The price of gasoline is rising and may reach $4 a gallon, which is considered critical in the minds of consumers and political consultants worrying about how to seduce them. In an economy that is otherwise stalled in the weakest recovery since World War II – real wages in decline, job growth anemic to non-existent, etc. – an increase in the price of unavoidable purchases is a hard thing for consumers/voters to take. Worse, in the minds of those political consultants, is the fact that those prices are on display everywhere. So you don't have to fill up to be reminded. Gasoline prices are posted in front of convenience stores, at just about every intersection.  

If you must drive – as millions must – then you must pay.  he only way to get even, you think, is with your vote.

So, predictably, today we read that:

The White House is "dusting off old plans" for a potential release of oil reserves to dampen prices and prevent high energy costs from undermining sanctions against Iran, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday. 

And, deep in the story, we learn that, according to one source:

... the White House had not discussed political ramifications because a decision on a release had not been made.

Or, perhaps, because no discussion is necessary.