Rising gas prices are always a bad thing for an incumbent president, especially one heading into a tough re-election battle.
But President Obama admitted in a speech in Miami last week that there’s not all that much he can do to blunt the impact of prices, which some analysts think could be heading toward $5 per gallon nationwide this summer.
“The amount of oil that we drill at home doesn't set the price of gas by itself," Obama said. "The oil market is global. Oil is bought and sold in a world market. And just like last year, the single biggest thing that's causing the price of oil to spike right now is instability in the Middle East — this time, around Iran. When uncertainty increases, speculative trading on Wall Street increases, and that drives prices up even more.”
There are two tactics readily available to presidents to blunt the impact of rising gas prices: release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and try to limit the ability of oil “speculators” to drive up the price of oil in futures markets.
The problem for Obama is his administration has already done both of those things.
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