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June 18th, 2008
02:30 PM ET

Drilling for oil in Alaska & offshore the answer to high gas prices?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Can you tell it's an election year? After a moratorium against drilling for oil in Alaska and off the coast of the U.S. for the last 27 years, suddenly the politicians are saying "to hell with the environment and the tourism industries in places like Florida… let's drill for oil now!"

Funny how gas hits four dollars and politicians throw their principles out the window. President Bush and John McCain both favor drilling as though it will take the place of a coherent energy policy. If exploration started today, some experts predict it could take ten years before you could pump the oil from the coastal areas and Alaska into your car as gasoline.

The economic implications for states like Florida – that rely heavily on tourism – are immense. In the event of a leak or a spill, the entire coastline could be ruined. Remember the Exxon Valdez.

The political implications for John McCain's chances of being the next president are also large. If coastal drilling happens in California, McCain can forget about it. Californians are among the most environmentally conscious folks in the country and are staunchly opposed to drilling for oil off their coast.

Florida could react the same way. Clean beaches are vital to the state's economy. But suddenly Florida's governor, Charlie Crist, who some think is salivating at the chance to be McCain's V.P., is all in favor. Until yesterday he was opposed.

Critics of the idea point out that the oil companies currently have 68 million acres under offshore lease that are not being developed. But critics be damned… full speed ahead. It's an election year and the voters are mad about gas prices.

Here’s my question to you: Is drilling for oil in Alaska and off the coast the answer to high gas prices?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Oil Prices
June 18th, 2008
02:20 PM ET

How can Clinton & Obama unite the party?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are set to appear together next week in Washington – side-by-side – for the first time since the long and sometimes nasty primary battle came to an end. It's an important moment, since some Democrats are still bitter about the way it ended.

The two will meet to try to get some of Clinton's top contributors to support Obama. Some of Clinton's supporters say that fund-raisers have complained because they don't think their concerns were being heard during meetings with the Obama camp. The donors apparently want to make sure Obama knows he needs to help Clinton pay down her campaign debt – estimated at more than $20 million – if he wants their support.

Other Clinton backers steamed that Obama hired ousted Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle to be the chief of staff for his eventual vice presidential nominee.

And, more tensions boiled up yesterday at an Obama rally when former Clinton supporter and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm mentioned Clinton's name, and drew loud boos from the crowd. Obama shut that down and made very clear to the 20,000 people at the rally that Senator Clinton deserves respect.

Aides say Obama and Clinton have not met or spoken since that private meeting in Washington a couple weeks back, but the campaigns are reportedly cooperating as Obama gears up for the general election. One Clinton fundraiser suggests there's no rift and it will just take some time to heal from the primary.

Here’s my question to you: What do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama need to do in their first joint appearance to unite the party?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
June 18th, 2008
02:03 PM ET

How clear is it where McCain stands on the issues?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If John McCain doesn't stop changing his position on the issues, he threatens to make John Kerry look like an amateur.

In order for McCain to win in November, he has to appeal to both the traditional Republican base and to independents. Dana Milbank in the Washington Post says it's a delicate dance, and if McCain's not careful "he's liable to break a hip." Of course any doctor will tell you a broken hip can be very difficult to recover from.

On Iraq, the economy, guns and God, McCain is to the right. On immigration, campaign finance reform and global warming, he's to the left. It's all very reminiscent of John Kerry back in 2004.

McCain went after Barack Obama yesterday, for proposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies. A month ago McCain said he was willing to consider a windfall tax on the oil companies.

What about offshore drilling? During his last presidential run, McCain was against it. Now he's for it, saying the states should decide if they want to drill for oil off the coast. This could cost him big time in states like California and Florida which are extremely environmentally conscious.

Then there are the Bush tax cuts. McCain was against them – twice – but now he's for them.

McCain has also called for the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay to be closed down and torture banned. But last week he criticized the Supreme Court's ruling that detainees there should have access to U.S. courts – calling it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

Here’s my question to you: How clear is it where John McCain stands on the issues?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain