Today’s OOTD serves double duty. First, Barack Obama once again demonstrates that he has no idea what gas mileage people actually get from their vehicles, apparently having last owned a car and bought gas in 1978, and has a curious idea about what the middle class can afford these days. While speaking to a crowd in Pennsylvania, Obama scoffed at the notion of high gas prices and told the peasants voters that if gas prices were too high, then maybe they should eat cake instead buy new cars instead:
Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle.
“If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.”
As we’ve mentioned on several occasions now, the last time anyone drove an 8-MPG vehicle that didn’t include a half-track was in the mid-1970s. If that was the problem, then a tune-up would solve the problem better than a new car, and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper, too.
Even worse, Obama sounds as bad as Marie Antoinette here. Actually, he sounds worse. Despite the common belief that Marie Antoinette said of starving peasants who couldn’t afford bread, “Let them eat cake,” she didn’t actually say it; Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote of it in 1769 when Marie Antoinette was 13, before becoming queen of France, speaking of a “great princess.” Regardless, Obama fills the role of clueless aristocrat by telling a man who explains that he can’t afford to fill his gas tank at current prices that he should instead buy a new car.
If the press reported it, the retort would prove rather embarrassing — which may be why the Associated Press scrubbed it from their coverage of the event. A search for “If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon” turned up 26 hits last night at 7:15 pm ET, most of them Associated Press links or links to their affiliates. In each of those, the quote was removed in later editing, which the Bing archiving had yet to clear:
Just think how Marie Antoinette would have fared with a media so devoted to spinning for her.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!