We've got some possible good news for proponents of "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." Ed Morrissey of HotAir (my top rated conservative blog) notes John McCain's comments to the Weekly Standard here.
McCain made clear he has not ruled out a change in his position–to one that endorses drilling in ANWR. “I continue to examine it,” he said. So does his staff. McCain’s campaign has been quietly studying the ANWR issue and discussing the potential consequences–good and bad–of a policy change.
But in our conversation on August 13, McCain added a new wrinkle. When I asked him if he had consulted Palin about ANWR, he said that he had not yet done so. He added, “I probably should,” he said. “I will.”So I called Palin to ask what McCain can expect to hear. The answer is that Palin, who has been mentioned as a possible McCain running mate
but has not been vetted, will make a straightforward case for drilling in ANWR. She says McCain’s willingness to take another look at ANWR is “very encouraging.”
This is very positive development. Palin, my hope for McCain's VP choice, has said that she has been trying to sway McCain's opinion for some time. The highly-popular Alaskan governor-hottie and mother of four would be a great pick to shore-up conservatives and possibly gain a good number of disappointed former Clinton supporters.
Morrissey notes that only a small majority of Americans support drilling in ANWR, but that would change real quickly once McCain's team decided to start aggressively educating people on the issue. For an excellent piece on the wisdom of opening up ANWR, read Jon Utley's recent Reason article.
If he intends to send a signal, its intended recipients will be pro-drilling conservatives … and compromisers in Congress. No compromise with Democrats would ever include opening ANWR to its original intended purpose. If McCain threatens to openly support ANWR drilling, it effectively torpedoes the Gang of 10 compromise.
What do you think of Palin as a possible vice president?