Good morning, I'm John McCain. As you may know, the Democratic National Convention is just a couple of weeks away. It was four years ago, at the same gathering, that America heard a fine speech from an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. He's done pretty well for himself since then. And the smart money in Denver is on another celebrated performance.
But even the most stirring speeches are easily forgotten when they're short on content. Taking in my opponent's performances is a little like watching a big summer blockbuster, and an hour in realizing that all the best scenes were in the trailer you saw last fall. In the way of running mates, Senator Obama should consider someone with a knack for brevity and directness, to balance the ticket.
In the meantime, let me take a stab at a plot summary of the Obama campaign: America is finally winning in Iraq, and he wants to forfeit. Government is too big, and he wants to grow it. Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. Congress spends too much, and he proposes more. We need more energy, and he's against producing it.
Energy in particular seems to confound Senator Obama, because if there is any problem that can't be solved by words alone it's America's need for secure and affordable energy supplies. So far, he's managed to come up with an energy plan that's so timid only OPEC and a few interest groups in his own party are happy with it. And this week, Senator Obama set about correcting that impression.
First there was his call for Americans to check their tires -- which is commonsense advice, but hardly has the makings of a national energy strategy. If we can't drill our way out of the problem, it seems even more unlikely that we can inflate our way out of it.
Next came Senator Obama's mention of offshore drilling -- formerly known in the Obama campaign as a "gimmick" and a "scheme." As more people notice that his answer to most every form of energy production is "no," my opponent tried to simulate a "yes." He pledges a vague willingness to possibly consider limited drilling as part of some hypothetical compromise at an undetermined date. Careful listeners are still waiting for an actual commitment to offshore drilling.
Apparently, Senator Obama was trying to get credit for changing his mind on drilling, without actually changing his position against drilling. This was the rare case of a politician actually hoping to be accused of a flip-flop. But even that would be giving Senator Obama's energy plan too much credit. As of today, he still has no plan to produce more oil by drilling offshore. And my opponent's most memorable flip-flop remains his frequent criticism of the Bush-Cheney energy policy, despite voting for the Bush-Cheney energy bill in 2005 -- a bill I opposed and voted against.
Finally, Senator Obama proposed to release oil from our nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For those keeping track, this comes exactly a month after he said he was firmly against using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
A serious energy plan involves a lot more yes's than no's. And that is why I say yes to drilling, here and now. Yes to 45 more nuclear power plants to provide our country with electricity. Yes to clean coal technology, so that we can create jobs and use America's most abundant resource. Yes to renewable energy sources, so that we can shift away from petroleum over the long term. Yes to a break from the federal gasoline tax, so that our government helps you in a time of need instead of just adding to your costs. In short, yes to all of the above -- to a bold plan for achieving energy independence that starts today.
Regaining control over the cost and supply of energy in America will not be easy, and it won't happen quickly. But no challenge to our economy and security is more urgent. And you have my pledge that if I am president, we're going to get it done. Thanks for listening.
Emphasis mine... McCain needs to keep reminding people that Barack Obama is nothing more than an empty suit with celebrity status.
McCain also needs to make sure he takes on actually policy issues that are important to Americans, as energy is, and continue to remind the American people that Obama is more about reducing use than he is about increasing production.
This is where McCain has it over Obama hands down.
According to Rasmussen, Americans by an overwhelming majority find an "urgent national need to find new sources of energy, and this need is more important that reducing current energy usage".
With energy issues taking center stage in the presidential campaign, 81% of Americans see development of new energy sources as an urgent priority. Only 9% disagree.
For nearly two-thirds (65%), finding new sources of energy is more important that reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume. Twenty-eight percent (28%) think reducing current usage is more important.
Democrats are more divided than Republicans on which is more important. While 57% of Democrats say finding new sources should be the priority, 36% believe that about reducing energy use. By contrast, Republicans lean far more heavily toward finding new energy sources 79% to 15%.
Among unaffiliated voters, 61% say finding new sources is more important, while 31% believe it is more essential to reduce the amount of energy Americans now use.
This is an issue that John McCain needs to hit hard, often and continue to pound home.
More at Boston Globe and CNN, via memeorandum.