Syndicated columnist Jack Kelly suggested yesterday that John McCain should visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), accompanied by Gov. Palin, to reconsider his position on drilling. He also suggests using the trip to name Gov. Palin as his running mate.
I have heard the idea of a McCain-Palin ANWR trip floated by several news outlets, and personally I think that it is a very good idea. Veepstakes or no veepstakes, McCain could gain great credibility by touring ANWR (even if he doesn't change his position), and Gov. Palin is in the unique position of being able to facilitate such a venture. As one of the nation's leading voices on ANWR drilling, I think that she could play a vital role in the national drilling debate by inviting both Senator McCain and Senator Obama to visit the proposed drilling site and review the facts. Obama is not likely to accept such an offer, so McCain could easily seize the upper hand in the energy debate by showing himself as a the only candidate willing look at the facts on the ground.
So, I am happy to join the chorus calling for an ANWR visit by McCain, but I would like to add a plea to Gov. Palin as well:
Please take it upon yourself to invite both presidential candidates to ANWR. You are the only one who really has the authority to offer such a tour, and the country would benefit greatly from your services.