How to make your cleantech capitalist dreams resonate with the hicks and hawks of Washington, D.C.? In a perfect storm of liberal guilt and heartland pandering, former Secretary of the Navy and CIA director R. James Woolsey has become a domestic-energy sustainability convert. And he's just one of a number of red-blooded Americans who support the war in Iraq and investment in renewable energy, according to Mother Jones. Woolsey joined Henry Kissinger, who hasn't met a long-range bombing platform he didn't like, in endorsing John McCain, whom Woolsey compared to environmental steward Teddy Roosevelt. If cleantech startups want to drink from the fountain of defense spending that has traditionally irrigated the Valley, they need to pay attention.
Woolsey is clearly playing an active and public role as the face of the movement, tooling around Virgina last month in a biofuel-powered Ford, touting the algae-derived blend that's just perfect for the military's vast fleet of diesel vehicles. And he's the perfect bipartisan foil, a longtime Democrat who's worked with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton:
He still thinks the United States should continue its global military role even as it untangles itself from the Middle East, standing by the decision to depose Saddam Hussein. "I'd support his ouster again if there weren't a drop of oil in Iraq," he explains.
McCain must figure Woolsey can pull in center-right Democrats who favor a strong protectionist economy (and harbor anti-Arab sentiments).
The greenocon promise is a Fortress America of tanks and solar panels, plug-in hybrids and nuclear reactors. I can hear the strains of "America, Fuck Yeah!" now, and it brings a single, deeply profound tear to my eye. (Photo by AP/Charles Krupa)