Will “Drilling” Decide the Election?

The key word in this year’s election won’t be “change.” It will be “drilling.”

When I first blogged about this in July, most of my friends (and a few nasty e-mailers) dismissed the idea as ridiculous.

But if you watched last night’s convention, you saw that drilling has become a centerpiece issue for the GOP. And judging from the enthusiastic “drill, baby, drill” chant in the hall, it’s working.

The word “drilling” used to be banned by Republicans in favor of “energy exploration.” But times have changed and so has the rhetoric. Drilling now sounds bold and assertive, rather than environmentally unfriendly.

Most cleverly, the Republicans have reframed drilling as a foundation for “energy independence,” which, true or not, is the kind of simple solution to our complex challenges that so many voters crave.

When John McCain picked Sarah Palin, most pundits suggested that he was clumsily courting Hillary voters. Instead, it looks like he’s craftily casting Palin as a symbol for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

So get ready for more “drill, baby, drill” tonight.

Photo by NewsHour on Flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved.