March 29 2012

How Will President Obama Feel About Gas Prices Post-Election?

Carrie L. Lukas

Charlotte wrote earlier this week about the terrible message that President Obama’s open mic comment sends to friends and foes around the world.  It also sends a terrible—but also terribly important—message to voters here. 

As Karl Rove wrote yesterday:

The effects of Mr. Obama’s remarks in Seoul go beyond foreign affairs. If the president believes it is important to his reelection to conceal from Americans his response to Russians demands to halt development of a missile defense for Europe, voters have every right to ask: What other surprises does he plan to spring on us if he’s reelected?

I’m wondering specifically how President Obama will feel about gas prices come December if he’s re-elected. 

Sure, the Administration is horrified to see gas trailing upward and headed north this summer.  They don’t want voters feeling more cash-strapped, to see the prices of other goods (like food) continuing to climb, and to be reminded generally of what I lousy economy we’ve had the past three years, in spite of trillion dollar stimuli and other initiatives that the Administration promised would turn things around. 

Yet President Obama’s concern about gas prices is really concern about his own political fate.  He doesn’t want high gas prices because they hurt his re-election chance, not because he really wants lower gas prices.  One can only assume, based on his more candid statements on the issue and his state policy preferences, that he’s fine with the idea of higher gas prices so long as they rise slowly, because higher gas prices encourage people to buy his beloved hybrid vehicles and make alternative energy sources like wind and solar less economically nonsensical.  The President has tried to co-opt the idea of an “all-of-the-above” energy plan and is making noises about other pipeline projects to distract from the Keystone Pipeline project that his administration spiked.  How sincere is this?  Will exploration and additional refining remain a priority once the President has “more flexibility” after the election? 

The President essentially told the Russians that he is hiding his post-election plans from the American people.  The good news for voters is it doesn’t take much to understand what the President’s true agenda is, if they are willing to look past the campaign rhetoric. 

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