Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 1, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS GIGGLE GAGGLE....For some reason, I found Wednesday's White House press briefing even more entertaining than usual. You can read the whole thing here, but I have a feeling you don't have to. You can get a pretty good idea of the comical nature of these things just by reading the questions. And it saves you lots of time.

The subject is OPEC's decision to cut oil production:

Q When he was running for President, the President said that President Clinton should get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say, we expect you to open up your spigots. But it doesn't appear that he's doing that --

Q Well, excuse me, I was just going to ask, could you tell us what calls the President has made?

Q But he's not making calls, himself?

Q He's not making calls, himself?

Q Scott, our friends in OPEC don't seem to be paying any attention. It seems as if the President has been unpersuasive with our friends in OPEC. Is it fair to conclude that --

Q Well, they're jacking the price on us. Is it fair to conclude that he's not -- what he's doing isn't working?

Q But so far, nothing he's done or the administration has done has had any effect.

....

Q I'm talking about the way you're dealing with OPEC.

Q How about my question about OPEC?

Q How about my question about OPEC?

Q From the White House perspective, why haven't -- I mean, in assessing the situation, why haven't your discussions been productive?

....

Q Can I take one more stab at what Jim was, I think, trying to ask? Is there -- are the American people expecting too much if they think that this President or any candidate for President can really impact the price at the pump?

Q Yes, Scott, what happened in Iraq today, in one incident, five Marines were killed; another one --

Q Can we finish up this first? I have another question on this --

Q I'll yield --

Q All right, thanks. I just want to, again, zero in on the short-term --

....

Q If that's true, then it leads back to Terry's question, which is, whatever the President and the administration seem to be saying to OPEC at the moment isn't working. So what do we do about that? What's the strategy?

Q What expectations can we have that those conversations will produce a different result than they have up to now?

Q Now, getting back to the oil problem, gasoline problem. Even if you were to use the Strategic Reserve, would this not be a short-term fix?

In the meantime, Virginia Postrel wishes the President would forget about oil and just open up the Strategic Diet Coke Reserve.

Kevin Drum 12:29 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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