Standard, “The Democrats' Popularity Fetish; Global approval is overrated.”, vol. 13, no. 42)

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Obama Soft Power Impact Answer – AT – Obama Solves US Leadership
Obama election won’t necessarily solve soft power – foreign policy problems could overwhelm the internal link
Nye, Harvard professor and former Assistant Secretary of Defense, 6-12-8 (Joseph S., Jr., Huffington Post, “Barack Obama and Soft Power,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-nye/barack-obama-andsoft-pow_b_106717.html, accessed 7-17-8) Unfortunately, a President Obama will inherit a number of policy problems such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea where hard power plays a large role. If he drops the ball on any of these issues, they will devour his political capital. At the same time, he will have to be careful not to let this inherited legacy of problems define his presidency. Some time between November 4 and January 20, he will need to indicate a new tone in foreign policy which shows that we will once again export hope rather than fear. This could take several forms: announcement of an intent to close Guantanamo; dropping the term "global war on terror;" creation of a special bipartisan group to formulate a new policy on climate change; a "listening trip" to Asia, and so forth. Electing Obama will greatly help restore America's soft power as a nation that can recreate itself, but the election alone will not be sufficient. It is not too soon to start thinking about symbols and policies for the days immediately after the election.

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October Surprise Impact Answer – AT – October Surprise
October Surprise theory is farfetched – won’t shift electorate
Palermo, CSU-Sacramento history professor, 6-26-8 (Joseph A., Huffington Post, “John McCain and Charlie Black’s October Surprise,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-apalermo/john-mccain-and-charlie-b_b_109370.html, accessed 7-16-8) John McCain's top advisor, the Washington lobbyist Charlie Black, told Fortune magazine recently that another terrorist attack in the United States would "be a big advantage" for McCain in the coming election. "Certainly, it would be a big advantage to him," he asserted. On another occasion Black talked up how the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan would have played well for Republicans. Now isn't that special? Here is the leading strategist for the Republican Party's nominee for president publicly surmising that if Al Qaeda or some other extremist group kills a bunch of innocent Americans his candidate will benefit politically. Black's callousness is just the latest example of the pathological cynicism of our toxic political discourse. If we had any decency Charlie Black would be run out of town on a rail. We should shame McCain into firing this specimen. In any case, Charlie Black's prediction about how the American electorate would respond to another terrorist attack is stretched at best and total bullshit at worst. Any honest observer would take a look at George W. Bush's approval rating, the number of Americans who oppose the war in Iraq, and the backlash of the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, and conclude just the opposite. But Charlie Black is not an honest observer. He displays the moral integrity we might expect from a man who lobbied on behalf of Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko, and Jonas Savimbi. Hell, he might as well moonlight when he's not riding the "Straight Talk Express" to give a helping hand to Robert Mugabe.

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********** Bush Aff - Generic **********

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Non-Unique – Bush Is a Lame Duck
Bush Is a Lame Duck – former NDT champ says so
Jessup, CBN News Washington Correspondent, ‘08 (John, “Take 2: Iran Yest-fires More Missiles,” July 10, 2008, http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/406751.aspx, accessed July 10, 2008). Terrorism analyst Daveed Gartentenstein Ross said the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran this year was "well under 50 percent." He added, "On the flip side… Bush is a lame duck and he wouldn't have a whole lot of political capital to lose," Ross told CBN News.

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Non-Unique – Bush Approval Low
High gas prices, economic troubles, and Iraq have contributed to Bush’s lowest ratings – 29%
Jones, Gallop Managing Editor, 2008 (Jeffery M., Gallup: Politics and Government, “Bush Quarterly Average Establishes: New Low: 29%” July 17 http://www.gallup.com/poll/108883/Bush-Quarterly-Average-Establishes-New-Low-29.aspx date accessed: July 17, 2008) George W. Bush will end his 30th quarter in the White House with just a 29% average approval rating for the last three months, the worst of his presidency. Bush's previous low quarterly average was 31.3% in the prior (29th) quarter. During his 30th quarter (spanning April 20 through July 19), Bush's six individual Gallup Poll approval ratings ranged between 28% and 31%. The 31% reading is from the most recent update, based on a July 10-13 Gallup Poll. High gas prices, numerous economic troubles, and ongoing U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan all contributed to Bush's recent low ratings, which rank among the lowest Gallup has measured historically. The lowest single rating for any president is Harry Truman's 22% job approval rating in February 1952. Bush has achieved a personal low of 28% five times, three of which occurred in his most recent quarter in office.

Congress is overriding Bush’s vetoes – Democrats have the upper hand on domestic issues
Froomkin, Michigan Journalism Fellowship Award Recipient, 2008 (Dan, more quals: Washington Post Columnist and Editor, Editor of New Media for Education Week. WashingtonPost.com – White House Watch. “The 28 Percent President” July 16 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/blog/2008/07/16/BL2008071601516.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 date accessed: July 17, 2008). David Stout writes in the New York Times: "President Bush cast a futile veto on Tuesday, rejecting a bill that would protect doctors from cuts in their Medicare payments. But hours later, the House and Senate voted to override the veto, making the Medicare measure the fourth bill to become legislation over Mr. Bush's opposition." Michael Abramowitz and Paul Kane write in The Washington Post: "The House voted 383 to 41 to override the veto, while the Senate voted 70 to 26, in both cases far more than the two-thirds necessary to block the president's action. "With organized medicine and other lobbies promoting the popular measure in an election year, Republicans broke heavily from the White House. A total of 153 House Republicans voted to defy the White House, 24 more than in a June 24 vote that started the momentum toward passage of the Medicare doctors' bill yesterday. Twenty-one Senate Republicans voted for the bill this time, including four senators who had voted 'nay' in the two previous Medicare votes." Robert Pear writes in the New York Times: "Mr. Bush has been getting his way on many foreign and national security issues, obtaining money for the Iraq war, persuading Congress to pass new wiretapping legislation and fending off restrictions on harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding. "But Democrats have gained the upper hand on many domestic issues, passing a water projects bill over the president's veto and forcing the White House to accept new education benefits for veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Bush ratings have hit rock bottom at 28%
Ritter, Emmy Award Winning News Anchor and Journalist, 2008 (Bill, Eyewitness News. “It’s the Economy: Behind the News” July 15. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news&id=6268689 date accessed: July 17, 2008) Perhaps not at all coincidentally, another new ABC News poll shows that President Bush's popularity is at another alltime low. In fact, for the third straight month, the President's job approval has hit a new bottom. It's now at 28% -matching Jimmy Carter's low. Only Richard Nixon and Harry Truman have ever recorded lower job approval. And Mr. Bush hasn't had a majority approval in 42 months - that, too is a Presidential record.

