This blog repeatedly has stressed the phoniness of President Obama’s climate agenda.To wit:
- During his 2012 reelection campaign, he conspicuously skirted mention of climate change. Now he calls global warming the most urgent threat in the world today, on par with war and terrorism.
- During the 2012 debates, candidate Obama tried to outflank Romney’s right on energy policy. That Obama—the one who was trying to get elected—took credit for booming American oil and gas production. Last week, by contrast, 2nd term Obama claimed that Big Oil was conspiring with the Koch brothers to undermine his green goals.
That’s the context for the President’s current itinerary. You might be forgiven for thinking the President is still on vacation (see below), but in fact, he’s in the midst of a “two-week global warming messaging sprint,” as described by Politico.; The Washington Examiner calls it a “climate change tour.”
It started in Las Vegas on the 24th of August, with an evening speech to extol a supposed green energy revolution. Then it moved to New Orleans, where the President talked up his administration’s efforts to render the country more resilient in the face of runaway AGW. The final leg of the trip is now unfolding in Alaska, where yesterday he “stare[d] down a melting glacier,” according to the AP, in a scene that evokes Reagan at the Brandenberg Gates (in bizarro world).
But did the President’s staring contest with a giant block of ice inspire Americans to drop everything and fight climate change? After all, that’s the idea behind his trip—to draw attention to the urgency of solving the climate “crisis.” My limited purpose with this post is merely to demonstrate empirically that the President’s PR tour has changed few to zero hearts, due to the simple fact that no one seems to be paying any attention.Below, I’ve reposted the last 11 days of RealClearPolitics front pages. For the uninitiated, RealClearPolitics is a daily aggregator of political news. Its purpose, roughly defined, is to gather in one place the 20 or so most meaningful or important political articles of the day. It is, as such, a serviceable proxy for whether the media is paying attention to a given political story. The operating assumption of this author is that it should be easy for the President’s preferred message to grace the front page of RealClearPolitics, given his bully pulpit.
During the eleven days since President Obama spoke in Las Vegas, there was one story regarding the President’s climate tour in RealClearPolitics. And this single story, from the New Republic, only touched upon the President’s global warming trek as a mechanism to summarize environmentalist dissatisfaction with the administration’s decision not to ban oil and gas drilling offshore in Alaska. To be sure, criticism of himself is not the climate message that the president is trying to spread! This suggests the President’s PR trip hasn’t engendered much PR.
To be fair, RealClearPolitics carries a daily round up of editorials, which the news site places below its aggregation of straight news & bylined opinion. And there is a single editorial given to O’s climate message. It comes from the New York Times, but it’s not as if the President had to shore up support for his climate agenda (read: cynical legacy-grab) in Manhattan.
There is, of course, a wonderful cosmic (or Alanis Morisette-ian) irony at play in the President’s unnoticed global warming PR blitz. In 2012, he ran from climate change, because voters lend ultra low priority to “doing something” about climate change. And now that he supposedly cares about global warming, he can’t get any traction, because voters lend ultra low priority to doing something about global warming. Plus ca change!
11 Days of RealClearPolitics through 11 days of O’s climate messaging sprint: