Kerry's performance hit rock bottom when he struggled to keep up with Obama's latest position on offshore oil drilling:
MR. BROKAW: Let's, let's talk about energy for a moment, if we can, because there have been several developments this past week that are important. A bipartisan coalition of 10 senators...What?!
SEN. KERRY: Yes.
MR. BROKAW: ...five Democrats, five Republicans--want to expand offshore drilling and they want to end a tax credit on oil companies. Senator Obama, in the past, has often said that he's opposed to offshore drilling.... Now, having said that, here's what Senator Obama had to say over the weekend: "My interest is in making sure that we've got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices. ... If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage--I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done." I can already hear the bloggers saying, "Flip-flop." Here's a guy who just...
SEN. KERRY: Sure.
MR. BROKAW: ...a couple of months ago said, "No way we're going to do this," now he's opened the possibility of it again. Two weeks ago on this program Vice President Al Gore, who's the godfather in the Democratic Party of energy policies, said, "No way should we drill offshore."
SEN. KERRY: I agree with Al Gore, and I don't want to. But, but Barack Obama...
MR. BROKAW: You, you--so you don't agree with Senator Obama?
SEN. KERRY: Well, I don't agree--here's, here's what I think his position is demonstrating. He still believes we should not drill offshore.
MR. BROKAW: But he's prepared to do it if necessary.What?! So you're saying that Obama's newest statements on the subject are just some meaningless politicking that you won't even pretend to believe temporarily while he gets himself elected?
SEN. KERRY: He has not changed--what he's prepared to do, Tom, is break America's gridlock by honoring a bipartisan effort if that is the only way to move us towards alternative and renewable fuels and, and, and an energy policy that's comprehensive. I think what you see in the response on this drilling is really the difference in how they might govern. Barack Obama doesn't want to drill offshore, doesn't believe it's the thing to do.
There's a very--there's a four-state carefully circumscribed proposal in that, that, in that initiative that, that could conceivably allow some drilling.that, that... that, that...
Can anyone listen to this part? Kerry gives off the signal that he's going to blather and smokescreen and do that thing his erstwhile fans called "nuance" in 2004.
could conceivably allow some drilling....
But what? But we shouldn't believe it will lead to any drilling?
He doesn't want to do that.He doesn't? So Obama muddied his position, opened himself up to the accusation that he's flip-flopped, and the take away point really is just that he doesn't want drilling? Thanks a lot, Kerry.
Obama, do not send Kerry out to represent you again. He's terrible.
But if that's what gets us to the energy independence and to the other efforts, I think Joe Lieberman actually supports--now, he didn't support drilling. He's changed and moves in that direction."He" — who? I can't even tell if he's talking about Obama or Lieberman. So the point is, I think, that Obama wants to get some legislation through and he's willing to accept some provision that happens to be in it because it only opens a possibility of drilling, and he doesn't support drilling? I thought Obama wanted people to think he was open to offshore drilling, but Kerry is squelching that belief. How is Kerry trying to help Obama?
But here's the bottom line.Go to the transcript for the news that oil companies make too much money and need to be taxed more. Let's skip a step ahead, and pick up in the middle what Lieberman's saying when he gets the floor again:
... John McCain says we need to drill offshore. That's American oil, we need to bring it into the market to help lower gas prices and make us energy independent. Barack Obama says, this weekend, maybe, and, and, if, but. He did not endorse--he did not come out with a strong decision, Obama, and say, "I'm for offshore drilling." And I predict to you he'll find reasons not to be for it if this comes to a vote in the Senate.Oh, so Kerry was talking about Lieberman before. That's a distraction. We're talking about Obama and McCain, aren't we? Or is Kerry more concerned about the Senate-level debate about what legislation gets passed?
SEN. KERRY: Are you for it now? Have you changed?
SEN. LIEBERMAN: I am for it...
SEN. KERRY: You've changed.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: ...because of the crisis. That's...Is this helpful to Obama, who's been reframing his position?
SEN. KERRY: You're now for it.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: ...absolutely right, because of the facts.
I want to take a minute from a personal perspective...
MR. BROKAW: Are you--you're--and you're not for it, Senator Kerry, under any circumstances.
SEN. KERRY: It is an absolutely fraudulent offering to America.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: It, it is not.Yes, exactly! Kerry is being a Senator. Has he forgotten his role of helping Obama? But he wasn't invited onto "Meet the Press" to do his Senate work.
SEN. KERRY: Drilling--let me tell you why. We only...
SEN. LIEBERMAN: My buddy here is filibustering this morning.
SEN. KERRY: We only have, we only have 3 percent of the world's oil reserves. Sixty-five percent of the oil comes from the Mideast. The problem with global climate change is oil. The problem for our security is our dependency on oil.The same old Democratic talking points... I thought Obama trying to get away from that.
MR. BROKAW: So what you're saying...
SEN. KERRY: If we go out and drill more oil, even temporarily, when it doesn't come to the pump for about seven years, you're not dealing with the real crisis, which is moving America's innovation...
SEN. LIEBERMAN: Well...Yes, let's move on, now that Joe Lieberman has just done a triumphant 2-part dance on the supine carcass of John Kerry. And that's it for the discussion of oil drilling. Is Brokaw playing it straight, biased against Obama, or just painfully aware that John Kerry is pathetically incapable or perversely unwilling to help Barack Obama?
SEN. KERRY: ...and creativity, the creation of new fuel.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: ...here, here's the difference. Here, here's the difference. Senator Obama, Senator Kerry say no to offshore drilling, no to nuclear power and...
SEN. KERRY: No, I don't say no to nuclear power.
SEN. LIEBERMAN: OK, hold on. Senator Obama certainly does. John McCain says we got to have all of the above. In the short term, we need to drill for American oil where we can find it and get it safely. That's offshore. Secondly, John McCain has presented--and we need nuclear power. Secondly, John McCain has presented the most bold alternative energy--wind, solar, electric car, hydrogen car--proposals that are around today.
I want to say just a word about the, the racial question here. And I, I speak personally. In the first place, the McCain campaign is, to use Barack Obama's words, raising the question is he a risky guy? But it has nothing to do with his name or his skin color. It has to do with his lack of experience and bad judgment, his unreadiness to be president. When you use the expressions that Senator Obama did three times this week, you're making a personal insult to John McCain.
I, I know John McCain. I've been with him for 20 years, private and public. This man does not have a bigoted bone in his body. His wife and he adopted a baby from Bangladesh, who, who they love. It's just wrong for Senator Obama to have done that. It was right for the campaign to call him on it. Let me just add a final word, Tom. In 2000, Al Gore gave me the extraordinary honor of being the first Jewish-American to run for national office, and Al Gore said he had confidence in the American people that they would judge me based on my record, not on my religion. And I urge Barack Obama to have the same faith in the American people that they will judge him on his record, or lack of record, certainly not on his name or his race.
MR. BROKAW: All right. We want to move on if we can.