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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.


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 ...

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? :)

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