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Non-Unique – Bush Approval Low
Bush popularity ridiculously low – on all measures
Froomkin, Washington Post White House Watch columnist, 7-16-8 (Dan, Washingtonpost.com, “The 28 Percent President”) At his press conference yesterday, President Bush tried to emphasize the positive about the economy -- and his presidency. The financial system is "basically sound," he said. And he rejected the naysayers who say "aww, man, you're running out of time." But at the end of the day, Bush found himself overridden, ignored and disdained. We'll start with disdained. Jon Cohen blogs for The Washington Post: "Another month, another new low for George W. Bush : Just 28 percent in the new Post-ABC poll approve of the way the president is handling his job. This marks a new career low in Post polling, and is the 40th consecutive month his ratings have been under 50 percent. "His negative rating has also hit a record, with 69 percent saying they disapprove of his job performance. And the percentage holding 'strongly' negative views is up to 56 percent, another new high, and nearly five times the number who 'strongly approve.' "While most Republicans remain steadfastly behind the president, a third now disapprove, including two in 10 who strongly disapprove. This is the first time so many Republicans have expressed such sharply negative views of Bush's tenure. Strong disapproval among Democrats has also reached a new high in the poll, 81 percent." Alan Fram writes for the Associated Press: "28 percent said they approve of the job Bush is doing, tying his low in the AP-Ipsos survey set last April. . . . "Just 63 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of conservatives approved of Bush's handling of his job, strikingly low numbers. . . "With soaring fuel prices, ailing financial and housing markets and rising inflation, Bush got his lowest grade for handling the economy. Just 24 percent approved of how he's dealing with it, tying last month's AP-Ipsos low on that issue. "Only half of Republicans gave Bush good grades on the economy, as did hardly any Democrats or independents." Terence Hunt writes for the Associated Press: "This is hardly the way he wanted to go out. . . . "As of Tuesday, Bush had 189 days before he walks out of the Oval Office for the last time. His term is ending with Americans on edge, the mood of the country sour." A new New York Times/CBS poll shows Bush's approval at -- you guessed it -- 28 percent, with 65 percent disapproving. That's not an all-time low; a CBS poll in June found Bush approval at 25 percent. But approval on his handling of the economy, at 20 percent, does break the record.

Bush’s approval ratings hovering near all-time low
Rasmussen Reports, 7-16-8 (“President Bush Job Approval, Bush Job Approval Hovers Near All-Time Low” http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/political_updates/president_bush_job_approval, accessed 7-16-8) For the week ending July 13, just 33% of Americans say they approve of the way that George W. Bush is performing his job as President. Sixty-four percent (64%) disapprove. No data was released for the week ending July 6 as we did not poll over the holiday weekend. Last week’s figures are a single point better for the President than his ratings in June. However, during June, the President’s Job Approval ratings fell for the fifth straight month and set a new all-time low for the third straight month. For the full month of June, just 32% approved of the way the President performed his job. That’s down a single point from 33% in May and down six points from 38% in January. In June, just 13% Strongly Approved of the President’s performance. Nearly four times as many—47%--Strongly Disapproved. In February 2005, at the beginning of the President’s second term, the number who Strongly Approved (28%) was very close to the number who Strongly Disapproved (33%).

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Uniqueness – Approval with GOP Low
Bush’s popularity with Republicans at all time low
Rasmussen Reports, 7-16-8 (“President Bush Job Approval, Bush Job Approval Hovers Near All-Time Low” http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/political_updates/president_bush_job_approval, accessed 7-16-8) Over the past several months, the Rasmussen Consumer Index has shown a similar trend as consumer confidence fell to record lows. The Rasmussen Employment Index also provided discouraging news. For the first time ever, the number of workers whose firms are laying people off exceeds the number whose firms are hiring. The President earns approval from 34% of men and 30% of women. Just 65% of Republicans now voice approval for the President, another all-time low.

Bush’s ratings are at an all time low – even among the Republicans
Froomkin, Michigan Journalism Fellowship Award Recipient, 2008 (Dan, more quals: Washington Post Columnist and Editor, Editor of New Media for Education Week. WashingtonPost.com – White House Watch. “The 28 Percent President” July 16 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/blog/2008/07/16/BL2008071601516.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 date accessed: July 17, 2008). Jon Cohen blogs for The Washington Post: "Another month, another new low for George W. Bush: Just 28 percent in the new Post-ABC poll approve of the way the president is handling his job. This marks a new career low in Post polling, and is the 40th consecutive month his ratings have been under 50 percent. "His negative rating has also hit a record, with 69 percent saying they disapprove of his job performance. And the percentage holding 'strongly' negative views is up to 56 percent, another new high, and nearly five times the number who 'strongly approve.' "While most Republicans remain steadfastly behind the president, a third now disapprove, including two in 10 who strongly disapprove. This is the first time so many Republicans have expressed such sharply negative views of Bush's tenure. Strong disapproval among Democrats has also reached a new high in the poll, 81 percent." Alan Fram writes for the Associated Press: "28 percent said they approve of the job Bush is doing, tying his low in the AP-Ipsos survey set last April. . . . "Just 63 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of conservatives approved of Bush's handling of his job, strikingly low numbers. . . .

