Politics In 60 Seconds

gas pump, gas, gas prices

Photo: Flickr / danmachold

Greetings,President Obama has a problem: gas prices. For over a year now whenever gas prices have spiked, Obama’s poll numbers take a big dip. This has happened when the economy was losing jobs and it is happening now when the economy is gaining jobs. 

But there is almost nothing a president can do to make gas prices go down.

Actual price controls would be dramatic but almost certainly would lead to shortages and rationing, as happened in the 1970s. Opening up strategic oil reserves would hardly make a dent in the price.  It is far easier to make them go up: a big escalation in tensions with Iran could shoot up prices. Open conflict in the straight of Hormuz would send prices skyrocketing from already record-high numbers. It is no wonder that reports are leaking out claiming Obama has tried to work out a deal that would stall any Israeli attack on Iran until safely after the election. 

Here’s the rest: 


News You May Need:

NYT: The brutal massacre of innocent civilians in Afghanistan may derail diplomatic efforts to force the Taliban into peace talks. 

WP: GOP race is slowing down to a crawl – an excruciating one. 

WSJ: Mortgage deal built on tradeoffs. Banks write down some loans, and escape scott-free from any prosecution.   

FT: Violence in Syria rising again, but no one is taking responsibility for the latest massacre. 

LAT: Taliban calling for vengeance on U.S. forces after massacre. 


The Day’s Reads:

Michael Barone: Mitt may recapture upscale white voters for the Republican party. 

Adam Liptak: Ruling on Obamacare will be the Chief Justice Roberts’ signature ruling

Kevin Drum: Come to think of it: Obama’s having a very good presidency

Paul Krugman: What Greece Means. An “orderly default” still means suffering for the Greek people. 


This Day In Politics

On March 12, 1933, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first “fireside chat” on the radio. The topic of the chats was to tell Americans what was being done to deal with the country’s economic crisis.


Not Politics But…

Read about Spanx founder Sara Blakley, the undercover billionaire

What’s Next

The Southern states Alabama and Mississippi weight in tomorrow in the GOP race tomorrow. And it is clear that Santorum or Gingrich would beat Romney easily if the other candidate dropped out. But both of them stand to gain just by being in front of the camera. 



Michael Brendan Dougherty    Politics Editor  BusinessInsider.com  [email protected]

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