John McCain Backs Down on Tire Gauges
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 03:29:40 AM EDT
It's bad enough when your machinations on the issue of energy get torn to shreds by Paris Hilton. Now, per Reuters, McCain has been forced to back down on the supremely stupid fracas over tire gauges.
Republican John McCain appeared to back down on Tuesday in his dispute with his opponent Barack Obama over tire pressure.
The surprise came during a telephone town hall meeting McCain held on Tuesday with voters in Pennsylvania.
"Obama said a couple of days ago says we all should inflate our tires. I don't disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it," McCain said.
But he kept up his broad criticism of Obama on energy: "I ... don't think that that (inflating tires) is a way to become energy independent."
The McCain campaign appears intent on trying to win the daily media battles -- even to the bane of crafting a broader narrative on what their campaign is about, what their candidate stands for, and what type of President he would be. I've always thought this to be a risky strategy; as much as the daily ups and downs affect the ultimate outcome, in the end voters decide on the feelings they have on a candidate, which stem not only from the back and forth but even more from events like the debates and the conventions.
But it is a tremendously risky strategy when the meme starts to take hold that a candidate will say anything -- even things that he distances himself from just days later -- to get elected. We've already seen this from McCain, who has changed his position on almost every single major (and even minor) issue facing the country, and whose campaign has been forced to walk back criticisms of Obama (think the visit to the military base in Germany or the claims about Obama's tax plan that were exposed as wholly false). Now McCain is being forced to back away from yet another claim, again feeding the story line that he will say anything (even claims he must walk back just days later) to become President. And as this meme takes hold, it gets that much more difficult for McCain to claw his way to the White House.
Update [2008-8-6 11:3:37 by Josh Orton]: And Obama turns it back on him:
"While were on the subject of Senator McCain contradicting himself," [Obama] said, and outlined his own suggestion, mocked by the GOP, that Americans keep their tires inflated, and McCain's concession that it's reasonable.
"In the coming days its going to be interesting to watch this debate between John McCain and John McCain," he said.