"Sandy has blown climate change back on the agenda – and many believe the White House was wrong when it decided in 2009 that climate change was not a winning political message."
"The invitation to the White House in the spring of 2009 struck Barack Obama's allies in the environmental movement as a big moment: a clear sign that climate change was on his radar and that the president was eager to get to work.
The event was indeed a turning point, but not the one campaigners expected. Instead, it marked a strategic decision by the White House to downplay climate change – avoiding the very word – a decision some campaigners on the guestlist say produced the strange absence of climate change from the 2012 campaign, until hurricane Sandy blew it right back on the political agenda.
The storm – which interrupted campaigning for three of the last eight days of the presidential race – may even prove the decisive factor in the elections, with voters watching how Obama handles Sandy's aftermath. The devastation has already sparked debate about America's present-day vulnerability to climate change.
But back in 2009, the off-the-record event with the White House green team at the old executive office building offered the first chance for the White House to share its plans for getting a climate change law through Congress. ...
The answer was clear: climate change was not a winning message. Raising the topic would also leave Obama open to attack from industry and conservative groups opposed to intervention in the economy."