McCain's Declaration of Independence
By Howard Kurtz
The Ad: John McCain stood up to the president and sounded the alarm on global warming five years ago. Today he has a realistic plan that will curb greenhouse gas emissions. A plan that will help grow our economy and protect our environment. Reform. Prosperity. Peace. John McCain.
Analysis:There is nothing subtle about this ad: the Arizona senator is explicitly trying to distance himself from an unpopular president. And his chosen issue is climate change, which just happens to have special appeal for independent voters.
McCain broke with President Bush last month in proposing mandatory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions -- a step the administration has long resisted -- along with emissions credits that polluting companies could trade. McCain's approach calls for a 60 percent reduction in emissions by 2050, compared to the 80 percent cut being pushed by his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, and many scientists.
The commercial, with a soft-voiced female narrator, begins with speeded-up images of polluting factories and traffic yielding to a setting sun. It ends with an image of McCain as the western outdoorsman, wearing a work shirt and baseball cap as he stands on a mountain ridge.
While McCain is using global warming to neutralize Obama's charge that he's running for Bush's third term, he angered environmentalists this week by proposing to lift a ban on offshore oil drilling.
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