In my view, this is the time to treat the American people like adults. Obama has done that this week to an extent by truly saying there is no panacea to bringing down oil prices and anyone who says otherwise is full of it.
He has responded to the Republicans' bankrupt demagoguery a little too much for my taste, as if he takes it to heart. True you don't want to be like Mitt Romney with a tin ear to the concerns of Americans and it's right for Obama to show empathy for Americans having to pay these high prices.
But it is not his fault, and realistically there may well be nothing that he should do. It's ironic how the GOP who allegedly is so about letting the market decide these things is trying to hang high oil prices on the President.
I don't much like the headline today in Poilitico where Democrats are now "nervous" and pushing Obama to open the strategic reserve. He's done this before and oil prices did not drop. True they didn't rise after this and you can get into the counterfactual argument as whether they would or not have risen had he not done this-in any case he never sold it as leading to a price drop but simply to address a supply concern due to the Libyan war- but at this point I don't think Obama and the Democrats should even dignify the Republicans' desperate attempt to grasp at straws by becoming nervous or taking it to heart.
Yet in Politico today we read that,
"On Friday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner suggested the SPR is a possibility. "There's a case for the use of the (reserves) in some circumstances, and we'll continue to look at that and evaluate that carefully," he told CNBC Friday morning."
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73279.html#ixzz1nUQMsRFu
Obama does not need to put himself on the defensive right now. The best defense is a good offense and there are plenty of targets.