Directory Free Newsletter Contact Log in

European-American Topics - Politics - US Election Campaign in OR


Oregon: The Path to the White House
By Erik Schultz
Posted May 14, 2008


Bill Clinton in Oregon
Photo credit ©
Erik Schultz

Not since President Robert F. Kennedy looked at Oregon for his campaign in 1968, has the Northwest meant so much in the outcome of who will be our next President. In back-to-back-to-back trips, Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, Senator McCain and former President Bill Clinton all made stops throughout the Oregon and Washington areas these past 6 days.

            President Clinton wrapped up his Mother’s Day events with a stop at Gresham High School in Gresham, OR, where he gave his reasons why his wife should be our next President. The topic and point that seemed to capture the packed house’s ears was what Clinton called a “hybrid car on steroids” in regards to a supercharged SUV that can get 100 MPG. Clinton said that Hillary is the only candidate with a plan to make this an affordable option for the American people.

            Things started to get interesting when a strong Obama supporter voiced his opinions over Clinton and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). When police and secret service moved in to escort the man out, Clinton told them to let him stay, stating, “It’s a free country.”

            It was a lively event with rocking music, high school students cheering and Clinton joking. Much more laid back than the teleprompter speech given by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Monday afternoon in Portland, OR. Clinton touched on the topic of wind energy but during Senator McCain’s stop at Vestas, this was his opportunity to announce his Climate Change Policy, which is as far removed from Bush’s plan as possible and drew quick criticism by both Clinton and Obama following McCain’s speech. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, who in recent political visits was a large supporter of New York Senator, Hillary Clinton, and fellow Democrat, introduced the Senator. Vestas Americas president Jens Søby also introduced McCain. Vestas is a subsidiary of Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems. In addition to his position as president of Vestas Americas, Søby serves on the board of the American-Danish Business Council. The crowd seemed to be in equal number with the press covering this, McCain’s first visit to the Portland area since becoming the presumptive nominee. The remarks followed a tour of the Vestas facility by the Senator.

Jens Søby introduces McCain
Photo credit © Erik Schultz

According to the Vestas website, to keep up with the dramatically increasing energy consumption and the resulting explosion in CO2 emissions, they have based their strategy on making wind energy the preferred supplement to conventional energy sources. Vestas is the world’s leading supplier of modern energy solutions. They have installed more than 35,000 wind turbines in 63 countries on five continents. Their turbines generate more than 60 million MWh of energy a year – or enough electricity to supply millions of households.

            McCain praised Vestas for their “important work”. He then went on to state, “ “Wind power is one of many alternative energy sources that are changing our economy for the better. And one day they will change our economy forever. Wind is a clean and predictable source of energy, and about as renewable as anything on earth. Along with solar power, fuel-cell technology, cleaner burning fuels and other new energy sources, wind power will bring America closer to energy independence. Our economy depends upon clean and affordable alternatives to fossil fuels, and so, in many ways, does our security. A large share of the world's oil reserves is controlled by foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. And as our reliance on oil passes away, their power will vanish with it.”

John McCain
Photo credit © Erik Schultz

            McCain went on to talk about the possible conflict with China and India in regards to an international solution to the climate crisis. “In my approach to global climate-control efforts, we will apply the principle of equal treatment. We will apply the same environmental standards to industries in China, India, and elsewhere that we apply to our own industries. And if industrializing countries seek an economic advantage by evading those standards, I would work with the European Union and other like-minded governments that plan to address the global warming problem to develop a cost equalization mechanism to apply to those countries that decline to enact a similar cap.” Whether this plan is something that could really take shape is still up for debate but you can bank on the fact that in the coming weeks this will be the hot bed for discussion as both Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama plan trips back to the Northwest this weekend.



© 2006 All content property of European Weekly unless where otherwise accredited