The McCain campaign is trying very hard to turn Obama into a laughingstock for suggesting we should all check our tire pressure to improve mileage on our cars, handing out pressure gauges labelled “Obama Energy Plan”. I think this is the McCain campaign’s version of the “flip-flopper” slur applied to Kerry. The Obama campaign needs to hit back hard before the Republicans run away with the issue of gas prices.
The TV spot I’d like to see is one that asks when the country changed so much that we began to think it was cool to allow equipment to rust, and stopped taking care of our cars. The spot should have as a backdrop various shots of car enthusiasts, a Nascar race, a painstakingly maintained classic car. Obama should come on and talk about the mid-western values he learnt from his grandparents, who lived through the depression and made the most of everything they had, and did not waste anything. He should stress we don’t need to do anything different to solve the energy crisis, we just need to summon the can-do American spirit and ordinary Americans will respond to the challenge. He should talk a little bit about how Americans conserved resources to win the first and second World Wars, even though the threat seemed far and distant. That global warming was a asimilar potential threat, it is possible that our wealth and isolation might protect us from the worst impacts of global warming, but the threat and potential disruption is too grave for us to ignore it. Then he should come back to reiterate that waste and profligacy are not American values. Thrift and commonsense are. The ad could end with a three point plan on how Americans can save gas driving their current cars, checking tire pressure, taking the car in for a tune-up, driving less aggressively.