Suskindblogging: Green Jobs

I’m reading Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men today, and will be spotlighting the things that 1) jump out to me 2) haven’t been reported to death elsewhere. An early scene from August 1, 2007 takes us inside Obama’s economic circle when he was still struggling to gain any traction against Hillary Clinton. Obama – portrayed as someone who gets the economic crisis, while not nailing the date it will break out – wants to be optimistic about green jobs.

[T]he group burst into a debate about where ten million low-to-moderately skilled male workers might go. Obama mentioned his energy policy, the current core of his domestic platform.

“Tops, we’d be producing just two million jobs, in all the areas: wind, solar, all renewables,” Goolsbee said. “And some of that will be offset by expected job losses in the oil sector, if we ever get that far.”

It was a disappointing number. Others groped around for “sunrise” industries that might catch fire, with a targeted government subsidy lighting the match. It did not take long to settle on the health care sector.

Why didn’t the administration double down on climate change instead of health care in 2009, a decision that has driven many supporters to anger ever since? Here’s one reason.