With the Republican presidential nominee decided and the Democratic contest dominating the news coverage, there’s been discussion/concern on how Sen. John McCain can keep his name out there and fresh in the minds of the voters. Personally, I think this would be a great time for McCain to work on his domestic policies (he’s already tight on national security/foreign affairs), and the environment would be a good place to start.

On “The Campaign Spot” they mentioned, “…with gasoline expected to hit $4 a gallon by summer, energy will probably be a much more prominent issue than it has been in recent cycles. There’s some talk of having McCain tour alternative energy plants and sites.” Makes sense to me. The environment is one of the issues the R’s usually concede to the D’s that McCain can pick up votes on, and he even has the “McCain-Lieberman Environmental Stewardship Bill” to push his record of reaching across the isle (as opposed to Barack Obama who only talks aboot it).

Campaigning on the environment can help McCain in three areas:

Independent voters – The more McCain goes against “the base” the more it makes him attractive to independent voters, and since most in conservative talk radio consider the environment to be nothing more than a giant liberal media conspiracy, environmental issues are a great area to do so. I’m not saying that he has to handcuff himself to a tree or anything. But by simply acknowledging that there might very well be man-made environmental problems we need to find solutions to, while also pushing right-leaning ideas like “Green Entrepreneurship,” he can pick up votes that would normally go to the D’s by default.

California – Yes, the R’s carrying California is a pipe dream, but McCain is crazy enough to try and there’s no reason to rule anything out this early in the game. This is the same state that elected Arnold Schwarzenegger twice (who himself has broken with traditional republican orthodoxy in regards to the environment) and a lot of alternative energy plants are on the left coast. Hey, you never know.

Evangelicals – Evangelicals want constitutional amendments outlawing abortion and gay marriage; McCain opposes the amendments. They’ll never see eye to eye on that. However, global warming and other environmental issues are becoming a growing concern of evangelicals, so there’s room there for McCain to campaign on how we need to be “proper stewards of God’s planet.”

The environment isn’t the only domestic issue McCain has/needs to build on, and I’ll be looking at others throughout the week. But with everyone remotely interested in politics being glued to their televisions on April 22nd, it makes a great time for McCain to give a major policy speech just before they declare a winner in Pennsylvania. Just look how well it worked out when he announced Gov. Crist’s endorsement just before the polls closed for the D’s in South Carolina.

For thoughts on some potential McCain running mates:
Who is Tim Pawlenty?
Who is Mark Sanford?
Who is Charlie Crist?

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