Rising gas prices could sap consumer spending and undermine economic confidence, which has been lifted by recent encouraging data that was capped on Friday by a better-than-expected February jobs report.
The economy, which is slowly recovering from a savage recession in 2008-2009 but is still hampered by an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, is expected to be a decisive factor in whether Obama can manage to hold on to the White House for a second term.
Obama visited election battleground states North Carolina and Virginia last week to promote his message. He will speak at the White House on Monday with local television stations serving swing states, including Colorado, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Oil prices have been buoyed by improving confidence in the outlook for the U.S. and world economy, as well as heightened concern of fresh military conflict in the Middle East amid warnings from Israel over Iran's nuclear program.
Eager to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the White House report noted that net oil imports as a share of total U.S. consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011, "the lowest level in 16 years."
Obama also has told his administration to look into possible manipulation in the oil market as well as evidence of price gouging at the pump, and has not ruled out tapping the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease supply pressures.
"All options are at the table, because the president obviously feels the pain that the American people are facing with respect to gas prices," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told reporters during a White House briefing.
However, even a substantial release from reserves might not bring down pump prices.
"In the next six months, even drawing down the SPR as fast as possible, which I wouldn't advocate, is not going to see much impact," said Brookings' Ebinger.