The Washington Post

Rising gas prices threaten Obama

I can’t match Carter’s prediction about Romney’s political demise if Santorum wins in Michigan.  February 28th is too far away and I’m too heavily invested in predicting that Romney will be our nominee for me to change now.  More on the Arizona and Michigan primaries later. 

It’s not a prediction, but it is underreported and I think underappreciated, how significant the rise in gasoline prices could be economically and therefore politically.  Gasoline prices have a real-time impact on middle-class Americans and ultimately everybody feels it when there is an increase.  We’re now at $3.51 a gallon, with speculation that it will go to $4.00 and maybe even $5.00 later this year. This is bad for everybody, and it’s very bad politically for President Obama.  He has never made it plain that he is even against high gasoline prices.  If he thinks they’re too high, I don’t know what his plan is to bring them down.  It’s been very plain that he wants higher energy prices so Americans will use less of it.  We know he wants to tax the oil companies, but if you tax a company, what tends to happen to the price of its product?  Of course the prices go up.  So isn’t that what he is for? 

I predict Obama is going to have an epiphany pretty soon, and he and his fellow Democrats will develop a straight-face call for lower gasoline prices.  It won’t be easy, and the hypocrisy alarms will be blaring all over America. 

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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