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August 4, 2008
Symbol of Obama's Energy plan? The tire gauge
Barack Obama will be speaking in Lansing, MI today about his new (or newest) energy policy. Not surprisingly, it calls for massive taxes levied against "windfall profits" of oil companies - of which he will take $50 billion and ease the suffering of Americans at the pump. He's a little short on specifics but hey, the guy is avoiding specifics like the plague because the more people know of his rotten programs, the fewer people are going to vote for him. It also calls for hundreds of billions spent on mass transit, job creation (?), and "sustainable communities.Ed Morrissey says this gimmick makes it appear the McCain campaign is "hitting its stride." Of that, I'm not convinced. Gimmicks are good for getting free media attention and as an adjunct to contrasting the differences between your stance on the issues and your opponents. You can't build your campaign around them.
The McCain campaign decided to get in on Obama's policy announcement by handing out tire gauges to those assembled to hear him speak. You will recall that Obama said we could virtually solve the energy crisis if everybody kept their tires inflated to manufacturers standards:
[T]op McCain aide Salter, "practically giddy," hands out tire gauges to reporters aboard McCain's campaign plane.
And campaign topper Davis uses the spat in a fund-raising e-mail:"I'm asking for your help in putting Senator Obama's ‘tire gauge' energy policy to the test. With an immediate donation of $25 or more, we will send you an ‘Obama Energy Plan' tire pressure gauge."
Earlier: The RNC says it will deliver gauges reading "Obama's energy plan" to Washington newsrooms.
Still, it is gratifying to see at least a little creativity and spark from the McCain people. Now if they can only get a little message discipline into the campaign, many of the things McCain has been hitting hard on will start to resonate with the voter.