Ed Driscoll

Obama in 2008: Of Course I Want Higher Gas Prices in an Election Year

Hey, it’s a GOP primary event today, and you know what means — time for Obama to Barack the Oxygen out of the room yet again. Today’s press conference contains this classic howler:


At the president’s news conference this afternoon, Fox News reporter Ed Henry asked the president about Israel and whether talk of attacking Iran was driving up gas prices. Henry then asked, “Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices go go higher because you have said before that will wean the American people off fossil fuels on to renewable fuels. How do you respond to that?”

The president conceded that, in an election year, he wants gas prices to go down.

“Do you think that the president of the United States going into a reelection wants the prices on gas to go higher?” Obama asked incredulously. “Is there anybody here that thinks that makes a lot of sense?”

Yeah, you did, champ — remember 2008?

And of course, the obvious question is what happens after the election year. Although Obama and old media are on record –and in agreement — on that topic as well.

As Victor Davis Hanson writes in his latest column on “The Gaseous Policies of Barack Obama,” no worries, “we have two Nobel laureates in Dr. Chu and Barack Obama to see us through:”

Give credit to Steven Chu. He’s not backing down and most recently reiterated to Congress that high prices are not much of a concern of this administration. (But Mr. Chu: if they go up any more, you will soon be out of a job, yes?) In contrast, and faced with reelection, the president now brags that we are using less fuel and pumping more of it than when he took office. Again, examine that surreal logic: because unemployment is high and GDP growth low, there is less demand for gas, and that is suddenly a good thing? (Note how — for the first time? — Obama does not blame Bush for lowering gas demand as he had serially for causing the economic doldrums: “Bush wrecked the economy but I was smart enough to make it far worse to lower gas demand.”)

Then the president boasted further that domestic production is at an all-time high. Consider that weird reasoning as well: although he curtailed production on federal lands where there are now record levels of known oil and gas reserves, private industry has developed horizontal drilling and fracking — despite, rather than because of, the president — on mostly private land in the Dakotas and elsewhere. Is the reasoning, then, something like: “Congratulations to the oil industry for ignoring me”?

In sum, from January 2009 to January 2011 — in the pre-Climategate days before Al Gore was a “sex poodle” and when the Himalayan glaciers were to be swamps and polar bears extinct — new gas and oil production was considered “bad,” given that Obama was pushing wind, solar, and “alternative” energies. In those giddy cap-and-trade days, he could afford to pontificate because he was not up for reelection and world demand was sluggish, dropping oil prices at the wellhead. When the world economy began rebounding, demand picked up, prices spiked, and now Obama is in campaign mode: suddenly high gas prices are bad and he claims not that he wants his House-approved cap-and-trade bill pushed through his Democratically controlled Senate, but rather that all along he has encouraged private enterprise to drill while successfully persuading us to cut back our consumption (as if we did so because of the impressive oratory of Barack Obama rather than because he had managed to ensure millions of Americans now had no jobs to drive to work to).


And on Israel, Obama has to temporarily pose as being their friend, at least until November, or when he appears impotent yet again in the wake of Iranian prevarications, whichever comes first. Even the Democrat house organ the Daily Beast has noticed. “It wasn’t long ago that the White House was angering Israeli leaders with statements seen as critical. But 2012 is an election year, and that makes all the difference.”

Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.

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