President Barack Obama's reelection campaign kicked off with its first television commercial of the 2012 campaign yesterday [see video below] and the President picked up where he left off in 2008 by focusing on jobs — more specifically, on green jobs.
Fresh off rejecting the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have carried oil from Canada's tar sands through the US to the Gulf of Mexico, and spurred by a falling national unemployment rate — a rate that was still at a relatively high 8.5% for December 2011 — Obama is putting his chips on one of the principal policy themes of his last candidacy: growing a clean energy economy. Considering the economic downturn that somewhat stifled green job growth over the last three years, the move is a bold one for the Obama campaign. But it was a global economic downturn that kept green job growth from reaching its potential, not some kind of fatal flaw in the policies or vision. And as the new ad points out, America's clean energy industry has 2.7 million jobs and is expanding rapidly. So while the US economy may still be slowly regaining its footing, the clean energy economy is not only one of the few bright spots, the Obama campaign still thinks it is the keystone to getting this country's overall economy back on track.