Damn the Economists, Full Speed Ahead
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was pressed Thursday about how Clinton can stand by the gas tax holiday that she and John McCain have proposed, despite a flood of criticism from economists and others — and apparent conflicts with her long-term economic and environmental plans.
But campaign officials showed no signs of backing down. The reason? Voters like it. They really, really like it.
"Working people appreciate that Sen. Clinton understands the incredible economic strain they are facing, not just through high gas prices, but a number of things," is how Geoff Garin, her top strategist, put it in a conference call with reporters — with a confidence that suggested he had polling data to back up his point. "People need relief now and you can’t say that you have to wait for a couple of years, help is on the way. People are hurting now."
Garin also made clear that suggestions the plan — estimated to save the average driver $70 — wouldn’t do much to balance checkbooks across America was just another misreading of the situation by elites — candidates and reporters alike.
Most households have more than one car, he said, and "for people who rely on their trucks and cars [for work], it would save them even more."
"If you live in the center of the city, it may not seem like that big a deal," Garin said. "But if you live in places where you have to drive a lot…this means a lot."