Is This The Stupidest Campaign Pledge Ever?

The Hill reports that Rep. Michele Bachmann vowed that gas prices would fall to under $2 a gallon if she became president:

Bachmann, speaking to a town-hall meeting in South Carolina, said she would pursue energy policies that send pump prices down to levels not seen since early 2009, at the thick of the U.S. recession. 

“Under Presi…

  1. katievs

    It doesn’t come close in stupidity to Obama’s promise to halt the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.

  2. Pilgrim

     Dan Foster omits 4) “Drill, baby, Drill.” 

    I haven’t seen an analysis but  permitting ANWAR, the Gulf (including the eastern Gulf, the Atlantic shelf, oil shale, oil sands, and fracking the heck out of natural gas supplies would put us awash in energy.  The numbers might work out to something close to $2.00 per gallon.

  3. Tommy De Seno
    C

     I agree with Pilgram.  Supply and demand.  We increase our own supply, and demand less form overseas, then the prices will drop like a 12 to 6 curve ball.

  4. Diane Ellis
    C
    Pilgrim:  Dan Foster omits 4) “Drill, baby, Drill.”

    Here’s one take: “Drill Baby Drill Won’t Lower Gas Prices

    The problem is this: While increased oil and gas drilling in the United States may create good-paying jobs, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower the trade deficit, it will have hardly any impact on gas and oil prices.

    That’s because the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes.

    Plus, any extra oil the country did produce would likely be quickly offset by a cut in OPEC production.

    “This drill drill drill thing is tired,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, which calculates gas prices for the motorist organization AAA. “It’s a simplistic way of looking for a solution that doesn’t exist.”

  5. Tennessee Patriot

    I believe she is saying gasoline would be much cheaper if we removed drilling and pipeline limitations on our land and in our waters. Whether prices would consistently be below $2 per gallon within four years of removing the roadblocks is questionable but I don’t think it is stupid at all to expect much cheaper gas if the government would let it.

    By the way- why is everyone so hyper-critical of Republican candidates? Reminds me of 1980. Reagan the right-wing, crazy nut was going to be the ruin of the Republican party, and Michelle Malkin would have been on the airwaves criticizing his past actions as governor of California.

  6. Hayek Fan

    This is Bachmann the populist. She’s trying to keep up her brand (and poll numbers) now that Rick Perry has entered the race. Unfortunately she put her foot in her mouth with this quip.

    I think Jennifer Rubin’ assertion in her recent podcast is spot on: Michele Bachmann might have peaked at the Ames Straw Poll. She can no longer jump in the polls by not looking crazy. She must look serious and substantive. With her penchant to jump in front of the nearest microphone, I don’t think she’ll manage that for long.

  7. tabula rasa

    How does she intend to handle state gasoline taxes?  I assume that under the Tenth Amendment she will make no claim that the federal government can alter them.  The combination of state and federal taxes averages a little less than 50 cents a gallon (lower in the South and Mountain states).  

    So she will bring the real price of gasoline to $1.50 or lower?

    It’s one thing to promise to drill, but to promise a specific price point is really, really, really dumb.

    ***

    On the other hand, I agree with katievs that this isn’t even “close in stupidity to Obama’s promise to halt the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.”

  8. Mel Foil

    Crude oil is in competition with other sources of energy, like coal, or natural gas (which auto engines can be converted to.) If we were allowed to retrieve our own oil, coal, and natural gas, then energy prices of all types would come down dramatically. It’s not the first barrel of oil that costs a lot. It’s that last barrel of oil that you absolutely have to have, and the seller knows you have to have it. That’s the expensive barrel. We don’t have to buy that last barrel of oil from overseas. That’s her point.

  9. SteveS

    Tennessee Patriot

    “By the way- why is everyone so hyper-critical of Republican candidates? Reminds me of 1980. Reagan the right-wing, crazy nut was going to be the ruin of the Republican party, and Michelle Malkin would have been on the airwaves criticizing his past actions as governor of California.”

    People can be hyper-critical because of venues like this one, 24 hour news, radio and our own willingness to bend an ear I suppose not that I think any of it is the problem just an explanation.

    I also believe if elected officials were as interested in displaying true moral character and us as the electorate were as interested in demanding it we wouldn’t hear nor fall for such ridiculous promises as $2.00 gas or stopping the rise of the oceans.

  10. Pseudodionysius

    I think there was a convergence of the space time continuum amongst Jennifer Rubin and Mike Murphy.

  11. Hayek Fan
    Stephen S.: Tennessee Patriot

    I also believe if elected officials were as interested in displaying true moral character and us as the electorate were as interested in demanding it we wouldn’t hear nor fall for such ridiculous promises as $2.00 gas or stopping the rise of the oceans. · Aug 18 at 8:53am

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s what’s so refreshing about Paul Ryan, and so discouraging about Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Ryan is always cool as a cucumber. You never hear him use hyperbolic language. 

  12. David Williamson

    It does seem a little over-optimistic, but it’s not in the same league of stupid as the promise to lower the oceans.

    Drill-baby-drill, frack-baby-frack and nuclear power would definitely help – that’s probably her point.

  13. Diane Ellis
    C
    katievs: It doesn’t come close in stupidity to Obama’s promise to halt the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. · Aug 18 at 8:24am

    Edited on Aug 18 at 08:55 am

    At this point in the game, we’re not judging Republican primary contenders against Obama. I presume it’s a given that most of us would take a syphilitic camel before we took four more years of Obama.  But during primary season, it does make sense to measure up our options against each other. Do you disagree?

  14. StickerShock
    etoiledunord: Crude oil is in competition with other sources of energy, like coal, or natural gas (which auto engines can be converted to.) If we were allowed to retrieve our own oil, coal, and natural gas, then energy prices of all types would come down dramatically. It’s not the first barrel of oil that costs a lot. It’s that last barrel of oil that you absolutely have to have, and the seller knows you have to have it. That’s the expensive barrel. We don’t have to buy that last barrel of oil from overseas. That’s her point. · Aug 18 at 8:45am

    Yes.  She’s throwing out a $2 price because that will gain much more attention than calmly explaining her energy policy.  She’s taking a gamble — if she were to be nominated and ultimately win the presidency, the specific price promise could come back to bite her.  Or she could be proven to be a brilliant soothsayer. 

    There is no doubt that gas prices would drop if all domestic energy exploration possibilites were opened up.   But I’m curious to know how she arrived at the $2 figure.

  15. Crow

    Definitely not the stupidest campaign pledge ever. I’m pretty sure Mondale’s whole platform gets that title (although, the Anti-Masonic party is up there…..hrm…..)

    Nevertheless, the problem, and Dan Foster points this out, is that: even if Bachmann wins, and even if on Day 1 of holding office we grant thousands of waivers to drill, getting the infrastructure in place to acquire enough crude to refine to ship to sell to affect the international oil market and overcome OPEC is…..well…..a process that takes years.

  16. Crab bait
    StickerShock

    etoiledunord: Crude oil is in competition with other sources of energy, like coal, or natural gas (which auto engines can be converted to.) If we were allowed to retrieve our own oil, coal, and natural gas, then energy prices of all types would come down dramatically. It’s not the first barrel of oil that costs a lot. It’s that last barrel of oil that you absolutely have to have, and the seller knows you have to have it. That’s the expensive barrel. We don’t have to buy that last barrel of oil from overseas. That’s her point. · Aug 18 at 8:45am

      But I’m curious to know how she arrived at the $2 figure. · Aug 18 at 9:15am

    Gas was $1.89 when Obama took office.

  17. David Williamson
    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    katievs: It doesn’t come close in stupidity to Obama’s promise to halt the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. · Aug 18 at 8:24am

    Edited on Aug 18 at 08:55 am

    At this point in the game, we’re not judging Republican primary contenders against Obama. I presume it’s a given that most of us would take a syphilitic camel before we took four more years of Obama.  But during primary season, it does make sense to measure up our options against each other. Do you disagree? 

    Well, yes, but the title of the thread is “Is this the stupidist campaign pledge ever” – no, it isn’t.

    Btw, while I am in nitpicking mood, is “stupidist” a word? What’s wrong with “most stupid”?

  18. Diane Ellis
    C
    David Williamson

    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    katievs: It doesn’t come close in stupidity to Obama’s promise to halt the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. · Aug 18 at 8:24am

    Edited on Aug 18 at 08:55 am

    At this point in the game, we’re not judging Republican primary contenders against Obama. I presume it’s a given that most of us would take a syphilitic camel before we took four more years of Obama.  But during primary season, it does make sense to measure up our options against each other. Do you disagree? 
    Well, yes, but the title of the thread is “Is this the stupidist campaign pledge ever” – no, it isn’t.

    Btw, while I am in nitpicking mood, is “stupidist” a word? What’s wrong with “most stupid”? · Aug 18 at 9:21am

    Touché.

    And yes, ‘stupidest’ is indeed a word.

  19. Cobalt Blue
    Hayek Fan I couldn’t agree more. That’s what’s so refreshing about Paul Ryan, and so discouraging about Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Ryan is always cool as a cucumber. You never hear him use hyperbolic language. 

    Bingo!

  20. George Savage

    Mollie, I think Michele has made an absolutely stellar campaign promise.  In business we set quantitative targets to guide decision-making and achieve the relatively few things we view as critical—you will search in vain for gauzy corporate targets concerning sales “saved or created,” for example.  We don’t always achieve our targets, but the process motivates managers throughout the enterprise to row in the same direction.  Bachmann’s $2 per gallon target will focus her appointees throughout the federal government.

    And the aim can be achieved.  Let me count a couple ways:

    1) A stronger dollar.  Our rapidly depreciating, quantitatively-eased dollar is a big factor in oil price escalation.  Right now, the world is betting that the US government will pay its unsustainable debt via a healthy dose of inflation.  Cutting federal spending and strengthening the dollar will cut oil prices.  Now.

    2) Remove government barriers to conventional energy exploration, production and delivery.  The demand curve for oil is inelastic in the short run.  Right now, global markets factor declining future US production into today’s price.  Invert that expectation and future production 5 years downstream will lower prices today.

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