Straight Talk Iowa Style believes that ethanol will be a driving force in determining who will be the next President of the United States. Certainly, it will be a major factor in determining who wins the Iowa GOP Straw Poll and consequently the Iowa Caucuses. An article published this weekend and written by Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation is what we believe will be the first of many regarding Presidential politics and ethanol.
John McCain, who is perceived as the front runner for the GOP nomination in 08, will have to compete hard in Iowa and win if he wants to maintain that status. President Bush, then Governor Bush, had the same issue to deal with going into the Iowa Straw Poll and the caucuses. GWB decided to solve this problem by making a strategic political move that was brilliant. He was able to garner the endorsement of every Republican Congressmen and Senator Grassley before the Straw Poll. This gave GWB huge momentum going into the August straw poll and the winter caucuses resulting in enormous wins.
According to informed sources the ethanol issue was the hang-up for several Congressmen in Iowa. GWB had to agree to fully support ethanol production in order to earn their support. If memory serves us right this was not a sure thing for then Governor Bush. Up until that time he had what we remember to be several conflicting statement regarding his support for ethanol. In the end GWB agreed to aggressively support ethanol production thereby locking up every Republican Congressmen and Senator Grassley before the organizational ground game started in earnest.
Now it's no secret that John McCain has been a tepid supporter of ethanol in the past, however, we believe that he is more than justified in fully supporting ethanol production. Here's why:
1) A new world paradigm has emerged after 9-11 and fundamentally changed America's strategic priorities around the globe. Those same countries who are supporters of terrorism are also oil producing countries. So it follows that reducing our dependence on foreign oil is vital to our National Security strategy. Nation-states like Iran (supporters of Hezbollah) and Venezuela (owner of CITGO, and an emerging supporter of terror-supporting nations) profit the most from American oil consumption.
2) Let's stop lining the pockets of Middle Eastern terror supporters and start filling the pockets of America's farming and agricultural industry.
3) Investing in ethanol production is an investment in American national security, the environment, and in the end means more jobs for Main Street Americans.
4) The free market has started to embrace ethanol. With the banning of MTBE and increased demand for an evironmentally-friendly substitute, Wall Street has been pumping billions into new ethanol production facilities across the United States.
Good politics is good policy.