When Good Pandering Goes Bad

Bush goes and ruins McCain's opportunism on oil, writes Collins
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 7:32 AM CDT
President Bush speaks during the 2008 President's Dinner, Wednesday, June 18, 2008, in Washington.    (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – The offshore drilling ban has been in place since 1981, but George W. Bush—who is still the president, Gail Collins reminds us in the New York Times—wants it overturned in two weeks. Watching his speech in the Rose Garden, where he said Democrats would be to blame for high gas prices if drilling in heretofore verboten places was not immediately authorized, the columnist wonders why the president waited until now to call the Dems' bluff, and how unfortunate it is for John McCain.

McCain, who's been using his green credentials to distance himself from Bush, proposed more offshore drilling only a few days previously. "It was his moment to betray the environmentalists in the name of cheaper gasoline," Collins writes—but Bush has glommed on to the candidate once again. "The least he could do," she says of the president, "is stay put long enough for McCain to disagree with him."