Among the many liberal complaints about the President’s BP speech last night was the fact that he nearly avoided the phrases “climate change” or “global warming” or “greenhouse gases.” Chris Hayes of The Nation noted this fact on twitter, and the Post’s Ezra Klein objected on TV and on blog to the near omission, and came away feeling unelevated and unenmeshed.
But Obama avoiding climate discussion is nothing new. When the House passed the Waxman-Markey bill last summer, most people referred to it as “the climate bill.” Not Obama. The President’s statements after the bill passed, and in his weekly radio address nearly ignored the subject entirely.
The reason seems obvious to me: David Axelrod must have poll numbers showing that climate change doesn’t motivate people. And as Klein points out today, Obama’s not in the mood to inspire the people.