Back in 2008 then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) knew where she wanted to place the blame for high gas prices. “The price of oil is at the doorstep -- 4 dollars plus per gallon for oil, is attributed to two oil men in the White House,” Pelosi said in a CNN interview on July 17th, 2008.
Now that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are out of the White House, Pelosi has been silent on the issue. She has made no public comments on gas prices over the past few months. President Barack Obama however, has been fielding questions on the issue as he begins his bid for re-election.
Discussing the price of gas while campaigning is nothing new for Obama, he was critical of the high cost in 2007, “We’ve got an economy that is doing very well for some, but is leaving folks all across the country and the heartland struggling to figure out how do they fill up their gas tanks,” Obama said at a July 3rd, 2007 campaign event in Iowa.
Even though gas is more expensive right now than in the summer of 2007, then as well as now, Obama discusses having a new, diverse energy policy for America as the answer to the price problem. One major difference between these campaign stops in 2007 and his recent speeches at Democratic National Committee events, is his criticism of America’s foreign policy.
“We have been engaged in a foreign policy that fundamentally does not work. That we’ve got a war that should have never been authorized, a war that should have never have been waged, a war that has cost us billions of dollars and thousands of lives and has not made us safer, but has distorted our foreign policy and has diminished our standing all around the world,” Obama said while campaigning in Iowa in 2007.
With ongoing military operations now in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya Obama’s perspective may have changed. In his March 16, 2011 DNC fundraiser in Washington, D.C. President Obama referenced ongoing military operations and the “convulsions in the Middle East” as part of a foreign policy that has “got enormous challenges ahead”.
The approach of Pelosi and President Obama to the issues of gas prices and foreign policy may have changed since the time of the presidential campaign of 2008, but the two issues seem destined to be front and center for the political campaigns of 2012.