Paul Street, formerly of the Chicago Urban League and now blogging from Iowa City, summarizes the Democratic front runners’ position on reviving nuclear power, and questions Obama’s image construction as opposed to his reality:

“Edwards has the right answer: nukes cost too much and are unsafe.  Hillary waffles but agrees with Edwards that nukes are too dangerous at present.  It’s left to Obama to actually advocate ‘explor[ing] nuclear power as part of the energy mix’ (as if it hasn’t already been deeply explored for decades and found to be [a] too expensive and [b] too unsafe).”

Whence Obama’s position?

“For a big part of the answer, please follow this link to Barack Obama’s  ‘Top Contributors’ on the ‘Open Secrets’ web site of the Center for Responsive Politics – the venerable campaign finance watchdog group in Washington DC.  There you will see that Obama’s third largest campaign contributor (after Goldman Sachs and Lehman Bros.) so far is Exelon Corporation ($191,000 through the second quarter of 2007).  Exelon is the parent company of Chicago’s notorious Commonwealth Edison utility and is owner and operator of what it calls the “nation’s largest fleet of nuclear energy plants.”

Obama’s already shown a depressing willingness to truckle to the worst of the Democratic Party — its unwanted and unnecessary intervention in the suburban primary race to replace Henry Hyde, and its coronation of an incompetent County Board chairman on the hereditary principle. Is this more of the same, or just a reasonable difference of opinion?