I love the richness of our descriptors for gatherings of various life forms. A few of my favorites:
– A pride of lions
– A murder of crows
– A host of sparrows
– A field of presidential candidates
Ok, that last one’s not official. But we use it a lot, and as the field of Republican presidential candidates thins, it seems like a fitting metaphor.
This week, we saw the surprising and sudden exit of Scott Walker. Expect more of that. I predict a Republican field that shrinks to ten candidates, or less.
On the Democratic side? It’s just a matter of time before Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb call it quits. No surprise there. But what about Hillary Clinton? The trajectory of her campaign is very similar to Walker’s, who once led the Republican field by a substantial margin. And when Joe Biden jumps in and eats-up a chunk of Clinton’s dwindling support, she’ll be under a lot of pressure to step aside.
Something big, different and defining needs to happen to revive Clinton’s campaign. Here’s a thought: None of the candidates have prioritized climate change like the crisis it is. The door to that visionary stance is wide open. Clinton could be the first to sign the Pledge to Mobilize, calling for an emergency response to the climate crisis “carried out on the scale of the American World War II home front mobilization.”
We’ve heard that language before, from . . . Hillary Clinton! In a speech delivered on November 5, 2007, in Cedar Rapids, Clinton said, “For this generation of Americans, climate change is our Space Race. It is our home-front mobilization during World War II and it is our response to the Great Depression.”
If Clinton were to beat Biden, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley to the punch and distinguish herself as the first candidate to commit to an ambitious, full-scale emergency response to the climate crisis, that would be huge. Would it be enough to send her poll numbers in the other direction? Hard to say. But I, for one, would love to find out.
A hearty thank you to all who participated in this weekend’s “Rosie the Riveter” action at the Republican candidate forum, and to Rodger Routh for this video: Climate Activists Confront Presidential Candidates in Iowa.
Check out podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum:
– The Pearl Project (with Kelly Boon )
– Lee Camp on Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the FERC fasters
– Water wars and the Iowa Environmental Council’s 20th anniversary (with Katy Heggen )
– Caucus Buzz: Blown-off by Ted Cruz (with Pat Bertroche)
– California fires could be climate’s Pearl Harbor moment
Join us live every Monday from 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m.
Thanks! – Ed Fallon