Obama Playing Defense Over Gas Prices & GOP Attacks

WASHINGTON – How did it come to this?

How badly has the Obama administration handled promoting what’s actually been happening on energy production on their watch?

It couldn’t have been worse.

The graph here is from the Wall Street Journal, from back in August 2011. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

1,069: The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. this week.

The figure reflects a huge surge in U.S. oil drilling, up nearly 60% in the past year and the highest total since at least 1987, when oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. began keeping track.

But I bet you if you conducted random interviews across the country with average Americans you wouldn’t get many who are aware that Pres. Obama has presided over a surge in energy production and the decline in U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

With Newt Gingrich squealing about $2/gallon gas, which is a fantasy, while Republicans blame Pres. Obama for the price of gas, it’s clear nobody on the right cares about the facts.

Once a political narrative gets started it’s hard to unlock it in people’s minds.

With Keystone XL as a backdrop, with Pres. Bill Clinton coming out in support of it, as Canada begins the southern section of the pipeline, Pres. Obama denying Keystone in the short-term plays into a false narrative that he’s undermining U.S. energy interests.

It’s false, but it’s a building theme that the Obama administration must have polling is setting in.

The Iran issue isn’t helping oil prices either, which for Republicans simply offers a way to hit Obama on two fronts, even if there is no basis in fact for the attacks.

Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.