The editor of an online publication revealed more than a little frustration. “Whenever we ask for a piece on the economy,” he told me over lunch, “We either get a story on how nothing is happening or on gas prices.” This was in the summer of 2010, which we now know was close to the bottom of the economy and the point where everything was just starting to turn around.
There wasn’t anything happening then, except for gasoline prices. They went up and down in a kind of rhythm that defied just about everything, as they do today.
The normal fluctuations of something as basic as gasoline can become a partisan issue, at least to the extent that one party has something to capitalize on. This election year, however, the constant up and down of the price of gasoline won’t make it because people don’t know who to blame, they are less dependent on gasoline, and it has the potential for serious blow-back on the Republicans.