Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Clinton signs up Congressman Inslee"

Joel Connelly:
Saying the nation needs a "battle tested" president who can lead a "clean energy revolution," Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., has signed with the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. Inslee will serve as co-chair of Clinton's energy and environment task force, along with former Environmental Protection Administrator (and Al Gore confidante) Carol Browner.
"She understands that tectonic plates need to shift in the American economy, and that we have an opportunity to both grow the economy and develop technologies to deal with global warming," Inslee said of Clinton.
"We need a leader who talks about it in those terms -- of growth and optimism -- rather than gloom and doom. The world depends on America to develop these global technologies."
Inslee is serving his sixth term in the House. He was recently named to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a key panel in developing legislation to deal with climate change, fuel efficiencey and new technologies. Inslee, 57, is also repaying a major political favor. He was an underdog challenger against GOP Rep. Rick White in 1998, and one of the few Democratic House hopefuls to stress his opposition to Republican House leaders' bid to impreach President Clinton. Hillary Clinton came to Seattle late in the '98 campaign, speaking to a rally at the Westin and again to a big-giver Inslee fundraiser held in the glass sculpture studio of Dale Chilhuly. The money helped Inslee, and aided in a sweep that saw another GOP-held House seat fall to the Democrats.The Inslee endorsement comes on the eve of the first major Washington event of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Ex-President Bill Clinton is appearing Saturday to raise money for his wife's campaign. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards have recently campaigned in the state. Three Washington congressmen have already made early endorsements in the 2008 presidential race. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., is backing Obama. Smith was chairman and organizer of Sen. John Kerry's 2004 campaign in the state. On the Republican side, Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., has announced his support of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and is co-chairing a Giuliani law enforcement task force.
Inslee indicated that Clinton's experience, and her interest in global warming, were key aspects in his endorsement. "So much is at stake in this election," he said. "The last eight years have been a disaster. We can't take risks. We need a leader who is battle tested." The Bainbridge Island congressman praised Clinton for playing a "constructive" role on Iraq by proposing legislation that would remove Congress' authorization for the war. In 2002, Clinton voted and spoke for Congress' war authorization resolution.

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