Bush, the Saudis, and Oil Prices
I’m listening to the 60 Minutes segment about Woodward’s book right now and just heard something I haven’t seen in any of the press reports so far: the Saudis promised Bush they would lower oil prices before the election so that the U.S. economy would be in good shape in November.
Well, if it’s in a book by Bob Woodward and being talked about on 60 Minutes, it must be true.
A couple weeks ago, John Kerry was blaming the president for high gas prices: This administration has done nothing with OPEC to reduce gas prices.” Not only would this be a meaningful rebutal to that charge, but it would show that the administration was thinking about this issue months ago and planning ahead for the increase in prices. Moreover, this puts to rest the notion that Bush can’t work with our allies to get things done.
Update: Apparently, NRO has said much the same thing, which has Kevin Drum and his commenters in stunned non-silence.
I’m actually being tongue-in-cheek with that passage–as I’d hoped the preceding lines about the reliability of Woodward and 60 Minutes had made clear.
Certainly, any agreement that Bush could make with the Saudis to lower oil prices would be good. Tacitly allowing them to raise prices in exchange for lowering them for partisan advantage would be bad. Mainly, though, I think the Saudis’ main motivation in manipulating prices is to make as much as they can while warding off incentive to look for alternatives.
I am amused, though, that the Democrats seem to think high prices are Bush’s fault but then they get upset at the idea that Bush would make a political deal to lower prices.