Is Inslee angling for a presidential bid with CNN climate change op-ed?
Washington Governor Jay Inslee wrote a scathing op-ed on CNN, outlining his belief in the need for a president who believes that climate change is a global crisis.
Inslee pulls no punches in his criticisms of those who deny climate change, and more specifically, President Trump.
“Donald Trump is blowing smoke on climate change,” Insee wrote. “We here in the West have been choking on it this summer. And if we don’t start electing people — from city council to governor — who are willing to confront climate change, we’re all going to pay dearly.”
He’s, of course, referring to wildfires that raged across the West Coast this last summer, from British Columbia all the way down to California. Many point to climate change as a root cause of stronger, more frequent wildfires, something that the Pacific Northwest has dealt with increasingly in recent years.
Inslee expounded on that in detail in his CNN op-ed:
In Washington state we know this from our own gasping experience. For two weeks in August, the skies were shrouded in the darkest smoke in recent memory, as record-breaking fires tore through the Western states — destroying communities and forcing widespread evacuations. A thick, acrid and dangerous pall from hundreds of fires filled the lungs of citizens trying to go about their lives.
He goes on to cite a number of other extreme weather events, before laying into Trump’s extensive plans to take apart the country’s environmental infrastructure. From there, he emphasizes the need to put “climate change on the ballot in 2018.”
On the heels of telling Politico that he’s “not ruling out a run” for president in 2020, the timing of Inslee’s op-ed appears to be less coincidental and more strategic in nature. If you were trying to build a reputation as a well-spoken, environmentally-conscious presidential candidate, a deep dive into climate change on a platform like CNN makes a whole lot of sense.
“I think our country needs a Democratic Party to produce a nominee who’s going to really be committed to climate change and defeating climate change and creating a clean energy economic message,” Governor Inslee told Politico.
With the next Washington gubernatorial election coinciding with the presidential election in 2020, Inslee will definitely have a decision to make soon. In the meantime, he does still have at least a year or so to test the waters, and find out just how realistic a run at the Oval Office is.