John McCain is hoping that Americans, particularly those living in coastal states, are so sick of high gas prices they won’t mind a little extra offshore drilling. That’s a risky assessment according to The Politico and the former head of the Florida GOP, who said that back before fuel costs skyrocketed it “would have been like pulling a pin on a grenade and rolling it into the state.”
The stakes couldn’t be higher: If he is wrong, McCain will have seriously damaged his chances in two key states with thousands of miles of coastline—California and Florida—and where opposition to offshore oil drilling has been unwavering. And he will have undermined some of his closest political allies in those states and others, including potential fall battlegrounds such as Virginia and North Carolina.
“Before $4.25-per-gallon gas, this would have been like pulling a pin on a grenade and rolling it into the state,” said David Johnson, the former executive director of the Florida Republican Party. “It would have been a fool’s errand to recommend it. It was never, ever a thing that a smart politician would have done in Florida.”