One of the more memorable events in the campaign so far has been the back and forth on Iraq between Obama and McCain. As it heated up and people began to pick up that Obama has not been to Iraq in over two years and has never had a one-on-one meeting with General Petraeus – McCain seized the moment and proposed a joint trip between the two. It was a politically savvy move, aimed at highlighting McCain’s multiple visits to Iraq and framing Obama as out of touch with the situation there.
Now, how about a replay. On a different issue. With a different set of characters. McCain would still be involved, but on the other side of the challenge.
When McCain was asked on a blogger conference call in January about drilling in ANWR, he responded:
As far as ANWR is concerned, I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon, and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades. This is one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world.
Has McCain been to ANWR? When was the last time?
Seven years ago, Jonah Goldberg wrote this article detailing his experience in visiting ANWR. It is hard to fathom how McCain would view drilling in ANWR as being anything remotely comparable to drilling in the Grand Canyon or the Everglades.
What if someone were to challenge McCain to visit ANWR, like McCain challenged Obama to visit Iraq? Someone with enough prominence to be noticed and someone who McCain would be hard pressed to ignore.
Bring Jonah along, too. He’s a good photographer.
MORE: Interestingly enough, the person who asked McCain that question on the blogger conference call in January is now deputy communications director for the McCain campaign, Michael Goldfarb.
Bring him too!
QUESTION THE TIMING! (Or Timing the Question?) Stephen Spruill reports from a town hall meeting on the campaign trail on the Corner:
I'm with McCain at a town hall meeting in Philadelphia today where the senator was asked for his position on drilling in ANWR and elsewhere. He wasn't happy the subject came up. "I knew I should have ended this [before that question]," he said.
He said that he opposed drilling in ANWR for the same reason that he "would not drill in the Grand Canyon... I believe this area should be kept pristine." (Proposed oil and gas exploration in ANWR would only affect 2,000 of its 19 million acres, or 0.01 percent.)
Seriously, we put this post up at 11:43am – and then Spruill reports the re-use of the Grand Canyon quote by McCain at 1:02pm?
AND FINALLY: Thank you Mr. Spruill for the Corner link! As a show of my appreciation, I am recommending to the powers that be that you be allowed to accompany Mssrs. McCain, Gingrich, Goldberg and Goldfarb to ANWR.