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The Campaign Ethanol Dance Continues...

Kate Galbraith has an interesting campaign dispatch about ethanol subsidies. McCain's opposition—while noble on the merits—has eroded his support in both Iowa and rural Ohio. So recently, McCain told an Iowan audience that he would "invest in all energy alternatives: nuclear, wind, tide, solar, ethanol, biofuels." It's a murky sentiment, but it sounds like he's trying to edge away from his no-handouts-except-for-nuclear stance in the waning days of the campaign.

In the meantime, Obama has been talking up ethanol subsidies all year—it's a big black eye on an otherwise green platform—but many environmentalists have persuaded themselves that he's just serenading key swing states and will "do the learning that is required" (in Carl Pope's words) once he gets into office. I sort of doubt that—he'll eventually want to get re-elected, no?

--Bradford Plumer