Not only does Bush have record low approval from Democrats but is also suffering in polls with conservatives
Fram, News Editor of Foreign Affairs and Military, 2008 (Alan, New York: The Sun – The Associated Press. “Bush, Congress Get Record Low Ratings in AP-Ipsos Poll” July 16 http://www.nysun.com/national/bush-congress-get-record-low-ratings-in-ap-ipsos/81945/ date accessed: July 17, 2008) Underscoring the breadth of the gloom, dissatisfaction with the country's direction stretched across party and ideological lines. Only three in 10 Republicans and fewer than one in 10 Democrats and independents said the country is heading the right way. Only one in five conservatives and even fewer moderates and liberals said they are happy with things. Just 63% of Republicans and 46% of conservatives approved of Mr. Bush's handling of his job, strikingly low numbers. About one in five Republicans and conservatives voiced strong approval for the president, while one in 10 Republicans and three in 10 conservatives said they strongly disapproved. Four percent of Democrats and 12% of independents gave Mr. Bush positive grades — the lowest he's ever gotten from those groups in the AP-Ipsos survey. The numbers were similarly low for liberals and moderates. With soaring fuel prices, ailing financial and housing markets and rising inflation, Bush got his lowest grade for handling the economy. Just 24% approved of how he's dealing with it, tying last month's AP-Ipsos low on that issue. About three in 10 voiced approval for how he's handling Iraq, domestic issues, and foreign affairs. All are near or tied with previous lows in the survey.

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Internal Link Answer – AT – Popularity Key to Agenda
Bush I’s Gulf War popularity proves approval does not ensure even popular agenda’s success
Canes-Wrone, MIT political science professor & de Marchi, Duke political science professor, 2 (Brandice * Scott, JOURNAL OF POLITICS, May 2002, p. 491-2. At the end of the Gulf War a Gallup Poll indicated that 89% of Americans approved of President George H. W. Bush’s job performance, the highest presidential approval rating ever recorded by the Gallup Organization. Political observers at the time predicted this popularity would translate into policy influence. Washington Post headlines declared “President Plans to Capitalize on Popularity Gain.” Richard Fenno characterized the moment as “the time for [Bush] to expend some of the popularity he gained in pursuit of a comparably large cause at home. Bush’s performance did not live up to the promise, however. For example, although presidential aides cited his anti-crime bill as a keystone of his agenda, a majority of House members voted against the legislation. In fact, Democratic members publicly opposed the bill within the week that Bush advocated it in a nationally televised address. Before long, headlines were proclaiming, “Bush Squanders Power.”

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********** Bush Aff – India Deal **********

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India Deal Impact Answer – Won’t Pass Now
Deal won’t pass in time now – window too narrow
Chengappa, India Today deputy editor, 7-21-8 (Raj, India Today, “The long last mile”, Lexis) The Congress could also engage in an elaborate discussion of the 123 bilateral agreement to see if it conformed to the Hyde Act in spirit and law. Such matters are, as a norm, to be listed for discussion for a period of three months. US negotiators are concerned that there may not be enough time to get the current Congress to endorse the deal.

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India Deal Impact Answer – Next Congress Solves Impact
Massive bipartisan support, and risk of lost business, would ensure next Congress will ratify India deal
Chengappa, India Today deputy editor, 7-21-8 (Raj, India Today, “The long last mile”, Lexis) Given the tremendous bipartisan support the deal enjoys, members of the next Congress may ensure its passage. Also, by then it would be something of a fait accompli because technically India can then proceed to trade with Russia and France, making US companies howl at the loss of business.

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India Deal Impact Answer – Failure of Deal Won’t Collapse Relations
Failure of deal won’t crush relations – it would only be a hiccup
Ling, E Environment and Energy Daily reporter, 9-19-07 (Katherine, Environment and Energy Daily, NUCLEAR POWER: U.S.-India nuclear agreement still far from completion) The deal must also still be authorized by Congress, which will likely not take it up until 2008 at the earliest, experts say. But some lawmakers say congressional approval is far from crucial. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), a co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, said if the deal falls through it would merely be "a hiccup." "The president went and did [the agreement] by himself and didn't talk to a soul on the Hill," he said. "Since the initial decision [to make the deal] there has been a whole process that Congress is largely unaware of. Ninety-five percent of Congress do not know a single specific detail about anything" in the current deal. McDermott said he thought the agreement might see some resistance as a "reflection of Congress asserting their authority to make it a part of this agreement."

And the Representative quoted is qualified – he’s the co-founder and co-chair of the 184-member India and Indian Americans Congressional Caucus on Capitol Hill
Ling, E Environment and Energy Daily reporter, 9-19-07 (Katherine, Environment and Energy Daily, NUCLEAR POWER: U.S.-India nuclear agreement still far from completion) The 184-member India and Indian Americans Congressional Caucus is the largest on Capitol Hill.

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********** Bush Aff – Drilling & ANWR **********

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Drilling Impact Answer – Congress Won’t Reverse Ban on Drilling
Congress won’t reverse ban on drilling any time soon
McClatchy Newspapers, 7-16-8 (Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee), p. A10) Bush also tried to offer soothing words on energy, a day after he overturned an 18-year-old executive ban on drilling off most U.S. coastlines. Congress still needs to approve ending the ban, an unlikely prospect anytime soon.

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Drilling Good – Key to Economy
Offshore drilling is key to the economy. AFP 8
(AFP, “Bush Lifts Offshore Drilling Ban”, July 14, 2008, http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gSa47KxQcvDVy9w_pbhKuvNxQC-w Date Accessed: 7-17-08) "As the Democratically controlled Congress has sat idle, gas prices have continued to increase. Failure to act is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to me, and it's unacceptable to the American people," he said. Democrats counter that a plan that, by some estimates, would not yield a drop of oil for as much as a decade will not bring down gasoline prices now and that Bush has done too little to seek alternative energy sources. The announcement came amid a bitter political battle over soaring gasoline prices at a time when US public opinion polls show most voters worry most about the economy -- even more than about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Presumptive Republican presidential champion John McCain has pushed for ending the offshore drilling ban, drawing fire from environmental groups and his all-but-certain Democratic rival, Barack Obama. A late-June poll by CNN found that 73 percent of the US public at least mildly supports increased offshore drilling, while 27 percent at least mildly opposes it. The error margin was plus or minus three percentage points. Under the 1981 federal moratorium, states are prohibited from allowing offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration, protecting virtually the entire Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and sections of the Gulf of Mexico. The Governor of oil-rich Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, welcomed Bush's announcement. "Louisiana produces 30 percent to 40 percent of the nation's oil and gas off our coast. It is certainly good for our economy ... It is also good for the nation," he told Fox News. [NOTE: He = President George W. Bush]

