Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Primaries: Personalities not Policies

The Australian media including the onliners have embraced the US primaries. Can this be the same people who were sick of elections, campaigns and polls? Mind, there is no danger at this stage of the commentators becoming carried away with analysis of the major issues or the candidates policy responses. Even, or perhaps especially, in the U.S. it's all personalities and media performance.

I've been looking for some coverage of Climate policy. As the likely Republican candidate, John McCain's environmental credentials demand more scrutiny. Two progressive U.S. commentators have radically contrasting views.

Firstly Joseph Romm of the Climate Progress blog:

Right now, McCain is not a straight-talking or courageous politician on global warming — though he is vastly superior to all of the other GOP candidates.
If McCain gets the nomination, I wonder if he will be more honest with the public. If not, I would strongly recommend that his opponent expose his doubletalk...
(McCain’s Double-Talk Express on Global Warming (Climate Progress 25 January 2008)
More recently:
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both have issued detailed energy and climate platforms. They far outclass John McCain and Mitt Romney, who have not.
(How to Pick the President (Climate Progress 4 February 2008)
The New Republic is an unlikely place to find a McCain fan but its editor Franklin Foer apparently believes that he might surprise:
"...there are the possibilities for doing some interesting things with McCain as a leader, and I’m mostly thinking about global warming – where McCain has the best track record on energy and environment on the Republican side in the Senate,” Foer concluded. “So, I think you have some really good possibility for a Nixon-to-China type solution to climate change if he decides that that’s going to be the thing he is going to use to build a bridge."
New Republic Editor: McCain Could Be 'Nixon-to-China' on Global Warming (The Business & Media Institute 2 February 2008)
One can only hope that there will be more interest in policies, both in the U.S and Australia, once the two candidates are known.

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