President Obama is not a pushover, although at times during his tenure as president one could make that assumption.
Particularly, when Obama tried repeatedly to compromise with the GOP, he sometimes appeared weak, at least in my eyes. And I voted for him. However, last week while speaking at the University of Miami, Obama hammered the GOP when it comes to energy issues. Some called the speech fiery. In my favorite quote, Obama mocks the GOP energy plan:
“And you can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas,” Obama said. “I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. ... We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.”
GOP candidates continue to make campaign promises about lowering gas prices, and Obama nailed them in another favorite quote. “It’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices,” he said. “What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem that may not be solved in one year or one term or even one decade.”
Youtube video of speech:
Obama first mocked the GOP in 2011
Almost a year ago, Obama mocked the “drill, baby, drill” slogan during a speech at Georgetown. Speaking about the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said, “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.” Obama added that “none of it was really going to do anything to solve the problem.”
Obama took it a step further and said that “none of these gimmicks, none of these slogans made a bit of difference.” He pointed out that when gas prices fell, it was “mostly because the global recession had led to less demand for oil.” Now that the economy is recovering, “demand is back up.”
Obama said something in the speech last year that needs to be trotted out again and again:
"When I was elected to this office, America imported 11 million barrels of oil a day,” Obama declared. “By a little more than a decade from now, we will have cut that by one-third. That is something that we can achieve. We can cut our oil dependence -- we can cut our oil dependence by a third."
The way to counter the GOP’s “drill, baby, drill” mantra is by reminding the American people that we can cut oil dependence by a third through increasing renewable energy use. What will be needed is an increase in R&D in order to come up with a truly viable alternative to the gasoline powered vehicle. The U.S. put a man on the moon a few years before my birth. Surely this nation can create a vehicle powered by something other than a fossil fuel that can be mass adopted.
Photo credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama.jpg