The latest ad from the RNC takes some low-hanging fruit and makes a feast from it. The ad takes the energy policy of Barack Obama and compares it to the last President that tried it — Jimmy Carter. Obama’s call for a windfall-profits tax against oil companies prompts a history lesson about the results from the last such attempt:

It’s an effective ad for several reasons. First, the RNC focuses on policy, where Obama really is more vulnerable than people believe. Second, the Democrats have already begun casting John McCain as the third George Bush term. Republicans can point to a fairly successful management of the economy over the last seven-plus years and ask whether the country wants to continue in that vein or return to the Carternomics that sent inflation, interest rates, and unemployment skyrocketing. Best of all, the ad puts Obama and Carter together making the same pitch — and showing the same incompetence at economic stewardship.

As Obama continues to struggle in the Rust Belt among the working-class voters who would find themselves most affected by a return to Carter-style economic policy, this ad will strengthen their skepticism about Obama’s supposed wisdom and moderation. Bush may have low ratings now, but no one will be excited to return to the Carter Era.