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White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices
The Hill ^ | 3/16/12 | Amie Parnes

Posted on 03/17/2012 3:21:59 PM PDT by Libloather

White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices
By Amie Parnes - 03/16/12 06:39 PM ET

The White House is shifting its optics on gas prices after struggling in recent days to win the public debate over the issue.

President Obama will head to Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio next week to tout American-made energy—including an area which houses more than seventy active drilling rigs.

The trip—which includes three battleground states—provides for much-needed photo-op moments of Obama visiting or possibly even speaking in front of active wells, which the White House hopes will hammer home its argument that domestic production has increased under his administration.

It is also a tacit admission that the current messaging campaign to deflect blame for rising gas prices, largely done through presidential addresses at college campuses and manufacturing facilities in recent weeks, has been largely unsuccessful.

The optics on the energy issue have become an increasing problem for Obama. A Washington Post poll released Monday found only 26 percent of voters approve of Obama’s handling of rising gas prices.

At the same time, observers—including Democratic strategists and others close to the White House—have found fault with the administration’s efforts.

“What they’ve been doing up until now hasn’t been very effective,” said one former administration official.

While observers agree that there is no “silver bullet” on the issue, they say the administration needs to take more of a show-not-tell approach to clearly telegraph their message on energy.

“They probably need to be a little clearer in showing that [Obama] does support domestic production,” said David Meadvin, a Democratic strategist.

“One of the ways they can get out of this bind is to put the president before an oil rig in shirt sleeves and say, ‘here,’ added Susan MacManus, a professor of political science at the University of South Florida. “They need to go to two or three places and say, ‘This is where it’s happening’ because people don’t believe it is.”

Even as Obama provides a more tangible moment for the viewing public, senior administration officials say there’s no change in course.

One senior administration official said this week the White House has no plans to shift the president’s messaging on the issue. In the coming days and weeks, the official said, Obama will continue a constant drumbeat where he touts his strategy—including his push for green energy— while responding to false attacks on issues about his record on domestic energy production.

The administration official said Obama will seek to ensure that people understand his record and that they understand there are no silver bullets and easy fixes for the problem.

At the same time, senior officials said, Obama will answer the so-called “cynics and naysayers” who have urged Obama to drill by highlighting his administration’s increase in domestic production.

During a speech on Thursday, a fiery president—who played off the crowd of college students—aimed to do just that in his sharpest rhetoric on the issue to date.

“Do not tell me that we’re not drilling,” Obama said at a speech at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland. “We’re drilling all over this country. There are a few spots we’re not drilling. We’re not drilling in the national mall. We’re not drilling at your house.”

The president also accused Republicans of viewing the energy issue through a narrow scope.

“If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they probably must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society,” Obama said. They would not believe that the world was round.”

But observers say Obama needs to step up the rhetoric even more so against his rivals.

“When some of these ridiculous comments are being lobbed, they should hit back harder than what they’ve been doing to make it clear that these people are being absurd,” the former Obama administration official said. “They should hit back with facts.”

Beyond their optics problem, the White House has also been tripped up by their handling of the Keystone XL pipeline—something Obama will aim to fix when he visits Oklahoma next week to talk about it.

The rejection of the pipeline by the White House has given the GOP perhaps one of the more definitive talking points during the next election cycle.

“The White House still needs to justify why they turned down the pipeline,” MacManus said. “They still haven’t really done that. It’s the one issue that received a lot of attention and it contributed to this perception that the administration isn’t doing anything to help bring down gas prices.”

Tony Fratto, who served as deputy press secretary to former President George W. Bush, said the Obama administration has failed to get in front of the pipeline issue.

‘The White House let themselves lose on that issue and that’s staggering,” Fratto said. “It’s going to get built, there’s no stopping it. And if they had supported it, they’d have something positive to talk about.”

While Fratto agrees that “there are no silver bullets,” he said Americans are basing their beliefs on Obama’s record and what their expectations are for the future.

But Democratic strategist Phil Singer disagrees with that assessment. Obama, Singer said, has done all he can to address the issue.

“When gas prices go up a president is unfairly blamed and when gas prices go down, a president is unfairly credited,” Singer said. “The truth of the matter is, a president has very little control on the price of gas. It really has less to do with what Barack Obama is doing or saying and everything to do with the fact that he has president before his name.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gas; oil; optics; price
There is no debate while I'm filling up.
1 posted on 03/17/2012 3:22:09 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather

“Shut up and drill”.


2 posted on 03/17/2012 3:23:54 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
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To: Libloather

Don’t worry bro. I have something in preparation. Look for it to emerge first on this forum, then hopefully be circulated web-wide.


