Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama: the Content-free candidate

Presidential Race #7

I had written McCain off.

His campaign has seemed dismal to me and not much of a message. Obama has been a rockstar campaigner (note Euro love fest tour).

However, the Democrats' stubborn clinging to an anti-oil, anti-anything practical concerning energy, policy may just be backfiring. We aren't so stupid as to believe drilling in Anwar and on the continental shelf means cheap gas forever; but it does mean we don't have to return to an agrarian society until clean coal, biomass, wind, and solar have critical mass. (I want to scream build nuclear power plants here but I'll likely be dead before the court cases would be settled).

The Obama campaign has been Marshall McLuhan based (the medium is the message) and therefor content-free. This may sound critical but it's not: content-free has prevailed over Biden, Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, etc. But it isn't so clear that it will continue to work against a real platform presented clearly and concisely.

McCain is slowly awakening to the fact that this is a real campaign issue. Obama is being too cute on nuclear - "I'll support it when the disposal of nuclear waste is resolved" - that means: "I'll vote for nuclear power right after Barney Frank is named the Pope".

So this obstinacy by the Democrats to facing the first of a string of Republic-threatening issues (Islamic jihad, Social Security bankruptcy, unrivaled deficits, failed public education, etc.) may just be breathing some life into McCain and the Republican Party's lungs.
Of course, the Republicans have plenty of chances yet to blow it....

A platform of (1)real energy programs (not just drilling), (2)win in Iraq, combined with a (3)no-earmarks-pledge might just turn the tide...

1 comment:

Kim Whitler said...

Not sure I agree -- fully. I listened to Obama's energy speech last week. It was focused on identifying real, long-term solutiona vs. the expedient, "put more money into the hands of the oil barrons" solution. It was more than puffery and had real content. The Dems position is that the oil companies are already have the right to explore land that they aren't exploring. Moreover, Barack indicated that it will still require 7 years to get the oil out of Alaska / etc. In this time, with the right focus /incentives / motivation, we can create renewable solutions. It seems to me that Barack's POV is that we need to for once, focus on the right solution and not get distracted with the expedient, wrong long-term solution. I'd like to see the country be able to do both, but if we can't, than a renewable resource solution is more important than finding new oil.