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Who knew that telling people to properly maintain their vehicles for maximum gas efficiency was some sort of craaaazy gaffe?

Let’s review. The other day, Barack Obama mentioned to voters in Missouri that there are things individuals can do to help conserve energy, including bringing their cars in for regular tune ups, and keeping their tires properly inflated. It seemed like a rather unremarkable thing to say.

But at this point, Republicans can’t seem to stop commenting on just how remarkable they think this is.

That Obama is so crazy! But Republicans Arnold Schwartzenneger and Charlie Crist said the same thing:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., and Charlie Crist, R-Florida, according to the Los Angeles Times "appealed to those with the real power to make change -- average citizens -- to drive slower, keep engines tuned and tires properly inflated, to buy hybrids and lower overall consumption."

Remember, Crist is on McCain's shortlist, and Schwarzenegger would be a shoo-in for the veep nomination if he wasn't foreign-born. Of course, they didn't realize at the time that speaking of common sense, practical ways to increase one's gas mileage and save money would get in the way of the last GOP anti-Obama smear.

Oh, and those liberals at NASCAR are also talking crazy.

Tires are the Rodney Dangerfield of the automotive world. Even though they're the only component of the car that actually touches the pavement, tires "get no respect."

Tires influence the braking, steering, comfort, handling, fuel efficiency and driving safety of every vehicle, but are often ignored or misunderstood by many consumers. Tires pound over potholes, careen off curbs and screech to a halt, but the prevailing public sentiment is, "They're round, black and have tread. Beyond that, who cares?"

With gas prices now hovering around $3, smart drivers care. Savvy consumers are seeking to increase fuel economy and the life of their tires by paying more attention to those rubber objects that are attached to their vehicle [...]

Tires that are underinflated by 6 to 7 pounds per square inch increase tire rolling resistance 10 percent or more, increase tread wear rates and tire fatigue. When a tire is underinflated, the tire's road contact zone and cyclic stress level changes resulting in undesirable loss in tire and vehicle performance [...]

With escalating fuel prices, the time is now for drivers to focus on simple things like proper tire pressure to maximize tire performance and increase fuel economy.

Someone wave a tire gauge at Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt Jr! Craaaaaazy!

Is this the 2008 version of the purple bandaid?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:55 AM PDT.

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