Drilling will change the market psychology – signaling new supply solves
Investor's Business Daily, editorial, 7-16-8 (“Ball Squarely In Congress' Court”, p. A11) On Tuesday, the president went much further in showing his ex-oilman's knowledge of the dynamics of the domestic oil industry and the global energy markets. Drilling for more domestic oil, he said, would "change the psychology that demand will constantly outstrip supply." Although "it's going to take a while to get these reserves on line," he added "it won't take a while to send a signal to the world that we're willing to use new technologies to find oil reserves here at home." The president described how the oil market currently sees that "supplies are going to stay stagnant while demand rises. And that's reflected somewhat in the price of crude oil," which affects the price at the pump. It therefore makes sense "to say to the world that we're going to use new technologies to explore for oil and gas in the United States -- offshore oil, ANWR, oil shale projects -- to . . . send a clear message that the supplies of oil will increase." Increased conservation, which already is happening, can also help, he added. But the president emphasized that "There is no immediate fix . . . . It took us a while to get here and we need to have a good strategy to get out of it." Predicting even more pain ahead if action is not taken, the president warned, "unless there's a focused effort to bring more supplies to market, there's going to be a lot of upward pressure on price." On Middle East oil industry developments, the president was just as impressively well-informed, expressing encouragement at the Saudis' costly reinvestment in older oil fields -- and discouragement over government subsidies in some countries, such as China, that keep fuel prices artificially low.

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Drilling Good – Key to Energy Independence
Offshore drilling is key to end US oil dependency Mufson, Washington Post Staff Writer, 8
(Steven, The Washington Post, “Offshore Drilling Backed As Remedy for Oil; Push for U.S. Exploration Gains Traction, but Big Political Hurdles Remain”, July 14, 2008, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) Republicans have tried to link offshore drilling to the surge in gasoline prices. "The American people are saying loud and clear -- there is no ambiguity about it -- they want us to do something about it, and they understand the laws of supply and demand," McConnell said last week. He said he was negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) in an effort to find common ground. Top Senate Democrats this week said compromise was possible, but House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a release saying that there are already 68 million acres of public lands and waters open for drilling. The area is equal, he said, to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and about two-thirds of Maryland, combined. The debate over offshore drilling has been muddied by a variety of claims about how much oil and gas might lie under the sea, what it would take to get hold of it and what the impact would be. McCain told reporters last month that "we have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States." In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are "undiscovered conventionally recoverable resources" of 17.8 billion barrels. That's not the same thing as "reserves." In the oil business, "reserves" refers to oil that has been found and "proven," whereas "resources" refers to promising geological structures where the presence of oil remains uncertain. In the eastern Gulf of Mexico, those "resources" are likely to represent actual oil because the geology is an extension of the western Gulf of Mexico, where oil has been drilled for years. There is less certainty about what may lie off the Atlantic coast. If, in fact, there are 17.8 billion barrels of oil offshore, that would equal half the reserves of Nigeria or about 60 percent of proven U.S. reserves. It could substantially reduce U.S. imports for a decade or two or sustain U.S. production when other fields decline. [NOTE: McConnell = Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, R-KY]

New offshore drilling could safely lead to decades of US energy independence. Lieberman, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Senior Policy Analyst, 5
(Ben, The Heritage Foundation, “Lifting the Offshore Drilling Ban: A Positive Step in the Fight against High Energy Prices”, July 14, 2008, http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm1990.cfm Date Accessed: 7-17-08) These restrictions effectively banned new offshore energy production off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, parts of offshore Alaska, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Recent DOI estimates put the amount of energy in these off-limits areas at 19.1 billion barrels of oil and 83.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas—approximately 30 years' worth of imports from Saudi Arabia and enough natural gas to power America's homes for 17 years. It should also be noted that these initial estimates tend to be low. OCS restrictions are a relic of the past. They were put in place at a time when energy was cheap, the need for additional domestic supplies was not seen as dire, and the political path of least resistance was to give in to environmentalists. All that has changed, with more than a quadrupling of oil and natural gas prices since the restrictions were first imposed. Extra energy is badly needed, and the risk of producing it has been reduced. All new drilling would be subject to strict safeguards and would require state-of-the-art technology with a proven track record for limiting the risk of spills. By lifting the executive moratorium against OCS exploration and production, the President has brought America one step closer to accessing promising sources of domestic oil and natural gas for decades to come. Now, Congress must show the nation that it is serious about meeting our energy needs by supporting the production of American energy from American waters.

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Drilling Good – Key to Energy Independence
Expanded offshore drilling is key to energy security in the case of a disaster.
Lieberman, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Senior Policy Analyst, 5 (Ben, The Heritage Foundation, “The Environmental Disaster That Wasn’t”, November 2, 2005, http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm907.cfm Date Accessed: 7-17-08) The hurricane-ravaged parts of the central and western Gulf are not, as many assume, the only offshore locations with significant oil deposits. They are merely the only ones where drilling is not subject to severe federal constraints. However, there are offshore oil and natural gas reserves in restricted areas in Alaska, the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the eastern Gulf. Estimates vary, but there may be more energy in these off-limits areas than in those where drilling is allowed. Tapping this energy could increase domestic production significantly, both lowering prices overall and leaving us less vulnerable should a disaster strike any one area. Unfortunately, fears of oil spills have sparked strong opposition to new drilling. This is particularly true in Florida and California, two states with big tourism industries and high coastal property values but also great untapped offshore energy reserves. In Senate hearings on the energy bill, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) reiterated her state’s opposition to offshore drilling, noting that “an oil spill in 1969 off the coast of Santa Barbara killed thousands of birds, as well as dolphins, seals, and other animals. We know this could happen again.” The congressional delegations from these states managed to keep pro-drilling provisions out of the energy bill, which was passed last August. These legislators even opposed a modest effort to allow other states to opt out of the federal restrictions and drill off their coasts. The hurricanes put the issue back on the table, and similar prodrilling measures have been reintroduced. Congress will be considering them in the weeks ahead. Leading the charge is Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Resources. The committee has introduced a bill that includes state opt-out measures. “I’ve always believed that this should be a state decision,” says Pombo. It is still an uphill fight. Thus far, opponents have held the line against new drilling. Many remain wedded to outdated notions of offshore drilling being environmentally riskier than it now is. They often invoke the memory of decades-old oil spills but ignore the more recent track record. Katrina and Rita left us with two energy lessons. The first is that there are serious consequences of relying too heavily on one hurricane-prone region for such a large percentage of domestic oil production. The second is that, given the safety record in the face of these two major hurricanes, we can expand and geographically diversify the nation’s domestic oil supply and do so with considerably less environmental risk than in the past.

