FLINT, MI -- "Drill baby, drill!" The Republicans' St. Paul battle cry, an instant self-parody moment for a zany campaign season, actually popped up at an Obama event on Monday. Standing before a small crowd at a Michigan community college, Sen. Barack Obama mocked the oil-crazed Republican delegates.
"'Drill baby, drill' -- what kind of slogan is that?" he asked, serving up gentle sarcasm to the supportive crowd. "I can see if you're, like, cheerleaders for ExxonMobile, but that's not a vision for the American future," he continued, touting his plan to "find new areas of production" and jumpstart a domestic "green collar" jobs program.
Then Obama shared the current book on his nightstand: "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," by Times columnist Tom Friedman. Displaying a soft spot for the cute jargon that has made Friedman's tomes such huge international hits -- 27 languages, two million copies! -- Obama said he shared a committment to improving America's "energy technology." "The country that figures out this energy thing first, they are gong to be country that leads in the 21st century. That's the bottom line," said Obama. He continued to channel Friedman: "He calls it E.T., energy technology," Obama explained, stressing that his administration would prioritize alternative energy.