3 posted on 03/17/2012 3:23:54 PM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union, then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
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To: Libloather
Looks like Obama didn't care for Gingrich schooling him from a drilling platform in Mississippi last week. Heh. Just goes to show which candidate really gets under the skin of the current occupant of the oval office.
4 posted on 03/17/2012 3:27:20 PM PDT by wtd
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To: Libloather

I heard him repeating the tired old canard about “2% of the oil, 20% of the consumption” on his Saturday lecture.


5 posted on 03/17/2012 3:29:44 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty ("If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." --Winston Churchill)
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To: Libloather
Here's Newt's chance.

"Tomorrow is Sunday, Newt...put this issue front and center! Come out swinging (BTW, no good fight movie ends until the hero has been beaten to a pulp and somehow recovers to deliver the knock-out punch)."

"Come on Newt, you have gotten under their skin...now is your time.":

"Deliver the punch!"

6 posted on 03/17/2012 3:31:41 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
“Shut up and drill”.

If I had a nickel for every woman that told me that.....

7 posted on 03/17/2012 3:31:55 PM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union, then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
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To: Lazamataz

I actually think it would be a great slogan.

Even Obama yute would like it. It’s sort of like “shut up and drive”.

I welcome anyone to use it, no charge, no royalties expected.

Catchy and effective.


8 posted on 03/17/2012 3:36:33 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
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To: wtd
The next Obama ass kissing propaganda film will feature Berry dressed up as a roughneck. He will be on the oil platform with grease smeared on his cheeks, and not his ass cheeks like usual.
9 posted on 03/17/2012 3:37:00 PM PDT by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
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To: wtd
The next Obama ass kissing propaganda film will feature Berry dressed up as a roughneck. He will be on the oil platform with grease smeared on his cheeks, and not his ass cheeks like usual.
10 posted on 03/17/2012 3:37:10 PM PDT by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
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To: peeps36

Let’s hope that no self respecting drilling contractor will even let him on site for a photo op.


11 posted on 03/17/2012 3:41:41 PM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
I like it enough to tagline it.
12 posted on 03/17/2012 3:44:58 PM PDT by Lazamataz (Shut up and drill.)
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To: Libloather

and somebody, maybe even the RNC, needs to take advantage of such a photo-op to make a commercial and include some old footage of all the people in little white lab coats with various healthcare bill photo-ops. Stick ‘em in their eye with it right in their face. Ridicule and make them the butts of every ad.


13 posted on 03/17/2012 3:44:58 PM PDT by Qwackertoo (Gingrich/West 2012)
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To: Libloather
Hot Air Alert: White House Claims Support for U.S. Energy Production, Actions Tell an Entirely Different Story
14 posted on 03/17/2012 3:48:10 PM PDT by epithermal
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To: All

Disclaimer:

I am not aware of having heard or seen that phrase “Shut up and drill” elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge it is original.

However I haven’t done any sort of search, and it could be someone’s already laid claim to it. In which case of course, it is not mine to give away.

-

But if it’s not claimed already, I’m fine with it!

PS: the reference to “shut up and drive” is to the title of a very catchy pop song, which I also don’t claim any rights to. :D


15 posted on 03/17/2012 3:48:29 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
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To: Libloather
The only "optics" we want to see (notice Price drop)
16 posted on 03/17/2012 3:57:07 PM PDT by 4Liberty (88% of Americans are NON-UNION. We value honest, peaceful Free trade-NOT protectionist CARTELS)
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To: Lazamataz

Flattered Laz.

I’d drill it.


17 posted on 03/17/2012 3:57:35 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ("The door is open" PALIN 2012)
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To: Libloather
The administration official Izvestia stooge said Øbama will seek to ensure that people understand his record...

Don't worry Baraq, you odious traitor filth, we're very familiar with it.

18 posted on 03/17/2012 4:04:15 PM PDT by tomkat (FU.baraq)
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To: Libloather

“The Optics” is what they care about????

Fix the damn problem you communist marxist Kenyan muslim neo-jihadi thug!


19 posted on 03/17/2012 4:06:16 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: Libloather

Wednesday: Obama criticizes opponents for “heading down to the pump” for photo ops

Monday: Obama heads down to the oil rigs for photo op

This guy is a joke.


20 posted on 03/17/2012 4:19:58 PM PDT by nhwingut (Sarah Palin 12... No One Else (Maybe Tim Thomas))
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To: Libloather

He needs to have his picture taken standing in front of this: http://www.kltv.com/story/16601787/100-miles-of-pipeline-stored-in-e-texas-field


21 posted on 03/17/2012 4:26:51 PM PDT by Western Phil
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To: wtd
The sad irony is that yes, Gingrich is the de facto candidate. Just look at who obama responds to. Romney and Santorum are not even on the 'rat radar screen. Too bad republican voters are stupider than democrat strategists.
22 posted on 03/17/2012 5:37:39 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

You found the silver bullet!


