Barack Obama’s Energetic Flip Flops

Happy Columbus Day!

Hillary is celebrating Columbus Day in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by presenting her Economic Blueprint for the 21st Century: Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class.

Obama is celebrating Columbus Day by “subtly” attacking Hillary on Energy policy and making a fool of himself – again. Obama is, contrary to his reputation, not very bright. His “campaign” incapable of vetting a policy speech.

Let’s rediscover a March 26, 2007 Politico article called Rookie Mistakes Plague Obama (read the whole thing, not just our excerpts). Back in March when he was talking to black folk in Selma, Obama was attacking the 2005 Energy Bill:

Speaking early this month at a church in Selma, Ala., Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said: “I’m in Washington. I see what’s going on. I see those powers and principalities have snuck back in there, that they’re writing the energy bills and the drug laws.”

It was a fine populist riff calculated to appeal to Democratic audiences as Obama seeks his party’s presidential nomination. But not only did Obama vote for the Senate’s big energy bill in 2005, he also put out a press release bragging about its provisions, and his Senate Web site carries a news article about the vote headlined, “Senate energy bill contains goodies for Illinois.

Hillary, as Politico discusses today, voted against the energy bill in 2005 “saying at the time it was too freighted with things like tax breaks for Exxon..”

Today, Obama, in New Hampshire, not Selma, is once again flip flopping and praising the 2005 Energy Bill and how he loves working with those Ripublicans:

In an interesting passage from the speech Obama’s planning to give in New Hampshire today, he pre-emptively casts his vote for the 2005 energy bill — derided by many Democrats, and a likely source of attacks on him in this area — as a vote for…ethanol!

“When I arrived in the U.S. Senate, I wanted to do whatever I could to make real progress toward energy independence. I reached across the aisle to pass a law that will give more Americans the chance to fill up their cars with clean biofuels. I passed a law that will fuel the research needed to develop a car that will get 500 miles to the gallon. I even voted for an energy bill that was far from perfect because I was able to ensure that it contained some real investments in renewable sources of energy. And I’ve fought to eliminate the tax giveaways to oil companies that were slipped into that bill – oil companies that have spent half a billion dollars lobbying Congress in the last ten years while their profits have risen to record highs.”

TPM, as usual, forgets Obama’s Selma Flip Flop too (Ambinder forgets too):

Obama is giving a big speech on energy this afternoon in New Hampshire. According to advance excerpts of the speech, he’ll be attacking Hillary without naming her by blaming Washington insiders for our current energy crisis, a case he’ll build with veiled but obvious references to several Hillary ethanol votes:

“There are some in this race who actually make the argument that the more time you spend immersed in the broken politics of Washington, the more likely you are to change it. I always find this a little amusing. I know that change makes for good campaign rhetoric, but when these same people had the chance to actually make it happen, they didn’t lead. When they had the chance to stand up and require automakers to raise their fuel standards, they refused. When they had multiple chances to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in renewable fuels that we can literally grow right here in America, they said no.”

That first line is clearly a reference to Hillary’s argument that she has the “experience” to bring about change. The other references are apparently to votes and positions against ethanol Hillary has taken as a Senator, which she has said she did to defend the interests of her upstate farmer constituents.

In response to the speech, Hillary supporters are likely to point out that Obama voted for the widely criticized 2005 Bush energy bill, while Hillary voted against it.

Obama in Selma says 2005 Energy Bill BAD (even though he voted for it).

Obama in New Hampshire says 2005 Energy Bill GOOD (even though Democrats thought it was an EXXON giveaway).

If we could harness Obama’s Flip Flop energy we would be energy independent this Columbus Day.