Dear Senator McCain,
I just reviewed the latest Quinnipiac poll information. You should be very happy with the latest results. In June, this poll showed you 17 points behind Obama in Minnesota. The latest poll shows you trailing by 2 points and within the margin of error.
Frankly, I could never figure out the 17 point deficit from the June poll. I know we have a pretty odd electorate here but I couldn’t rationalize that kind of a deficit when we have an extremely motivated “right of center” group as a result of over reaching by the State’s Democrats during the last legislative session.
While you’ve closed the gap on the overall vote, there was one issue in the poll that stuck out like a Vikings fan at a Packer game.
Before I address the issue, let me say that I’ll admit up front that I’ve never run for the office of President of the United States. Heck, I’ve never even managed a political campaign. I have however been pretty successful in my business career and a big portion of that required me to negotiate numerous contracts. The contracts I negotiated were of a nature that I could only get them agreed to if I could convince the other parties to agree with my view of the future and the possibilities that could exist if my strategy was successful. My point is that while I haven’t managed a campaign, I do have experience in molding people’s views and expectations and getting them to buy into a strategic view.
So here’s the issue: When asked:
Regardless of whom you support, which candidate for President – Barack Obama or John McCain – has the best program for helping solve the energy crisis and making America less dependent on foreign oil?
The response in each of the 4 states polled was Barack Obama (OK, you tied in Colorado).
Senator McCain, what the heck? How can the candidate of No drilling, No nuclear, We get more than our fair share and need to cut back and we’re going to rely on “Alternate energy resources” that are nothing more than wishful thinking, have convinced more people than you that he has an “energy policy”, let alone an “energy policy” that would solve anything or make us less dependent of foreign oil? Interestingly enough, Quinnipiac gives us that answer too.
Regarding the upcoming presidential election, would you rather the new president – Focus more on development of new sources of oil, natural gas, or nuclear power which some say could be a risk to the environment or Focus more on wind, solar, and biofuels, which some say could take longer to produce significant amounts of energy?
A significant majority of Democrats and Independents go for wind, solar and biofuels.
Regarding the upcoming presidential election, would you rather the new president – Focus more on development of new sources of oil and natural gas or Focus more on conserving energy?
A majority of Democrats and Independents say the focus should be on conserving energy.
Unfortunately, a majority of the American people have bought into the guilt ridden, save the world solution for energy indepence that says we burn our food and put on more clothes when it’s cold. We’ve seen the impact of the first in our rising food costs and we saw the impact on the US and world economy when we tried the latter with Jimmah Carter….neither is a solution!
One last thing from the poll. When asked:
Which is more important to you when you decide how to vote for President – A candidate’s position on energy policy or A candidate’s position on the war in Iraq?
The response was that energy is more important than Iraq as the issue that will decide this year’s election.
Senator McCain, you have done yeoman’s work on Iraq. Your vision and perseverance, along with the amazing capabilities of US troops, have accomplished what many would have thought impossible; Iraq is not the leading issue of the 2008 election. Further, except for the few holdouts who want to see the US with a black eye, Americans see you as the candidate responsible for this success and who will continue to keep us safe. With Iraq improving and no longer the issue at the forefront, the implications of high gas prices and refusal to increase energy capacity with known, obtainable resources needs to become your focus.
It’s clear from the poll that the American people do not understand the difference between Mr. Obama and your positions on energy. May I be so bold as to suggest the following points for you to educate the American people on:
- creating Biofuels via the use of food products has a more severe impact on the US and world economy than does oil dependence on the Middle East. First, we can’t grow enough corn to make a meaningful dent in oil. Second, every incremental bushel we use for fuel means increased prices for food. If you are concerned about food riots caused by increased corn prices, wait until we use 4X the current amount of corn for biofuels.
- If “We can’t drill our way out of our energy problem,” how will taking oil out of the SPRO reduce gas prices? The effect that either of these actions has is to increase the oil supply on the market. The only way drilling can’t solve our energy problem is if there wasn’t anything to drill for. Which leads me to…
- We have enough accessible oil resources to supply us for 200 years plus. Estimates including continental shelf, oil shale and Alaska could easily provide 200 years of oil for the US. In fact, these estimates could well be conservative as just this week, 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were determined to be in the Arctic….energy that was on no one’s tally sheet just one week ago.
- The reason that Americans believe “alternative” fuels to be an answer is that they’ve bought into the nonsense that “carbon based fuels” are making our planet unlivable. You have to “evolve” your position on global warming especially in light of continuing science showing that manmade global warming is at best wrong and at worst a hoax intended to socialize the world economies by virtue of taxing industry and productivity.
- Finally, there is clear, indisputable evidence that our economy is dependent upon energy. Arguments for conservation often include the fact that we use significantly more oil/energy than any other country. That’s true. What’s also true is that our GDP is the highest in the world. When you compare the GDP/capita with energy usage/capita as Frank van Mierlo did, it’s clear that our economy and energy are directly linked:
The only way for Americans to believe that Obama’s energy policies are the right ones are for them to also believe that their family should have a significantly lower standard of living than they currently have.
I understand this final concept isn’t one that everyone will pick up on quickly, it will take some clear consistent talk to get the message across. In the end, the effort will be worth it. As we learned with our current President, having lofty goals without the ability to effectively communicate them leaves an electorate confused and distrustful. However, as we saw with “The Great Communicator,” the American people will go through walls if they see and understand the goal and the path to get it accomplished.