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Oil Key to National Security
Oil is a national security issue supported by the public. Belfast Telegram, 8
(The Belfast Telegram, “Offshore Oil Drilling is a National Security Issue, Claims McCain”, June 18, 2008, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) Any new oil supplies would take years to come on stream, but the Republican presidential candidate says his plan will reduce petrol prices at the pumps and speed the quest for energy independence in the United States. In reaching out to voters, panicked by petrol at $4 (£2) a gallon, he also risks alienating Americans looking for a sharp break with the tainted environmental legacy of President George Bush. Unveiling his energy programme in Texas, the US's main oil-producing state and home to Mr Bush, Mr McCain made clear that his push for offshore oil production is an issue of national security. He also said that Barack Obama's plan to tax huge increases in oil company profits are a return to "failed policies" of the 1970s. Mr McCain never ceases to warn of the peril to America of spending $400bn a year on foreign oil. "It's a national security issue," he has said, adding that much of the money goes to countries that "do not like us very much", such as Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Mr McCain's energy plan appals Democrats and environmentalists. The US has some of the toughest restrictions on drilling, with only parts of the Gulf of Mexico open to exploration. Republicans argue that there could be as many as 14 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the US parts of the continental shelf, 80 per cent of it currently closed to drillers. But environmentalists say ending the ban would allow oil rigs to be built as close as three miles from shores, risking calamitous oil slicks. "There are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation, and I hope we can take the first step by lifting the moratoria," he said at his "Victory" headquarters in Virginia before addressing the oil industry yesterday. "A return to offshore drilling would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis." Polls increasingly show that the public supports more domestic oil production on federally owned land and offshore areas which are closed to exploration and drilling. As a result, "drilling" the one-word capsulation of the issue is turning into the Republicans' strongest domestic issue in the election. Even as he thrilled oil exploration industry executives yesterday by offering to take them off the leash, Mr McCain remains in favour of action to control global warming by imposing limits on America's vast carbon footprint. In a complete break with the Bush administration, Mr McCain favours a "cap and trade" system to reduce emissions. At present, the US consumes 25 per cent of the world's oil supply and has only 3 per cent of the world's known reserves, which makes it almost impossible for America "to drill its way to lower oil prices", much less oil independence. Mr McCain's strategy is to call for more offshore exploration, while leaving it to the states themselves to decide whether to drill or not. "Being a federalist, I am not going to force them to do that," he said. Some see this as a dodge, especially as he is flatly against drilling in the ecologically sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, which the Bush administration has been pressing for years. [NOTE: He = Sen. John McCain R-AZ]

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Drilling Good – Lowers Oil Prices
Offshore drilling would boost the supply of oil – key to lowering prices.
Associated Press 8 (International Herald Tribune, “End to executive ban on drilling applauded by oil industry, even with slim odds for success”, July 14, 2008, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/07/14/business/NA-US-Executive-Ban-Markets.php Date Accessed: 7-17-08) The oil industry applauded President George W. Bush's announcement Monday that he would lift an executive ban on offshore drilling, even though no drilling will take place unless Congress lifts its own ban. The American Petroleum Institute, the industry's trade association, said opening new regions to oil companies would, among other things, boost supplies of oil and natural gas and create more well-paying jobs. "We encourage Congress to pass a common-sense and effective long-term energy policy designed to increase conservation and energy efficiency," said API spokeswoman Judy Penniman. The U.S. has had two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by the first President Bush in 1990. The current president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself. Congressional Democrats, joined by some Republican lawmakers from coastal states, have opposed lifting the prohibition that has barred energy companies from waters along both the East and West coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. "Lack of access to responsible production is a root cause of our continuing energy shortfall," Shell Oil Co., the U.S. arm of European oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC, said in a statement. "As we have seen, limited supply and increased demand can lead to shortages and higher prices."

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Drilling Good – Drilling Key to New Oil
Offshore drilling could open up massive amounts of new oil.
Associated Press, 8 (International Herald Tribune, “End to executive ban on drilling applauded by oil industry, even with slim odds for success”, July 14, 2008, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/07/14/business/NA-US-Executive-Ban-Markets.php Date Accessed: 7-17-08) "Political football isn't production," FBR said. "While lifting the moratorium will force opponents of offshore drilling to justify their stance, $145 (a barrel) oil does not guarantee action on off-limits areas." Bob Malone, president of BP PLC's American operation, noted that one-fourth of U.S. oil production comes from the 15 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf not currently off limits. "It's time to open the rest," Malone said. "Something good could happen, as it has in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico where oil production has increased 15-fold since government began encouraging exploration there twenty years ago." NOTE: Malone = Bob Malone, President of BP PLC’s American Operation]

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Drilling Good – Drilling Safe/Lowers Gas Prices/Strengthen National Security
Offshore drilling would lower gas prices and strengthen national security without damaging the environment. Stolberg, New York Times Washington Correspondent, 8
(Cheryl Gay, The International Herald Tribune, “Bush urges end to ban on offshore drilling”, June 19, 2008, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) President George W. Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to end a federal ban on offshore oil drilling and open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration, asserting that those steps and others would lower gasoline prices and ''strengthen our national security.'' In recent years, the president said, ''scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach Anwar's oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife,'' referring to the wildlife refuge by its acronym. He continued, “I urge members of Congress to allow this remote region to bring enormous benefits to the American people.”

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Drilling Good – AT – Oil Spills
Oil spill training checks and contains potential oil spills. Gibbons, US Geological Survey Physical Scientist, 6
(Helen, US Geological Survey Monthly Newsletter: Soundwaves , “Oil-Spill Exercise Aims for Safe Seas, Protection of National Marine Sanctuaries”, September 2006, http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2006/09/ Date Accessed: 7-17-08) What would happen if a cargo ship sailing toward San Francisco collided with a tug towing a tank barge southwest of the Golden Gate? Representatives from Federal, State, and local agencies responded to this hypothetical collision in an oilspill-preparedness drill on August 9 and 10, 2006. "We learned a lot from the drill," said Catherine Cesnik, who coordinated participation by five Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus, including the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). "Our main goal was to protect resources under DOI's care, and we accomplished that. The drill was part of the Safe Seas 2006 Oil Spill Response Exercise, a 2-week-long, multi-agency effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Harley Marine Services, and DOI. The exercise involved nearly 400 people in training, field operations, oceanographic surveys, and incident-command-post activities. After the imaginary collision, the tank barge Dottie and the cargo ship, merchant vessel Blue Harp, spilled oil as they moved away from the collision site, threatening three National Marine Sanctuaries (Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay), the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore, the California Coastal National Monument, and other economic and ecological resources. Oil released by the vessels was simulated by hundreds of yellow (Dottie) and orange (Blue Harp) drift cards released to test ocean-current and oil-spilltrajectory models. (Visit Drift Card Study Results: Safe Seas 2006 to see where the drift cards were released and where they have been reported washing up on shore.) Representing the USGS in the drill was scientist Patrick Barnard, who has been modeling current and sediment trajectories around the Golden Gate as part of a study of sediment transport and erosion at San Francisco's Ocean Beach (see Ocean Beach Coastal Processes Study). He is sharing data with oil-spill-trajectory modelers in NOAA's Hazardous Materials Response Division (HAZMAT). Results from the drift-card release will help Barnard and his NOAA HAZMAT colleagues improve their numerical models and the accuracy with which the models can predict where spilled oil will go. Additionally, green drift cards were scattered on beaches at dawn on August 9 to represent oil and marine debris that had washed ashore as a result of the collision. These cards provided data for Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams (SCAT teams), who visited the beaches to map the locations of oil and debris; record the condition, location, and percent coverage of the oil; and suggest appropriate response strategies. SCAT maps and reports were brought back to the command center—set up in an auditorium at the Mission Bay campus of the University of California, San Francisco—to help guide cleanup decisions. [NOTE: Cesnik = Catherine Cesnik of the Department of the Interior]

Sophisticated technology prevents and controls oil spills- even through a hurricane. Mufson, Washington Post Staff Writer, 8
(Steven, The Washington Post, “Offshore Drilling Backed As Remedy for Oil; Push for U.S. Exploration Gains Traction, but Big Political Hurdles Remain”, July 14, 2008, P. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7/17/08) Drilling proponents say that drilling today is much more sophisticated than it was in 1969. Oil companies and their supporters boast about how their platforms and pipelines withstood the hurricanes of 2005. "I think people are reassured that not a drop of oil was spilled during Katrina or Rita," McConnell said. "Those rigs in the Gulf, there was not a single incident of spillage that anyone reported." Although the overwhelming majority of safety valves did in fact work during the hurricanes, the Minerals Management Service of the Interior Department reported that there were five spills, each between 1,000 and 2,000 barrels. Altogether, 125 small spills totaled 16,302 barrels, almost a quarter as big as the Santa Barbara spill. (The MMS says that over the past 20 years, less than 0.001 percent of oil produced in U.S. waters has been spilled.) [NOTE: McConnell = Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, R-KY]

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Drilling Good – AT – Oil Spills
Oil spills won’t happen – Katrina proves. Lieberman, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Senior Policy Analyst, 5
(Ben, The Heritage Foundation, “The Environmental Disaster That Wasn’t”, Novermber 2, 2005, http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm907.cfm Date Accessed: 7-17-08) Of all the energy-related bad news brought on by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, one piece of good news has gone largely unnoticed. The two powerful storms did not cause any major offshore oil spills despite dealing a knockout punch to America’s biggest oil producing region. This remarkable accomplishment in environmental safety should not be ignored in the upcoming debate over expanding domestic oil drilling to new areas. The hurricanes swept through the central and western Gulf of Mexico, home to 25 percent of the nation’s domestic oil production, and the impact was extensive. Over 100 offshore oil facilities were completely destroyed, and many others have yet to start up again. Production is still low and will not reach pre-hurricane levels for months. “One might have expected the entire Gulf to be blackened with oil,” said Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton at an October 27th Senate hearing on post-Katrina energy issues. Instead, “there were no significant spills from any of our wells.” The [D.O.I.], which has authority over most offshore drilling, had mandated a number of safety features to prevent massive spills from the sea floor, such as those that occurred off the Santa Barbara coast in 1969 and in the Gulf of Mexico in 1979. Katrina and Rita provided what Norton calls “the toughest test of our offshore safety,” and the results are highly encouraging. These improvements were evident before Katrina. A 2002 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study entitled “Oil in the Sea III” states that “improved production technology and safety training of personnel have dramatically reduced both blowouts and daily operational spills.” The study adds that “accidental spills from platforms represent about one percent of petroleum inputs in North American waters.” The hurricanes did cause many spills from ruptured oil and fuel storage tanks throughout the affected areas, and this is a matter of legitimate concern. But none are of a magnitude likely to result in substantial or long-term environmental damage. The reduced risk of catastrophic underwater oil spills should be an important lesson in the post-hurricane debate over drilling in other coastal areas.

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ANWR Drilling Good – AT – Environment/Caribou
ANWR drilling has no effect on the environment- Caribou Herds have grown in areas where drilling exists now
Washington Times 08 (Michael P. Mulhall, “Message to McCain: Push Drilling”, April 25, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) James C. Capretta's sober analysis " It's the economy stupid, " Op-Ed, Tuesday) of possible economic fixes Republican presidential nominee John McCain should consider for repairing our national economy doesn't go far enough by limiting the discussion to tax policies. With oil approaching $120 a barrel, Congress, led by a Democratic majority, has consistently voted against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil exploration and drilling. Our current federal energy policy needs to be revised to reflect current economic realities that are threatening our economy and national security. The perceived threat to the environment that oil drilling allegedly represents has been the largest obstacle in this debate. In fact, only 1.5 million acres, or 8 percent, of the northern coast of ANWR would be considered for oil exploration. The remaining 17.5 million acres would remain permanently closed to any kind of development. Should oil be discovered, less than 2,000 acres of the Coastal Plain would be affected. That is less than half of 1 percent of ANWR that would be affected by production activity. It has been demonstrated that oil and gas development can coexist successfully with wildlife in the Alaskan Arctic. It has been estimated that the central Arctic caribou herd, which migrates through Prudhoe Bay, has grown from 3,000 animals in the 1970s to its current level of 32,000 animals.

