As my colleague Larry Rohter reports at the Caucus, Mr. McCain told an audience [over the weekend] at the University of Northern Iowa that “We’ll invest in all energy alternatives: nuclear, wind, tide, solar, ethanol, biofuels.”
Mr. McCain has long been an outspoken opponent of subsidies for ethanol, as well as tariffs on foreign supplies of the stuff. That has not helped his standing in Iowa, where he is behind by double-digit margins — though as Mr. Rohter’s report mentions, he did get Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican Senator who recently questioned Mr. McCain’s position on ethanol subsidies, to stand by his side.
Mr. McCain’s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, also mentioned what Politico has called the “e-word” during a swing through Iowa, calling for “harnessing alternative sources like the wind, and the solar and the biomass and the geothermal and the ethanol.”
Meanwhile, the Akron Beacon Journal also ran with this, emphasizing how being in favor of ethanol has helped Barack Obama in Ohio, especially with the farmers.
That assertion really makes Palin’s promotion of ethanol and McCain’s flip-flop sit squarely in the pandering column.