The Mercury News details:
Rising gasoline prices, trumpeted in foot-tall numbers on street corners across the country, are causing concern among advisers to President Barack Obama that a budding sense of economic optimism could be undermined just as he heads into the general election.
White House officials are preparing for Republicans to use consumer angst about the cost of oil and gas to condemn his energy programs and buttress their argument that his economic policies are not working.
In a closed-door meeting last week, Speaker John A. Boehner instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents when they return to their districts for the Presidents Day recess.
The above article coincides with recent points I've heard conservative friends make regarding the connection between Obama and the price of gas (i.e. that Obama is solely to blame) and recent talking points from Santorum. One of my favorite (i.e. meaningless) points they've made is that gas was $1.67 / gallon when Bush left office 3+ years ago showing that this obviously is a result of Obama's policies.
As the chart below shows, while the $1.67 claim may be factually true it leaves out the following (important) fact...
When Bush left office the financial system was melting down and the global economy was at a standstill, one result of which was that commodity markets (and the price of oil and gas) were plunging. Thus, the $1.67 / gallon price was down from the more than $4 a gallon (i.e. the highest in history) from June of that same year.
So... rather than Democrats and Republicans working together to perhaps change energy policy or to determine the tradeoffs associated with going to war (economic or actual combat) with Iran, higher gas prices simply becomes a talking point for reelection / election.
Another reason why I hate politics.
Note that this does not in any way exempt Democrats from similar worthless talking points.