ANWR drilling leaves little environmental impact and is less harmful than current alternatives Driessen, senior policy adviser for the Congress of Racial Equality and Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, 7-06-08
(Paul, The Washington Times,” Time to Drill”, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) Drilling in ANWR would get new oil flowing in five to 10 years, depending on environmentalist litigation. That's far faster than benefits would flow from supposed alternatives: devoting millions more acres of cropland to corn or cellulosic ethanol, converting our vehicle fleet to hybrid and flex-fuel cars, building new nuclear power plants, and blanketing thousands of square miles with wind turbines and solar panels. These alternatives would take decades to implement, and all have political, legal, technological, economic and environmental hurdles. ANWR is the size of South Carolina. Its narrow coastal plain is frozen and windswept most of the year. Wildlife flourish amid drilling and production in other Arctic regions, and would do so near ANWR facilities. Inuits who live there know this, and support drilling by an 8-to-1 margin. Gwich'in Indians who oppose drilling live hundreds of miles away - and have leased and drilled their own tribal lands, including caribou migratory routes. Drilling and production operations would impact only 2,000 acres - to produce 15 billion gallons of oil annually. Saying this tiny footprint would spoil the refuge is like saying a major airport along South Carolina's northern border would destroy the state's scenery and wildlife. It's a far better bargain than producing 7 billion gallons of ethanol in 2007 from corn grown on 23 million acres (equal to Indiana).

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ANWR Drilling Good – AT – Environment/Caribou
New exploration technology and studies show wildlife can be protected and minimally effected by drilling USA Today 08 (“Alaska Drilling is no Quick Fix, but it Needs to Happen”, June 10, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08)
Environmentalists charge that drilling would despoil a pristine area in northern Alaska that is about the size of South Carolina and is a critical habitat for caribou, musk oxen, bears and birds. In fact, exploration in the 19million-acre refuge would be confined to 1.5 million acres, and drilling to just 2,000 acres, an area less than half that of Atlanta's airport. Oil production would inevitably affect the refuge. But studies at Prudhoe Bay to the west, where oil has been produced since 1977 in an area more than twice the size of the one planned for ANWR, show that the effects can be minimized and wildlife protected, particularly with today's newer exploration technology.

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ANWR Drilling Good – Environment
ANWR good for the environment it decreases overall environmental damage caused by international drilling and mitigates risk of oil spills Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Washington Post Op-Ed Columnist 08
(Charles, The Irish Times, “Drilling for Artic Oil is Better for US and the Environment”, June 23, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 717-08) Technological conditions have changed as well. We now are able to drill with far more precision and environmental care than a quarter-century ago. We have thousands of rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, yet not even hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in spills of any significance. McCain's problem is that he's only able to go halfway on energy production because he has locked himself into opposition to the other obvious source of domestic oil - the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. His fastidiousness on this is inexplicable. "I believe that ANWR is a pristine area," he explains. Is it more pristine than the ocean, where he now wants to drill? More pristine than the Arabian Desert, from which we daily beg the Saudi princes to pump more oil? The entire Arctic refuge is one-third the size of the United Kingdom. The drilling site would be one-seventh the size of Manhattan Island. The footprint is tiny. Moreover, forbidding drilling there does not prevent despoliation. It merely exports it. The crude oil we're not getting from the Arctic we import instead from places like the Niger Delta, where millions live and where the resulting pollution and oil spillages poison the lives of many of the world's most wretchedly poor. Our environmental imperialism does not just redistribute pollution to people who can least afford it. It generally increases the total overall damage because oil extraction in the wealthier and more technologically advanced US is far more environmentally sensitive. McCain's unwillingness to include ANWR lacks even political logic. His policy on offshore drilling is a flip-flop from his past positions. Perfectly justified, but a reconsideration nonetheless. If you are going to take the hit for flip-flopping and for offending environmentalists, why go halfway? The oil crisis handed McCain an unexpected and singularly effective campaign issue. A majority of Americans now favour drilling in the Arctic and offshore. Democrats stand in the way of increased production just as they did 13 years ago when President Clinton vetoed drilling in ANWR. Domestic oil production would be about 20 per cent higher today if the Republican Congress had been allowed to prevail.

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ANWR Drilling Good – AT – Oil Spills
ANWR Drilling means less risk of oil spills compared to importing from foreign countries Driessen, Congress of Racial Equality and Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow Senior Policy Adviser, 7-06-08
(Paul, The Washington Times, “Time to Drill”, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) Congressional "experts" also argue that U.S. energy prices are high, "because Americans consume 25 percent of the world's oil, while possessing only 3 percent of its proven oil reserves." Possession has nothing to do with prices - any more than owning a library, but never opening the books, improves intellectual abilities. It is production that matters - and the United States has locked up vast energy resources. Not just an estimated 169 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf, Rockies, Great Lakes, Southwest and ANWR - but also natural gas, coal and uranium. "Proven reserves" are resources that drilling has confirmed exist and can be produced with current technology and prices. By banning drilling, politicians ensure that U.S. reserves continue to decline, as we deplete existing deposits and cannot discover new ones. The rhetoric is clever - but disingenuous, fraudulent and harmful. The U.S. Geological Survey says it's 95 percent likely there are 15.6 billion barrels of oil beneath ANWR. With today's prices and technology, 60 percent of that is recoverable. At $135 a barrel, that represents $1.3 trillion that would not go to Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. It means lower prices and reduced risks of oil spills from tankers carrying foreign crude.

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ANWR Drilling Good – Economy
ANWR creates billions in federal revenue and creates thousands of jobs Driessen, Congress of Racial Equality and Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow Senior Policy Adviser, 7-06-08
(Paul, The Washington Times, “Time to Drill”, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) It represents another $400 billion in state and federal royalties and corporate income taxes - plus billions in lease sale revenues, thousands of direct jobs, and countless more jobs created when this $1.7 trillion total is invested in the United States. It means billions more in income tax revenues that those jobs would generate, and new opportunities for minority, poor and blue-collar families to improve their lives and living standards. It means lower prices for gasoline, heating, cooling, food and other products. That's just ANWR. Factor in America's other locked-up energy, and we're talking tens of trillions of dollars in benefits. This energy belongs to all Americans. It's not the private property of environmental pressure groups, or of politicians who cater to them in exchange for re-election support. This energy is likewise the common heritage of mankind. Politicians and eco-activists have no right to keep it off-limits - and tell the rest of the world we have no intention of developing American energy. We don't care if you need oil, soaring food and energy prices are pummeling your poor, or drilling in your countries harms your habitats to produce oil for U.S. consumers. Those attitudes are immoral and intolerable. It's time to drill again here in America - while conserving more and pursuing new energy technologies for the future.

ANWR has potential to revitalize slumping economy- billions in taxes and employment Washington Times 08
(Michael P. Mulhall, “Message to McCain: Push Drilling”, April 25, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) One cannot complain about the depreciation of the dollar against foreign currencies without understanding the consequences of the following fact: the United States continues to import an average of 60 percent of it's domestic oil supply. That equates to sending more than $330 billion to Middle Eastern countries. Additional benefits would be the anticipated jobs and tax revenues from opening ANWR to oil exploration and drilling. It has been estimated that between 250,000 and 735,000 ANWR jobs would be created by the development of the Coastal Plain. The Congressional Research Service has also released a review of potential ANWR tax-revenue estimates stating that due to the increased price of oil, the 10-02 Area of ANWR could be worth $94.8 billion in federal income taxes and $42.8 billion in royalties totaling a $138 billion. If Mr. McCain wants to truly distinguish himself politically while igniting our economy from its current slumber, he needs to incorporate the revision of our current federal energy policy to permit oil exploration and drilling in ANWR.

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ANWR Drilling Good – Energy Security
ANWR drilling key to oil security and preventing oil revenues from going to hostile countries USA Today 08
(“Alaska Drilling is No Quick Fix, but it Needs to Happen”, June 10, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) Surging gasoline prices have prompted renewed calls for drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, particularly Alaska's potentially oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We supported drilling in ANWR long before gas topped $4 a gallon and continue to do so. But let's be clear about what it would and wouldn't do. It wouldn't bring relief from today's high prices, as President Bush implied Monday. And it wouldn't make the United States energy independent. So does that mean, as critics suggest, that it's not worth doing? Not at all. Drilling in ANWR and offshore is an important piece of any long-term strategy to make the nation less vulnerable to oil-producing nations and supply disruptions. It is one of many imperfect steps needed to both increase the supply of oil and curb the demand for it, while seeking energy alternatives. It's true that any serious oil production from ANWR would take about 10 years. But dealing with the energy situation requires an ability to look beyond quick fixes. The fact is, ANWR oil would be flowing now if President Clinton hadn't vetoed a drilling bill in 1995. Environmentalists charge that drilling would despoil a pristine area in northern Alaska that is about the size of South Carolina and is a critical habitat for caribou, musk oxen, bears and birds. In fact, exploration in the 19million-acre refuge would be confined to 1.5 million acres, and drilling to just 2,000 acres, an area less than half that of Atlanta's airport. Oil production would inevitably affect the refuge. But studies at Prudhoe Bay to the west, where oil has been produced since 1977 in an area more than twice the size of the one planned for ANWR, show that the effects can be minimized and wildlife protected, particularly with today's newer exploration technology. What would the nation get in return? Not enough to solve the nation's oil problem, but enough to make a ddifference. Estimates are that the area could eventually produce about a million barrels of oil a day for 30 years. That's nearly 5% of the 21 million barrels a day Americans consume, and almost as much as the United States imports from Venezuela -- where the money Americans spend for oil enriches a leader who bitterly opposes U.S. interests and helps fund an armed insurrection against U.S. ally Colombia.

Drilling in ANWR key to US energy supply and lowering price in energy markets Driessen, Congress of Racial Equality and Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow Senior Policy Adviser, 7-06-08
(Paul, The Washington Times, “Time to Drill”, p. Lexis, Date Accessed: 7-17-08) "We can't drill our way out of our energy problem." This daily mantra underscores an abysmal grasp of economic by the politicians, activists, bureaucrats and judges who are dictating U.S. policies. Drilling is no silver bullet. But it is vital. It won't generate overnight production. But just announcing that America is finally hunting oil again would send a powerful signal to energy markets ... and to speculators, many of whom are betting continued US drilling restrictions will further exacerbate the global demand-supply imbalance and send "futures" prices even higher. Pro-drilling policies would likely bring lower prices, as did recent announcements that Brazil had found new offshore oil fields and Iraq would sign contracts to increase oil production. Conversely, news that supplies are tightening - because of sabotage in Nigeria's delta region, or more congressional bans on leasing - will send prices upward. One of our best prospects is Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which geologists say contains billions of barrels of recoverable oil. If President Clinton hadn't vetoed 1995 legislation, we'd be producing a million barrels a day from ANWR right now. That's equal to U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia, at $45 billion annually.

Gonzaga Debate Institute 2008
Brovero/Lundeen/Moczulski

Page 289 of 289 Elections & Politics Main

ANWR Drilling Good – Energy Security
ANWR Drilling could is the first step towards US energy independence Krauthammer, 1987 Pulitzer Prize Winner, Washington Post Op-Ed Columnist 08 (Charles, The Irish
Times, “Drilling for Artic Oil is Better for US and the Environment”, June 23, p. Lexis, Accessed 7-17-08) OPINION:FUEL PRICES in the US are soaring. Oil is $135 (EUR 86.40) a barrel, and rising. We in the US import two-thirds of our oil, sending hundreds of billions of dollars to the likes of Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. And yet we voluntarily prohibit ourselves from even exploring huge domestic reserves of petroleum and natural gas, writes Charles Krauthammer. At a time when US crude oil production has fallen 40 per cent in the last 25 years, 75 billion barrels of oil have been declared off-limits, according to the US Energy Information Administration. That would be enough to replace every barrel of non-North American imports (oil trade with Canada and Mexico is a net economic and national security plus) for 22 years. That's nearly a quarter-century of energy independence. The situation is absurd. To which John McCain is responding with a partial fix: Lift the federal ban on Outer Continental Shelf drilling, where a fifth of the off-limits stuff lies. This is a change for McCain, but circumstances have changed. When the moratorium was imposed in 1982, gasoline was $1.20 (EUR 0.76) a gallon, compared to today's $4, and oil was $30 a barrel. Since the moratorium was instituted, we've had two wars in the Middle East, and in between a decade of garrisoning troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE to preserve the peace and keep untold oil riches out of the hands of the most malevolent of our enemies.

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