OCTOBER 25, 2012 8:14PM

The Inconvenient President Whiffs on Global Warming

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President Elect Barack Obama November 2008

Few challenges facing America — and the world — are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.

Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security.

But too often, Washington has failed to show the same kind of leadership. That will change when I take office. My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process.”

 Obama Romney Final Debate Closing Question October 22, 2012

“What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country?”

 After making commentary about China, Mr. Obama went on to say

 “In fact, just recently steelworkers in Ohio and throughout the Midwest -- Pennsylvania -- are in a position now to sell steel to China because we won that case. We had a tire case in which they were flooding us with cheap domestic tires -- or -- or cheap Chinese tires. And we put a stop to it and as a consequence saved jobs throughout America.”

 Seriously?

Did he forget what he said a few short years ago? Has he forgotten the floods, the blizzards, the droughts and wildfires?I have tried to be fair and balanced over the years regarding President Obama, acknowledging ad nauseum the racism and obstructionism that he has faced, while at same time crediting him for his bold call on Bin Ladin, and working to bring closure to two costly wars, and other initiatives in his first term. Yet as I watched the final few minutes of the 2nd debate I saw a President when given the opportunity to put distance between himself and his opponent, an opportunity “come out” as it were with clarity on the clear and present threat of global warming, Mr. Obama whiffed, and chose to pander for votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was demeaning and sad, that such a moment was lost in hopes of regaining lost ground stupidly lost by his slumbering first debate performance. And even if he felt the need to pander for votes Mr. Obama simply blew the chance to link oil interests to Vice President candidate Paul Ryan, and create a vision of how the Romney administration would follow the lead of their GOP masters and continue their global warming ways. Perhaps the failures of the President's Green policy made him hesitant to open that door.

In any case, for a President fighting for independent voters, this should have been a slow pitch softball question that President Obama could have knocked out the ball park. This was bigger than speaking to the base on the stump and riffing on climate change, this was a potential defining moment to speak not only as a President, but as a global leader. This was not high heat from Bob Schieffer, it was more like a hanging curve, and with his relection hanging in the balance, this missed chance may haunt him. This election is close, for reasons that only few may understand, and President Obama may get re-elected, but his performances in the last few weeks force me to consider him an undeserving incumbent, much to my disappointment and dismay. 

 

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I want 2008 candidate Obama for president. Unfortunately we got more of the same. Another politician beholden to monied interests.

I don't think either of the two candidates of the corporate party are going to do anything regarding global warming. They are both in favor of drill baby drill because their corporate donors told them to be.
Your assessment is correct: Obama did have an opportunity there, and he fell victim to the compartmentalization of statecraft.

It is an easy mistake to make when approaching a problem from Machiavellian political science, which is how statecraft is taught. I studied political science at UK's Patterson School of Government, and the institutionalized compartmentalization of state is difficult to break.

I don't think Obama did this maliciously, but rather out of carelessness. There has been much carelessness in statecraft these two-hundred some-odd years.