Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama = Cheney?

I knew Barack Obama was supposedly related to Dick Cheney. I didn't know they thought alike on energy policy...
Democratic candidate Barack Obama criticized Republican John McCain on Tuesday for taking a page out of "the Cheney playbook" on energy, overlooking his own support of oil-friendly policies that the unpopular vice president helped to craft.

Vice President Dick Cheney, a former oilman, early in the Bush administration helped draft an energy policy that Obama asserted is biased in favor of tax breaks and favorable treatment for big oil. Obama's remarks were an attempt to capitalize on Cheney's unpopularity.

"President Bush, he had an energy policy. He turned to Dick Cheney and he said, 'Cheney, go take care of this,'" Obama said. "Cheney met with renewable-energy folks once and oil and gas (executives) 40 times. McCain has taken a page out of the Cheney playbook."

In stumping Tuesday in this key battleground state, Obama sought to link the troubled economy with Republican policies and offer his own energy plan in contrast. He has tried to cast McCain as more concerned about oil company profits and drilling than an overall energy strategy.

However, Obama himself voted for a 2005 energy bill backed by Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production, a measure Cheney played a major role in developing. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included billions in unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry.

The Obama campaign has said the Illinois senator supported the legislation because it included huge investments in renewable energy.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, said, "Barack Obama is opposed to offshore drilling and is also opposed to admitting that he voted for the same corporate giveaways for Big Oil that he's campaigning against today."
At this point, Paris Hilton may be the candidate with the best energy policy (thanks to K-Mac for pointing this one out to me). Of course, McCain is already claiming she stole his energy policy, so I'm not sure who actually came up with it.

Of course, the more important question and answer was buried further down in the article...
In a question-and-answer session, Obama was asked if he would support term limits for members of Congress by a questioner who noted that many senators were elderly.

"I've got colleagues in the Senate who are doing absolutely outstanding work, and they're well into their 70s," Obama said. He praised ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy as one.

"I'm generally not in favor of term limits," he said. "Nobody is term-limiting the lobbyists or the slick operators walking around the halls of Congress. I believe in one form of term limits. They're called elections."
Absolutely outstanding work? By Congress? This is the same Congress that has an approval rating that rivals O.J.'s popularity, and Obama thinks he has colleagues doing "absolutely outstanding work"? Out of respect for Ted Kennedy's health problems, I'm going to stay far away from a pointed comment about him, but how can anyone characterize the 70-year olds in the Senate as doing outstanding work? I thought Obama's big selling point was his judgment -- in this case, his judgment stinks.

By the way, here's the fact of the day that I found amazing -- we have 26 Senators that are 70 years of age or older, and 44 who will be 65 or older by the end of the year. I don't have a problem with that, because I generally think we force people to retire too early in other industries. My problem is that these guys seem to serve forever. I believe in elections as a form of term limits as well, but if they were the only form of term limits, we wouldn't have Presidents limited to two terms.


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