23 posted on 03/17/2012 5:43:34 PM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: Libloather

Some Freeper said, just a few days ago, to look for BO, in shirtsleeves and a hardhat, in front of a drill rig. I forgot who it was but he/she was right.


24 posted on 03/17/2012 5:55:28 PM PDT by jch10
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To: Libloather
...will hammer home its argument that domestic production has increased under his administration.

Classic liberal dishonesty. The problem isn't that domestic production hasn't increased -- it's that it hasn't increased enough.

And it hasn't increased enough because this administration has willfully and knowingly hampered new drilling and exploration, for ideological reasons and because of its beholdenness to the environmental left.

Obama and his pals are banking on the public not being well enough informed to see this. It is incredibly cynical.

25 posted on 03/17/2012 5:56:20 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: hinckley buzzard
The sad irony is that yes, Gingrich is the de facto candidate. Just look at who obama responds to.

That's a good point. Just the other day Obama gave a speech where he warned people not to listen to "politicians who have a three point plan for two dollar gas". I wonder who he was talking about?

26 posted on 03/17/2012 5:59:15 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Libloather

Maybe the photographer can direct him to stand in the line of fire from the throw chain.


27 posted on 03/17/2012 6:16:21 PM PDT by Despot of the Delta
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To: Lazamataz

If I had a nickle for everytime my ex-wife said that to someone besides me.


28 posted on 03/17/2012 6:21:11 PM PDT by Terry Mross ( "It happened. And we let it happen. - Peter Griffin, Family Guy)
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To: Libloather

We have a problem that could cripple the economy and in turn the entire nation, and he’s worried about the optics.

That’s all you need to know.


29 posted on 03/17/2012 6:34:11 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Libloather

FYI Newt is the only person telling the truth with regards to Oil and Gas. When I was a kid 40 years ago I worked on a Rig in Colorado,Utah,New Mexico,Montana,.. then some moron peanut farmer got elected and decided that 30% of our OIL being imported was wrong, so he created the Department of Energy to “ween ourselves of imported oil” almost immediately we were REQUIRED to SHUT DOWN HALF OF OUR WELLS and REDUCE BY 50% the PRODUCTION OF EXISTING WELLS. Low and behold we had a major Gas shortage, massive price increases, long lines, odd even days to get gas, limits of 10 gallons and on and on... At the time We KNEW THEN how much recoverable oil there was in the US. My Driller and Company Man drilled it into our heads what was happening and that at the time it was KNOWN that CALIFORNIA had More OIL than ALL OF SAUDI ARABIA,(finally being reported) and the US had 10 times more OIL than the rest of the world.(finally being reported) All of this so-called News is 40 years old. Today we import 70% of our oil. A good friend still works in the patch on Gas Wells in Texas and Louisiana, Almost everyone in his company has been transferred to North Dakota because THERE IS NO MORE NEW WELLS BEING DRILLED and THERE WON’T BE ANYMORE EITHER in Texas or Louisiana. Most of the crews have gone to Other STates where the Wells are on PRIVATE PROPERTY. All of this is by design AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN. Wake up Americans this is their JIHAD on us, and the accomplices are our very own CONGRESS AND PRESIDENT.


30 posted on 03/17/2012 8:13:55 PM PDT by eyeamok
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To: Terry Mross
I'm not going to the obvious, but funny, line, because it would disrespect you....

....and if I ever disrespect you, IT MUST BE IN PERSON.....lol

31 posted on 03/18/2012 7:13:07 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Shut up and drill.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
We have a problem that could cripple the economy and in turn the entire nation, and he’s worried about the optics.

Not only that, but he thinks he can escape responsibility for the problem by "changing the optics." And he may be right, too.

32 posted on 03/18/2012 9:03:52 AM PDT by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: Libloather
White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas pricesBy Amie Parnes - 03/16/12 ...

I refuse to read crap written by a doofus from another universe trying to change my language again.

"Changing the optics????"

33 posted on 03/18/2012 9:30:46 PM PDT by Publius6961 (“It’s easy to make phony promises you can’t keep.” - Obama, Feb23, 2012)
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To: Cyber Liberty
I heard him repeating the tired old canard about “2% of the oil, 20% of the consumption” on his Saturday lecture.

Careful.

Hussein and his handlers are masters at parsing words so that they can never be accused of perjury...

He said, 2% of "The known world oil reserves."

Prohibit drilling where the oil is known to be, and that 2% can never go up. In fact, as oil is discovered elsewhere, the number can only go down!

Pretty cool, huh?

34 posted on 03/18/2012 9:38:32 PM PDT by Publius6961 (“It’s easy to make phony promises you can’t keep.” - Obama, Feb23, 2012)
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To: Publius6961

Parse, parse, parse. It’s what you have to do. A lot of us got pretty good at that during the Clinton years.


35 posted on 03/19/2012 5:39:31 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty ("If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." --Winston Churchill)
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