Jason posted the other day that McCain attacking Obama as out of touch for his tire pressure suggestion, suggesting it’s an effective tactic. I agree that in the short term, it will, and has, offered plenty of fodder for galvanizing the idiot punditry. However, since the election is not tomorrow, I think this sort of cynicism will ultimately hurt McCain, who relies too heavily on his “straight talker” image. From TIME:

But who’s really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right.

I’m not sure how well things like this can be packaged into ads, but the fundamental issue here is that this break from McCain’s so-called “integrity” might help him shore up votes with base Republican voters, but tarnishing his maverickosityness will hurt him with the independent votes he’s relied on in the past. That’s the problem with a campaign that simply has no message and a party that’s fundamentally unequipped to handle current exigencies.

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