Podesta, chairman of the Centre for American Progress,
was invited by BKB to give a speech on progressive politics .
In that speech he also gave some important advice for the
presidential candidates: "If you don't have a plan for tomorrow,
you probably don't have a job tomorrow".
In his speech Podesta pleaded for a bigger role for the G20 in
designing a growth plan. Many of today's problems are too large for
individual countries, so they have to be tackled on an
international, global level.
He therefore supports the idea to let the G20 take the lead to
create a roadmap, which will lead to investments in small companies
to create jobs, tackles climate change and initiates investments in
R&D and higher education. "We have to work together as a world
to stimulate these plans worldwide. The stakes are too high".
Obama's reelection is still uncertain. What went
wrong, is it just to the economic crisis?
"Obama did not communicate enough about his reforms. He forgot
that every year in the Oval Office should be like your first".
What will the USA look like under Romney in
"Romney is a cypher. It is uncertain how much and how he
invests. It is for example still unclear how he will implement his
budget for science, innovation and higher education. The
Romney-camp suggests a policy and it hopes people don't notice its
deficiencies or that people will not believe he will really carry
How is it possible that climate change has
disappeared from the electoral agenda?
"Climate change has become an ideology in the past four years.
The discussion has shifted from "How shall we tackle it" to "I
don't believe in it. Climate change isn't real".
You will notice that the major oil companies invested heavily in
the presidential campaigns, especially in Mitt Romney's. The
industry is seeing that politicians need to respond to the public
opinion that 'climate change isn't real'."
Does clean energy play no role at all this
"The Presidential candidates need to have plans to invest in
clean energy, but not just for environmental reasons", Podesta
says, "but also for electoral, more political reasons. For example
in Michigan and Ohio many jobs were created in the clean-energy
sector through Obama's Recovery Act. Romney wants to stop these
investments from this programme."
"Especially in Ohio, the most important swing-state, this will
have major consequences. Romney had a three percent lead over Obama
before he announced his plans to stop this investment program. Now
he is three percent behind. So Obama's plans on clean energy might
secure his reelection."
Read John Podesta's speech on progressive politics given at BKB