According to ABC News Obama said, “”You know the other day I was in a town hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year in energy efficient cars and a new electricity grid and somebody said, ‘well, what can I do? what can individuals do?’”
“So I told them something simple,” Obama said. “I said, ‘You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.'”
Obama said that Republicans are lying about his energy plan, and taking pride in their ignorance, “So now the Republicans are going around – this is the kind of thing they do. I don’t understand it! They’re going around, they’re sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is ‘Barack Obama’s energy plan.’ Now two points, one, they know they’re lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they’re making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.”
He also said that instead of running attack ads, Republicans ought to spend some time talking to energy experts, “You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.”
The Republicans have built a very successful campaign strategy by both appealing to the anti-intellectualist sentiment in some parts of the voting public, and by offering semi-solutions that promise answers to our problems without pain. That is the basis of the McCain energy plan. It appeals to people who don’t want to have to cut their consumption, but want gas prices to come down. Offshore drilling is the easy solution that the Republicans promise will require no sacrifice from the American people. Remember, this is the same logic that they used to defend the invasion of Iraq too.
The tire gauge thing is a symbolic tactic that the McCain campaign is using to try to define Obama’s energy plan as out of touch. This is another attempt to label Obama the new Jimmy Carter, and Obama needs to understand that the entire Republican strategy is based on exploiting the ignorance of voters, so they not only take pride in ignorance, but also look to exploit it. The strategy of the McCain campaign is not to run on their own merits, but to be the anti-Obama. However, this is a plan that is likely to fail.