The Washington Post reported this weekend that the McCain campaign’s new strategy is “turning the page” on the economic crisis, with a focus on character issues. “If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose,” another aide admitted.
Apparently, another one of the campaign’s strategies is also to shift back to energy. Today at a rally in Florida, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) claimed that the “value of your paycheck is going down” simply “because of the high cost of energy”:
High gas prices, they are making a full tank of a gas seem like such a luxury. The cost of groceries is going up. All across the board, the cost of living is going up. Everything is. But the value of your paycheck is going down, and that’s because of the high cost of energy.
Palin then pushed for her “all of the above” approach to energy, to which the crowd shouted, “Drill baby drill!” Watch it:
For the past few months, conservatives have tried to peg all of the nation’s economic woes to high energy costs and offshore drilling. President Bush, for example, recently exploited Hurricane Gustav to push for drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. T. Boone Pickens has expressed frustration with these drill-only conservatives. “Having a little problem working with the Republicans. They don’t like it because I want to do more than just drill,” he said last month.
While high energy costs are certainly a problem, it is neither the primary nor the only factor affecting “the value of your paycheck,” as Palin seemed to have claimed. In February, The Nation cited three primary reasons: “First hourly wage growth has slowed for the 80 percent of US workers who aren’t managers. Second, inflation is picking up, driven largely by higher prices for gas and heating. And third, employers are cutting back on hours.”