Despite Obama's many shortcomings, I've never been one of those who thought he would easily be defeated in 2012. For one thing, the media will continue to be his main cheerleader, and second, it's just tough to beat an incumbent in any office, particularly a sitting President.
But now I'm beginning to believe we've found his Achilles heel: Gas prices and arrogance.
Almost nothing ticks off voters like high gas prices, and politicians that don't seem to care. Right now, we've got that daily double at work in the Obama administration.
Wednesday Obama told a group in Pennsylvania that “I’m just going to be honest with you. There’s not much we can do next week or two weeks from now.....They’re (gas prices) going to still fluctuate until we can start making these broader changes, and that’s going to take a couple of years to have serious effect." Read the full story here.
True enough. But he's only telling half the story. The truth is, he HAD the chance to do something about gas prices and energy independence when he took office. Remember the gas price spike of 2007-08? Gas hit $3.50 here in the Midwest, and people hated it. Soon there was growing momentum for more domestic oil production. "Drill, baby, drill" was Sarah Palin's mantra, and people loved it.
But as soon as Obama took office, his people began throwing up roadblocks to domestic oil production. As the global economy slowed, oil prices fell, and that provided them cover for doing the bidding of the environmental extremists, who never saw an oil well they liked, and think Europe's $9-a-gallon gas prices are just fine.
(Side note: In 2007, liberals told me with a straight face, "Of course oil prices are high. Bush is pushing them higher to pay off his buddies in the oil business." Funny, I don't hear them making that same argument about the current White House occupant.)
Now we're paying the price for Obama's obstruction of domestic oil production, and when gas hits $4.50 a gallon this summer and stays that high into 2012 - bringing the weak economic recovery to a screeching halt - he's likely to become a 21st-century Jimmy Carter.
The second part of the argument: He's even copying Carter's arrogance and condescension. Again, from Wednesday's AP story:
"Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle. “If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.”