It’s not exactly an “October Surprise,” but it seems President Obama is playing to the environmental concerns of frustrated progressives with the midterms just a month away.
 
In the span of about two weeks, energy and environmental issues seem to be back in the political discourse after the issues seemed to die with the Kerry-Lieberman cap and trade bill earlier in the summer. Perhaps it took emotions cooling following the end of the BP oil spill, but since that time, progress (or at least talk of progress), has made its way through the Beltway. First came the agreement on a Renewable Energy Standard from both Democrats and a handful of Republicans in the Senate. Then there was even some talk of adopting some of the greenhouse policies of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and in the past few days it is President Obama himself who is bringing green rhetoric back to life.
 
Obama planted the seed in a Rolling Stone article where he talked about adopting a piece-by-piece energy policy in 2011. Then, over the weekend, Obama used green jobs to speak to both those wanting a greener agenda, but more importantly to those who see jobs as the issue for the midterms.
 
The strategy may be paying off. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has done an about-face from his statements earlier in the summer when he said Democrats will lose the House and perhaps the Senate in November. Now the headlines read that the White House sees races tightening, and that Gibbs himself sees a real possibility of Democrats holding both chambers in November. 
 
A recent article in the New York Times also points out the president’s careful phrasing when it comes to energy policy. President Obama is avoiding the term “climate change” and continuously touts “green jobs” as a way to counter Republicans who want to cut off unspent stimulus money if they take a majority of seats in either the House or Senate. Obama argues that much of that money will go to guaranteeing loans for future green projects like the solar project in the Mojave Desert where stimulus funds did exactly that.
 

While Republicans continue to tout their “all of the above” energy plan, they may be losing the messaging game. A brand new Washington Post poll shows that Republicans are losing their lead across the nation, and another poll shows that nearly two thirds of voters haven’t heard of the Republicans’ “Pledge to America.”

Of course, the only poll that matters will be the real one on Nov. 2. Clearly, Democrats (and especially the president) think that green voters may be the difference.

Related on MNN: Obama to add solar panels to White House roof.

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