Sen. OBAMA: I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment . . . by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more quickly, particularly US automakers, then I think ultimately, we can come out of this stronger and have a more efficient energy policy than we do right now.In other words, for then-Senator Obama, high gas prices weren't a problem, so long as the increases came gradually. In fact, they were an opportunity for the government to "encourage" the market -- and automakers -- to operate differently.