- Fear. Americans are (and probably should be) afraid of our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. I think voters are on the cusp of getting very angry about the economic dependency on Mid East Oil production.
- The shadow of impropriety cast over your opponent. Bush is Oil money. Cheney is Oil money. Haliburton gets a new contract in Iraq nearly every week.
- Vision. Kennedy took us to the moon. We were racing against the Russians and we won. Now we want to innovate our way out of dependence on the world's most unstable region.
Maybe the Kerry camp is way ahead of me. In the article referenced, Kerry touches on the issue: "Kerry said he would make the United States independent of Middle East oil within the next decade". I think a candidate could make a strong case that the US needs to escape our dependence on Mid East oil, and that the only sure way to do it is through invention. Once the message is established, point two is: your incumbent president cannot lead us out of dependence on Mid East oil. He is too industry friendly. Bush doesn't have the vision to push our country to its creative limits. Make Kerry's complexity, his adventurous attitude a necessary skill. Tell people that the biggest problem facing the nation is one that requires a man of both intellect and courage.
Who knows if it would work. I'd like to see any candidate try, mainly because I do believe energy independence is the top issue for domestic security, foreign policy, and to a lesser degree, economics.