I asked him about what I consider to be the unconscionable shiftlessness and apathy on the issue from Democratic leadership. “I'm hoping that the Democrats, and I'm hoping that Barack Obama, will be bold and clear in articulating an energy policy that is a bold departure from what we're doing.” I asked, have you seen that boldness on the issue of corn ethanol from Obama? McGovern actually expands the criticism of his own party outward:
“No, I haven't. And I'm worried a little bit, quite frankly, by our Democratic party's willingness to move more toward drilling. Look, it's nuts, it's such a hoax on the American people that drilling is a way to our energy independence and energy security. Drilling is a 1950's solution to a 21st century problem. We need to be honest with the American people …
Change is not easy. Even little change is difficult. You know, changing from real cream to Cremora is difficult for some peopl.
(I might point out that Cremora is, in fact, a corn product.)
But as hard as this change might be, McGovern sees opportunities in the new energy economy for Worcester. “I live in Worcester, that's the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Boy, wouldn't I love to fill those factories, from Worcester to Fall River, with people making wind turbines,” or for tidal or solar energies.
“We can become energy independent, be good to the envonrment, and re-invigorate our industrial base all at once. I mean, this is an incredible opportunity. We shouldn't be afraid to speak clearly about that. And we should stay away from trying to say, 'Oh, maybe we'll drill some more. Or, maybe we started corn ethanol, what the hell, we'll just keep going … So I don't want to hear any more talk about drilling. I feel like I'm in a dentist's chair. It's nuts, it's stupid.”
David asked about McGovern's support for Hillary Clinton. McGovern clearly feels a little bit wistful about her candidacy. “Look, I'm a liberal Democrat who thinks she's terrific. I don't agree with her on everything, but I found her positions on energy and green collar jobs, on FISA, were right on.”
He describes his own family's reaction to Hillary's candidacy, how they became more engaged and interested and hopeful in the possibility of a woman president:
“My mother was more interested in her campaign than in my campaign. My wife became a blogger on this campaign. My sisters were calling me constantly, because they were so committed to Hillary. My seven-year old daughter … all the little girls in her class were talking about Hillary …
She may not be perfect, but my mom says, “I've supported a lot of imperfect male candidates in my life, including you.”
McGovern feels that Bill and Hillary Clinton will unite the party in a “spectacular” way. But he mentions that he developed a meaningful friendship with the Clinton family.
But he insists that everyone at the convention will “enthusiastically” support Barack Obama: “If Barack Obama wins, the world changes overnight.”