Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rudy goes nuclear

New York Post reported A small gathering in Mid town yesterday got a sneak peek at Rudy Giuliani's formula as he gears up for a likely 2008 presidential run. That formula: one-third leadership, one-third technocratic centrist and one-third radical conservative reformer.

There's a reason Giuliani outpolls Sen. John McCain regularly when it comes to who conservative Republicans prefer for the presidency

Rudy has some policies we don't like, but we know we can trust him. We know McCain cannot be trusted.
while also maintaining great popularity with centrists - and it was on full display in this Manhattan Institute-hosted talk on energy policy.... The centrism came in the policy speech, which found the former mayor in full-on Ross Perot mode with a series of charts and graphs detailing 1) how U.S. energy demand has far outstripped domestic production since 1960 and 2) how countries like France and Belgium are far outstripping the United States in their use of nuclear power. Drawing on his experience managing New York City's power problems, Giuliani spoke of the government red tape that makes it virtually impossible to build power plants, oil refineries and (especially) nuclear-power facilities.

Summing up U.S. energy policy since the 1970s, he was blunt: "We haven't done anything." We haven't drilled in Alaska. We haven't built oil refineries. We haven't ordered a nuclear power plant since 1978.
We need to do all three.
We need to start doing these things, he said, to diversify. Energy independence, he said, is simply the "wrong paradigm," despite the idea's popularity in quarters of both the Left and the Right. Instead, in a global economy, "We have to diversify, that's our strength . . . You can be independent by being diversified."

And there's room to reach out to the Left on building more nuclear plants now. The technology has grown safer - and nuclear use could reduce emissions that lead to global warming. Giuliani cited support for the idea from the liberal New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore (though, to be fair, Moore has been something of a pariah on the enviro Left since he left that group in 1986). He also plugged clean coal technology and, yes, ethanol, both of which can be harvested at home, as well as natural gas, which is less geopolitically dicey than petroleum.

The red meat for conservatives, however, came in the Q&A: An audience member asked Giuliani what he would do on education as president. Without deflecting the loaded premise of the question (no announcement yet, folks), the former mayor launched into an impassioned brief for school choice. "A president has to know the role" of the federal government, he said. "It's more of a leadership role." But as that leader, he would emphasize, "choice and vouchers."
Fantastic. I support both.
As mayor, he said, he thought he could do for the schools what he did for the police department and other city agencies. But he learned he was wrong. The education bureaucracy and the teachers unions were too deeply entrenched. What's needed, he said, "is to go to a choice system and break up the monopoly."

1 comment:

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