Monday, July 07, 2008

Obama, McCain on Nuclear Energy: The TV Ads


As an admitted media-obsessed political junkie, I enjoy watching any political ad; if there were campaign ads out there by candidates running for dog catcher, I'd probably watch 'em. With advertising budgets a bit bigger and the stakes a whole lot larger, the presidential campaign ads are, for me, must-see viewing.

The first RNC TV spot to be released, "Balance," has really caught my eye. Perhaps it was just pure nostalgia - that 1970's Social Studies class filmstrip aesthetic really took me back. (Here's a helpful Wiki link to "Filmstrip" for those under the age of 30.) More likely it was the ad's claim that Obama has said "No to Nuclear Power." The creators cite a Newton, Iowa Town Hall event from Dec. 31, 2007 as the source for quotation.

A couple of quibbles: the event happened on Dec. 30th, not the 31st. More significantly, the full transcript shows Obama supporting nuclear energy at the end of his response to the questioner.
I have not ruled out nuclear as part of that package [alternative energies and creating clean technologies]...
At a more recent event, a June 20th, 2008 meeting with U.S. governors, Obama had this to say about the role of nuclear energy in America's future
I've said this before, I don't think nuclear power is a panacea but I also think that given that it doesn't emit greenhouse gases, for us to invest some R&D into seeing whether we could store nuclear waste safely or reuse it...I mean these are all areas where the market interacting with a clear set of rules by the federal government and billions of dollars devoted to research and development can, I think, trigger the kind of economic growth we haven't seen in this country in a long time.
Obama's support for the nuclear industry has not been as full-throated as McCain's - he's not called for the building of 45 new reactors by 2030 - but to claim he's said "No to Nuclear" is inaccurate, at best.

5 comments:

Durden said...

"I have not ruled out nuclear as part of that package"

I'm not sure that I'd exactly call this statement supportive.

KB said...

@ durden.
Sure, one can argue the degree or depth of support that this quote shows...but a "no" to nuclear it is most certainly not.

Anonymous said...

Going full out nuclear is (very much unfortunately) a political suicide for any politician in the Democratic party. Obama is a politician, a Democrat and not suicidal. I guess this is the maximum he can say, still not alienating some hardcore base Edwards-leaning folks ...

-t7-

Anonymous said...

This interview that Obama did with the Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire contains his most extensive comments on nuclear energy that I've come across.

Durden said...

I think I saw that filmstrip, KB. It was about Kon Tiki, right? :)