Airtime in Cleveland

05/25/2011 12:35 pm ET
  • Carl Pope Former executive director and chairman, Sierra Club

Not since the Sierra Club's first-ever Presidential endorsement, of Walter Mondale back in 1984, has a Club Presidential endorsement gotten the kind of media attention that our endorsement of Barack Obama received Thursday.  Perhaps it was the unusual joint announcement with Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers and Allison Chin, President of the Sierra Club. Perhaps it was the centrality of our message -- that a new energy future is the key to our economy, our environment, and our security -- to this year's Presidential dialogue. Perhaps it was the fact that Senator John McCain, who had been sitting on the fence on environmental issues all year, picked last week to fall off -- firmly inside George Bush's Big Oil corral.

But the audience understood that Obama gets it -- that if Obama were in the White House there wouldn't be any doubt that we would be pushing wind, solar, and a host of new energy technologies to the forefront, instead of extending bloated subsidies to oil and nuclear -- that Obama believes that green jobs are the American future.

Senator Sherrod Brown was there, one of the people in the U.S. Senate who gets it best -- and the Ohio that two years ago sent Brown to the Senate and elected Ted Strickland as Governor, is poised to make Barack Obama our next President, and the first green leader of the 21st century.