I found this speculation interesting ... it came through a piece of spam marketing an investment newsletter, but the historical content was pretty interesting. It laid out a connection between energy wealth and politcal power. Here's the summary: (as best I can remember)
Teddy Roosevelt became POTUS around the time that the Spindletop (TX) oil discovery occurred. The wealth generated by this production allowed TR to begin socialistic programs and prosperity to the country. He targeted Standard Oil as being "unfair" to competition. Voters loved TR and his "Square Deal". TR was not really a conservative who believed in small govt, and there are many quotations to indicate that.
FDR came to the POTUS after the Salt Dome oil discovery. That was also responsible for pulling the US out of the depression. FDR also became wildly popular as he created a multitude of alphabetic agencies, and more social programs associated with his "New Deal". The electorate returned him to office 3 times.
Now we are on the dawn of a new energy boom ... both natural gas and shale oil ... and this new boom should bring a windfall to the US economy around 2015 (how handy!). Just talking about NG ... there is only one licensed export terminal for LNG, with the US poised to become the largest exporter of LNG to the energy-hungry rest of the world. 8 more licenses for such terminals have been sitting on Obama's desk for a year. NG prices in Japan are 4X the prices in the US.
The govt stands to gain a lot of $ from licensing and regulations of these huge energy resources. Talk about picking winners and losers ... 8 licenses to be granted in Obama's hands.
If the historical pattern has any significance, the fulfillment of these energy resources should make Obama into a national hero. And it will give him the political support to continue his POTUS-ship and the funds for more expansion of entitlement programs, perhaps by supporting Michelle as his proxy in the 2016 election? That might be easier than re-amending the Constitution to allow a 3rd term to himself.
This energy windfall will generate jobs and prosperity even in spite of Obama's policies to the contrary. It would follow that the good stuff will be attributed to him, and the electorate will love him by the end of his 2nd term ... both to those who want jobs and those who want free stuff.
Meanwhile shale oil drilling/fracking will also be coming into its own, and could rival the NG windfall.
China might actually get its debt repaid since China will need this energy, and the US will have more of it than anyone else in the world. World power status could once again shift in favor of the US for its economic power.
An interesting scenario, I thought, with Obama being in the right place in the right time. Or maybe the powers, like Soros, that have supported Obama saw this handwriting on the wall (the Bakken, after all, is not uniquely new news) and, therefore, the 2012 election was VERY important, more so than it might have appeared on the surface.
Also interesting, other countries that have tried such extensive socialism, have done so starting from a weak economic position (Russia, China), while the US would embark on the grand experiment with a prosperous economy; although Japan started out with a strong economy with help of US investment there, but its economy has not done that well in more recent years as it became more socialistically inclined.
Now, I'll go walk the hounds.