Waking up at 3 a.m., I used the expanse of free time to begin some serious research on the presidential candidates. Our primary is only about 35 days away, and it’s been years since I waited this late in the process to begin my analysis of the choices.
The issues that I feel are most urgent are our energy policies, strong but smart national defense, education, and intelligent fiscal policy. The social conservatives tend to disown me because I really don’t see abortion or marriage definitions as the issues that have the greatest impact on our well-being as a nation, or things that the federal government ought to be distracted by.
Immigration policy is on everyone’s list, but that’s a post of its own for another day.
Fred Thompson says "America must rise to the challenge and take the steps necessary to become more energy independent before this becomes a crisis." In my mind though, it’s already a crisis — every time some towel-headed fool blows himself up, gas prices jump a dime. That increases the cost of getting kids to school, of groceries (which must be delivered to the stores), of virtually everything we do. Although he states a commitment to promoting alternative fuels and other energy sources, the word "nuclear" or other details are glaringly absent.
Mitt Romney rightly ties energy independence to national security, and specifies detailed research areas for which he would promote federal investment:
- Basic research in key technologies like improved energy storage
- Bringing clean energy technology to market through commercialization of large-scale renewables and advanced nuclear technologies
- Improved smart-grid technology for power distribution
- Clean, efficient uses of existing fossil fuels, e.g. clean coal, coal-to-liquids, carbon sequestration
Mike Huckabee also makes the correlation between energy dependence and terrorism and lists a few technologies (nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass) that he wants to support, but what shook me was this:
The first thing I will do as President is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence. I’ll use the bully pulpit to inform you about the plan and ask for your support. I’ll use the bully conference table to meet with members of Congress until I have the votes.
Please don’t tell me "I have a plan…" unless you’re prepared to tell me, here and now, what that plan is. First of all, I question whether there really is a plan (versus a plan to make a plan, which is much different than actually having one), and secondly, I’m afraid to vote for a man with a plan if I don’t know what the plan is. What if I don’t like it?
On this issue, Romney gets the edge, although I still feel that Fred would still have some connections at ORNL from his Senate days that would help out.
Whew — kids are up and making their morning demands, so the next batch will wait for another post.