You’ve seen the ads: John McCain touting renewable energy development, with pictures of wind turbines turning majestically in the background. McCain recently urged Americans to demand that their Senators come back to Washington during their fall recess and vote on an important energy bill (S. 3335), which would extend tax credits for alternative energy technologies. But if you look past McCain’s rhetoric and recent political ads, you find someone who has not done anything to help alternative energy programs.
The Senate voted on that very same energy bill before the fall recess; but John McCain didn’t bother to show up for the vote. In fact, this was the eighth time that the Senate had voted on this same bill, and John McCain has missed every vote on this important issue.
· ...John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year--which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn't leave his office to vote.”--Tom. Friedman, The New York Times, 8/14/08
This is how much John McCain really cares about renewable energy. Where was the Maverick McCain when his Republican colleagues were blocking passage of this bill? He was out on the campaign trail, lying about his record:
· “I have a long record of that support of alternate energy. ... I've always been for all of those and I have not missed any crucial vote.”-- in an interview at the Aspen Institute, 8/14/08
Last December, Straight-talking John McCain missed a vote that would have ended a Republican filibuster and allowed energy bill S. 3335 to pass, but he wasn’t there. The vote failed by one vote, and John McCain was the only Senator who failed to vote. In February 2008, McCain was again the only Senator to miss a vote on extending tax credits to renewable energy technologies. It failed by one vote (ThinkProgress.org, 8/16/08).
I would call those “crucial” votes, but I’m not a pathological liar like John McCain.
Barack Obama picked Delaware Senator Joseph R. Biden as his Vice-Presidential running mate. The talking heads can parse and analyze the pros and cons of Obama’s choice and nitpick all they want, but I think it was a great choice--not because Biden is popular in Pennsylvania, or because he brings experience and foreign policy expertise to the Democratic ticket; but because he is honest.
Biden has been in the Senate for 35 years, and yet his net worth is listed as only $59,000-$366,000 (financial report as of June 2008, AP, 8/24/08). The Center for Responsive Politics ranks Biden as our nation’s poorest Senator--an honor you can not achieve by being on the take.
Like most Americans, Joe Biden knows what it means to make mortgage payments and owe money. He had to borrow money on the cash value of his life insurance policies to pay his son’s college expenses. He rides a commuter train each night, from Washington, DC to his home in Wilmington, DE (the poor guy only has one home), and he’s got a personal stake in ending the war in Iraq: his son is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in October.
Joe Biden can speak for ordinary Americans because, despite being a U.S. Senator, he has somehow managed to remain an ordinary American. In a political world filled with millionaires pretending to be to be “regular Joes”, Joe Biden is the real thing.
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