In his Wednesday address at Georgetown University, President Obama took another stab at elucidating his muddled energy policy:
It was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 a gallon. I remember because I was in the middle of a presidential campaign. Working folks certainly remember because it hit a lot of people pretty hard. And because we were at the height of political season, you had all kinds of slogans and gimmicks and outraged politicians — they were waving their three-point plans for $2 a gallon gas. You remember that — “drill, baby, drill” — and we were going through all that. And none of it was really going to do anything to solve the problem.
The President has a keen eye for a gimmicky slogan. Remember “Hope and Change”? Or “Yes, We Can?” Or the latest monument to vapidity, “Winning the Future”? If there were a Hall of Fame for Substance-Free Slogans, Barack Obama would be its Babe Ruth. If there were an Empty Rhetoric Olympics, Obama would take the gold medal. If there were a Nobel Prize for … oh, wait, he already won that one.
“What do you say to people who are losing patience with gas prices at $3 a gallon? And how much of a political price do you think you’re paying for that, right now?” This was a question asked of the president at a press conference in August…of 2006. The president was George W. Bush. In fact, it was a question that was asked in one way or another regularly during the entire eight years of the Bush presidency, regardless of where energy prices stood at that moment.
In May 2004, The New York Times reported that congressional Democrats “were stepping up pressure on the Bush Administration to ease gasoline prices,” when prices were still under $2/gallon. In April 2005, at another press conference, a journalist stated: “Mr. President a majority of Americans disapprove of your handling of social security, gas prices…” In 2006, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) exclaimed: “Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled…They are too cozy with the oil industry” after she drove one less-than-energy-efficient block to a press conference at a local Exxon station.