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In Detroit Democratic Candidates Actually Did Some Climate Debating

Jay Inslee (Credit: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.

Inslee is, in fact, the ‘climate candidate’
On night two, when Inslee took the stage, it was clear that he intended to ensure climate was featured front and center.  He was the only candidate to mention it in his opening statement.  “It has to be our top priority,” the governor said.  “My plan is one of national mobilization, quickly bringing 100 percent clean energy to Americans, creating 8 million good union jobs.”  And he dedicated his entire closing statement to the topic as well.  (Only two others, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Michael Bennet, concluded by mentioning environmental issue.

Many on stage seemed to defer to Inslee as the climate expert — and it’s hard to fathom anyone being anointed in such a way on other major issues like, say, health care or the economy.

When CNN debate moderator Dana Bash began the set of questions on the “climate crisis” — note that CNN used the term as opposed to “climate change” — she immediately turned to Inslee, asking him what he knew about global warming that his rivals didn’t.  When Bash later asked Senator Kamala Harris to comment on Inslee’s call for urgency on the issue, Harris immediately echoed the governor — even going so far as to reference part of his stump speech.

“I’m going to just paraphrase one of your great sayings, Governor, which is we currently have a president in the White House who obviously does not understand the science,” Harris said.  “He’s been pushing science fiction instead of science fact.”

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