Candidates’ Stand-Ins To Face Questioning Campaigns Have Avoided

Presidential Democratic candidates and Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York, and Republican candidate John McCain of Arizona haven’t had to do much bobbing and weaving to avoid tough questions about their positions on climate change and the environment during their long primary campaigns.

There haven’t been many (any?) probing questions from the campaign press corps on those issues.

For their surrogates or stand-ins, however, all that is likely to change April 11, when representatives of the three candidates stand in for them at a National Press Club 90-minute session being sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and cosponsored with the Environmental Law Institute and National Geographic.

Coming the day before SEJ’s board of directors meets for a regularly scheduled meeting, program promoters say the session is intended to “find out what the next occupant of the White House is likely to do about climate change, energy, and the environment.”

The panelists representing the three candidates still standing are Jason Grumet, an Obama environmental advisor and founder and president of the Bipartisan Policy Council in Washington, D.C.; Todd Stern, an advisor to Clinton and partner with the D.C. law firm of Wilmer-Hale; and James Woolsey, McCain advisor and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, now a vice president of the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, in Washington.

Long-time National Journal energy and environmental reporter Margie Kriz is teamed with National Public Radio/All Things Considered senior editor Susan Feeney in moderating the face-off. The evening is also to include a preview of an upcoming PBS “Frontline” program, “Heat,” on the politics of climate change in Washington.

The program is scheduled to run from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, 13th floor, in northwest Washington.

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