Bush’s ‘magic wand’ and its legacy of low expectations.

In his press conference yesterday, a reporter asked President Bush about the rising price of gasoline, now at roughly $3.60 per gallon. In response, Bush was helpless, repeatedly saying he wishes he could just “wave a magic wand” to lower prices:

[Y]ou know, if there was a magic wand to wave, I’d be waving it, of course. I strongly believe it’s in our interest that we reduce gas prices, gasoline prices. … No, I think that if there was a magic wand, and say, okay, drop price, I’d do that. … But there is no magic wand to wave right now.

Watch it:

This is an old line. Bush and his appointees have repeatedly invoked the supernatural to express their frustrations with gas prices, as Dan Froomkin notes. Some lowlights:

— “I wish I could simply wave a magic wand and lower gas prices tomorrow; I’d do that.” — Bush, 4/20/05

— “I wish I could just wave a magic wand and lower the price at the pump; I’d do that.” — Bush, 5/16/05

— “[L]et me assure you that if the President had a magic wand that could lower prices, he would do it!” — Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, 8/08/05

— “I wish there was a magic wand that I could wave that would lower gas prices. But I can’t.” — Bodman, 4/25/06