This is up at a lot of places now, but Obama’s comments today on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are a Reversal from his statement less than a month ago.
Posted by WLS:
July 7, 2008, in St. Louis, the same day the price of a barrel of oil went above $145 a barrel:
“I do not believe that we should use this strategic oil reserves at this point. I have said and in fact supported a congressional resolution that said that we should suspend putting more oil into the strategic oil reserve. But the strategic oil reserve I think has to be reserved for a genuine emergency.”
In his speech this morning, with the price of a barrel of oil today dipping below $120:
“We should sell 70 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks.”
What this really tells you is that Obama’s polling shows that he is going to get killed on this subject — especially with independents — if he didn’t show some willingness to do something to bring down the price of gas, while the GOP is having a field day over it.
This is a stunning 180 degree reversal in only 28 days, that cannot be rationalized away in any fashion. The only thing that has changed over that 28 days — other than the politics of drilling — is that the price of a barrel of oil has actually declined nearly 17%. If anything, the policy bases upon which he objected to using the SPR in early July are even stronger now.
This tells me that Obama WILL name his VP tomorrow in order to knock the legs out from under the story-line that he has flip-flopped.
But the real story is how much trouble the campaign fears its in if the issue of energy prices remains frozen where it has been the last 3 weeks.
Update: The NYT has this story up on its website, and while it acknowledges that he has changed his position, it doesn’t mention the stunning cynicism shown by the fact that he reversed himself in just 4 weeks. Nor does it even seem to inquire of the campaign the reasons for his reversal:
Senator Barack Obama altered (???) his position on Monday to call for tapping the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gasoline prices as he outlined an energy plan … Aides to Mr. Obama said that he now favored releasing light oil from that emergency stockpile.
That’s it. That’s all the pressure you get from the NYT to explain why this shift took place.