Spitzer claims green mantle in race for governor of New York

As attorney general of New York, Eliot Spitzer (D) has garnered a reputation for many things, but subtlety is not one of them. So it’s fitting that he kicked off the first big environmental speech of his gubernatorial campaign with this: “George Bush is, hands down, the worst president on environmental and energy issues that this country has ever seen.” It’s more than a kick in the stones of an unpopular president — Spitzer has taken legal action against the Bush administration 17 times, often over environmental issues. In his Wednesday speech to supporters, he also stumped for closure of the state’s Indian Point nuclear facility and touted the economic benefits of environmental advances like reduced emissions, redevelopment of brownfields, energy conservation, and wetlands protection. He gave a shout out to Gov. George Pataki (R) for protecting large swaths of undeveloped land, but said he would strengthen that effort with better smart-growth policies. Supporters responded by saying “Ellllliot” in the voice of E.T. over and over again. Or was that just us?