Schweitzer Speech Energizes the Convention
Mark Warner was tonight's keynote speaker, but it was the raucous Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer who worked the crowd into a frenzy, delivering a kinetic speech about--of all things--energy policy.
It's hard to imagine anybody getting quite that fired up about energy policy in 2004.
Schweitzer's remarks (a prepared transcript of which is available on our site, conveniently) invoked John Kennedy's goal to put Americans on the moon. Energy is the challenge of the 21st century.
"We face a great new challenge, a world energy crisis that threatens our economy, our security, our climate and our way of life," Schweitzer began. The sort of line any politician might utter. But then Schweitzer took it personal, saying McCain's support for expanded drilling was an unrealistic solution even "if you drilled in all of Senator McCain's back yards, even the ones he doesn't know he has."
Schweitzer cited Montana's investments in wind farms, developing reserves in Montana's vast Bakken Formation, pursuit of coal gasification and carbon sequestration, and efforts to promote energy efficiency.
"The petro-dictators will never own American wind and sunshine," Schweitzer bellowed.
And like the football coach at a high school pep rally before the state finals, Schweitzer had the crowd bellowing along. "We need all of you to stand up," he yelled. "Colorado! Stand up! Florida! Stand up! Pennsylvania! Get off your hind end! In the cheap seats! Stand up!"
With energy such a hot button issue, and Schweitzer able to fire up a crowd, maybe the Democrats should have made him the keynote to make sure the performance got picked up on television.
Forbes.com Washington Correspondent