Will High Gas Price Be Obama's Achilles' Heel?

Thanks to the circular firing squad nature of the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, it had begun to look as if President Obama would coast to re-election in November.

But then came along high gas prices. The recent dramatic increase in gas prices could become the issue that slows the economy, stalls the recovery and sinks the president's chances at a second term.

As a Republican who recognizes President Obama's great skill as campaigner-in-chief, I'm shocked he has handled the issue so poorly. Even most of those who agree presidents can't do much to lower gas prices acknowledge they must be perceived as doing everything they can to ease the suffering. Sixty-five percent of Americans tell pollsters they disapprove of the president's handling of gas prices.

President Obama has pinned almost his entire re-election hopes on an economic recovery. If gas prices don't retreat soon, Americans will cancel their vacations, the seasonal industries that depend on those vacations will wilt, consumer spending will slow and the administration's hopes of showing concrete signs of an economic recovery by Election Day will fade. In that scenario, the president could find himself out of a job -- and it will be his own fault.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at CNN

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published this page in In The News 2012-03-21 21:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy