View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Friday, June 18, 2004

Kerry: Coming to the Belly of the Beast  

John Kerry, in advance of his Monday campaign appearance here in Colorado (which means "Red," by the way), gave a little 10-minute standard Q&A sop to the Rocky Mountain News this morning. Aside from the reporter's repeated fawning over the Senator's decidedly mixed snowboarding skills, it was pretty routine stuff. Still...

Q: Are there any issues in particular that are specific to Colorado that you think would help you here?

A: There are a number of issues that are specific to Colorado that will help me there. First of all, Colorado has lost about 112,000 jobs, 34,000 manufacturing jobs, minimum, and we need to renew job creation.

You have a great energy institute out there. I visited it. I believe that we can do a much better job of encouraging alternative and renewable energy. And there are some 40 million acres of public land that's currently leased for oil and gas development in the United States outside Alaska, which (aren't) producing today....

Q: Back to energy production. Do you favor increasing drilling in Colorado?

A: The answer is, we need to invest in renewable energy - wind and solar and new technologies. But we can also drill responsibly, and we will drill in places that have been leased appropriately, and I support that where it is appropriate. But I don't think you need to open environmentally sensitive public lands for that development, given the amount that we have already that is unused.

So his plan for energy independence doesn't include any more actual, um, energy. He specifically rules out Alaska, and carefully avoids agreeing to more actual drilling. Kerry's "plan" seems to consist of little more than synfuels, true to the Party of Carter. God help us all if he starts campaigning in cardigans. Of course, he's confusing electricity and gasoline again. Fine rhetoric, but bad policy.

The one thing that could join the two is the proliferation of hybrid cars that need to be plugged in to be recharged. Which is happening anyway in response to gas prices. Once again, John is late to the party.

Then there's this:

And today we've learned through the commission on 9/11 that there is no real al-Qaida connection, wasn't one at the time the president and the vice president were asserting that it was. And I think that Americans don't like being misled into war. I think it's a critical component of leadership.

He's talking about Iraq, of course. By now, you all know that this isn't what the commission said. To the extent the staff report discusses Iraq, it doesn't contradict Administration claims. To the extent is tries to go further, it has little proof. Someday, someone from a major news organization is going to actually read the damn thing.

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