|Fuel barrels (1)|
President Obama's plan for curbing oil speculation is unlikely to garner the Republican support it needs to pass through Congress. Per MSNBC, even if Obama's proposal were to become law, it might not have much of an impact on oil prices. Regardless, the president scored some important political points with today's speech.
As the aforementioned MSNBC article noted, Obama portrayed himself as a champion of middle-class interests with today's announcement. Men and women who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks due to the high pump prices will note that the president tried to do something to help them out. Many people might also applaud Obama for standing up to the oil industry and to Wall Street. Even though the elections are still almost seven months away, Americans are unlikely to forget about the president's plan; they will constantly be reminded of it by his re-election campaign ads.
The president can also use this opportunity to draw a strong contrast between himself and Republicans. As previously mentioned, the latter group will almost certainly oppose the plan to curb oil speculation. Obama can rely on this fact to help him portray Republicans, and especially Mitt Romney, as out of touch. He can argue that their refusal to pass his legislation is indicative of their support of big business over the interests of Main Street. The President would especially benefit from any protracted Congressional battle over his proposal, as it would keep the topic on the media's radar for a longer period of time.
President Obama's proposal to curb oil speculation will likely not have any long term impact on pump prices. However, his plan might help him with the electorate, and, in the end, that is all that matters in November.
1. Photographer: Trevor MacInnis
Date: April 8, 2005
Title/Description: Fuel Barrels
Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic
license (click on the title or caption to see the photo, credits, and permissions).
-- Anthony Hopper
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