Breaking: Obama Ok With Offshore Drilling

While House Republicans call Democrats to come and at least vote on off-shore drilling (H/T), today Obama just threw his fellow Democrats under the bus…

Obama shifts, says he may back offshore drilling

By Mike Glover – 45 minutes ago

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Friday he would be willing to support limited additional offshore oil drilling if that’s what it takes to enact a comprehensive policy to foster fuel-efficient autos and develop alternate energy sources.

Shifting from his previous opposition to expanded offshore drilling, the Illinois senator told a Florida newspaper he could get behind a compromise with Republicans and oil companies to prevent gridlock over energy.

Republican rival John McCain, who earlier dropped his opposition to offshore drilling, has been criticizing Obama on the stump and in broadcast ads for clinging to his opposition as gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon. Polls indicate these attacks have helped McCain gain ground on Obama.

“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post.

“If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”

In Congress, both parties have fought bitterly over energy policy for weeks, with Republicans pressing for more domestic oil drilling and Democrats railing about oil company profits. Despite hundreds of hours of House and Senate floor debate, lawmakers will leave Washington for their five-week summer hiatus this week with an empty tank.

“The Republicans and the oil companies have been really beating the drums on drilling,” Obama said in the Post interview. “And so we don’t want gridlock. We want to get something done.”

Obama’s no dummy. He knows he has to slowly turn the page throw Democrats under the ObamaBus™ on offshore drilling in order to “keep to the center” of this issue. I mean, Harry Reid has been stead-fast in protecting Obama on not having to vote on this issue and now he is getting repaid in only the way Obama can repay him.

I wonder how long this will last until he feels a backlash from the Netroots.