By making climate change his main focus, Jay Inslee has managed to jump into the crowded candidate pool and still make a splash big enough to get noticed. He’s done this by choosing a platform that is strong, but not risky. That platform’s main focus? Climate change.
Like some of the other popular front runners so far, Inslee has an impressive career in politics behind him that make him more than just another lawyer turned politician. As a representative, and later Governor, of Washington State he has made a lot of progress in important areas like climate change, education, and drug policy reform. He also garnered media attention by challenging Trump’s Muslim Travel ban in the courts, showing that he’s not afraid to stand up to the president.
As for his climate change platform, Inslee is not just waving a climate change flag for show. He’s got a plan to back it up as well. Take a look at the Energy & Environment page on his governor website to see what steps he has already taken in his home state to address the issues. It will most likely act as an outline for his federal plans. When interviewed about his ideas he had this to say:
“We’re the first generation to feel the sting of climate change. And we’re the last who can do something about it. We went to the moon and created technologies that have changed the world. Our country’s next mission must be to rise up to the most urgent challenge of our time — defeating climate change.”
Considering the legislation he has already passed as governor to help the environment I think it’s safe to say that this is no empty promise being used just to get votes. It’s a serious commitment that he has the track record to make possible, assuming he makes it to the White House and then faces only some fierce opposition from republican business interests. Until then he will just have to face all of the hurdles they place before him as he tries to run to the front of the primaries.
Jay Inslee has one other problem as well; he’s an old white guy. It’s sad that we live in an age where one’s distinguished political career is overshadowed by one’s age and race, but it’s simply the way voters are looking at things right now. Women are ready to vote for any of the highly qualified female candidates in the race, to make history by electing the first female president that Hillary narrowly missed the chance for. Most of the men in the race are having a hard time competing with that.
Their only hope may be in the younger and millennial voters, but they will have a hard time getting enough of them on their side to stay competitive. A big campaign budget is one thing, but actually landing votes is another. Hopefully Jay’s campaign for climate is enough to do just that.
Photo by: Martyn E. Jones