Lightbulbs Aren't Enough

12/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Carl Pope Former executive director and chairman, Sierra Club

The election's aftermath election continues, with lots of gossipy stuff about Governor Palin's wardrobe and how Rush Limbaugh hates John McCain and the Republican party. The media are ecstatic that they no longer need to spend much ink on the substance of governing but can instead review the horse race over and over with clean consciences (except in Georgia, where there's still a Senate runoff).

However, in the midst of this trivia, an occasional nugget offers insight into how our next President views the political arena he has just mastered so thoroughly. Here's a wonderful bit from Newsweek's "Secrets of the 2008 Campaign" quoting Obama on efforts by the debate moderators to keep things at a sixth-grade level:

"I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself,
'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it.' Instead
of being appropriately [the tape is garbled]. So when Brian
Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done
[that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of
trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm
thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve
global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's
because of something collective'."