‘No juice’ Obama

I have to hand it to President Obama, he talks a good game. That teleprompter can help a man work wonders with the spoken word.

It's evident I don't care much for the president's policies, but there's good reason. And nowhere is that more evident than with Obama's approach to energy.

Last night, the president revisited the importance of home-grown energy, beginning with renewables. That's just not smart policy, and he knows it. We are sitting on a massive gold mine that the Keystone project could tap, and he ignores it in the name of what — some untapped, underdeveloped, lesser sources in the form of wind and switchgrass? C'mon.

I believe the president made a major mistake in spending any time last evening discussing alternative energy sources. Now the Republicans can hammer him on a record of weak energy policies. Let's not forget the administration isn't exactly strong on alternative energy. Can you say "Solyndra”? Any further talk only reminds policymakers of his past blunders. The White House should consider itself lucky if it can avoid jail time for anyone in the Energy Department as a result of that solar power fiasco.

Then there's the cap-and-trade legislation this White House attempted to push through in prior years. That initiative alone would have cost every American higher energy bills. Talk about make-or-break for blue-collar America. Even those inclined to support the president, such as West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (D), could not toe that party line. These seemingly inconsequential policies are taking their toll. The residual effects of the cap-and-trade fight still haunt this administration, and they shouldn't discount that moving forward.

In the case of Keystone, the special interests this president loves to rail against are driving his agenda. Sure, they're of a different breed (pro-environmentalists), but they are special interests nonetheless. This country and its people are hurting. We can't afford to deny the potential to create 20,000 new domestic jobs because of a NIMBY scare or some other anemic argument.

This isn't the last word on Keystone. Expect House Republicans to leverage the president's remarks against him. And while they may not damage him directly, they will use it as a cudgel against his party in the respective chambers.

I suspect many Democrats in the coming weeks will be calling down to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., begging the administration to back away from its renewables policies, or at the very least, be willing to compromise with the GOP on a more comprehensive energy initiative.

Maybe that's a good thing to come from last night's speech — we actually see some bipartisan movement and consensus-building between both sides.