I'm pulling this out of last night's Night Beat with a bit of augmentation.
Aside from regulation, a strong confrontational tone against BP, and an acknowledgment of reality, the White House is remaining mum on whether the President will use the 20 minutes the networks have given him to call for -- and push for -- a comprehensive energy policy. One clue: Is the DNC's Organizing for America readying an energy push?
Yesterday's email from the President to
his list may have been a trial balloon, for "we're
certainly going to direct people's energy to it who are
interested in the issue as appropriate," says a party official, which
is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the "Go Big" position.
Whatever the President calls for Tuesday, the Senate hopes he has the votes for it. And House Democrats hope he makes clear distinctions between Democrats and Republicans AND puts pressure on the Senate to "Go Big." On Thursday, Senate Democrats meet to discuss the future of energy legislation, and the White House hopes that the speech tonight will fortify them, to some degree.
If the Center for American Progress really is pulling the strings on the President's energy policy, then POTUS will Go Medium Big: check out this memo from Dan Weiss, CAP's director of climate strategy:
President Obama must use this moment to rally Americans to support a sweeping oil reform agenda that permanently changes the way big oil does business. This means building public demand for standards and investments that deeply cut the $1 billion per day spent on foreign oil, ending tax loopholes for big oil companies, and beginning to crack down on global warming pollution.
If "Go Big" means a strong push for carbon pricing, then this would be the middle ground -- a speech that focuses on the oil industry, pollution reduction (including renewable standards and CAFE standard enhancement), lots of money for relief and reconstruction, and an assumption of responsibility for the clean-up.