If you want to look back at a point where Hillary Clinton turned her campaign around, and began gaining the momentum she'd need to claim victory in Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio Tuesday, look to Maryland and the speech she gave at a General Motors plant there on Feb. 11 before losing the Potomac Primaries.
It was there that her focus on economics and jobs began, and it was the resonance her economic message had with Democrats, in Ohio particularly, that is seen as key by many analysts.
That message? Take away oil company subsidies, and require that they either invest in clean and renewable energy research and deployment, or contribute to a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund that will. In the process of renovating older buildings to be energy efficient, manufacturing clean energy equipment and technology, and undertaking other green-themed initiatives, Clinton promises to create "at least" 5 million new jobs.
Despite being called out during the last televised debate for failing to deliver on a similar promise to Upstate New York residents following her first Senate campaign, the message stuck.
Barack Obama's energy plan is nearly identical in its goals reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% while creating new and lucrative domestic industries and very similar in its means. Obama, who won Vermont Tuesday, wants to spend $150 billion over 10 years on clean energy initiatives, and create a public-private Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund.
But she's made the details a part of her stump speech, and that appears to have played a role in her victories. The delegate count between the two Democrats still appears to be in Obama's favor, but the momentum is up for grabs. And whoever emerges from the Democratic contest now officially knows the opponent, Sen. John McCain, who locked up the Republican nomination Tuesday night.
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