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Posted by on Aug 2, 2008 in Politics | 34 comments

Welcome to Fantasyland

Yesterday, when Gary Hart delivered remarks suggesting that Barack Obama might soften his opposition to domestic oil drilling, I penned an unpopular opinion piece suggesting that the Illinois Senator might face some political fallout from such a move. It was even suggested that I must live in some sort of fantasyland for predicting that Obama’s detractors would label him, yet again, as a flipflopper for making such a move and that some of his supporters might revolt.

Well, Gary Hart clearly had the inside track on this one, since it took no time at all before Obama came out with a statement saying he would reconsider his domestic drilling stance as long as other, progressive energy reforms were included.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said today he would be willing to open Florida’s coast for more oil drilling if it meant winning approval for broad energy changes.

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,” Obama said.

It’s always embarrassing to turn out to be so wrong on a prediction, but in the interest of unity among the electorate, I’m sure we’re all relieved to see that nobody was playing the flipflop card or trying to make political hay out of it. And we can all be equally glad that none of Obama’s supporters decided to attack the decision or call it a victory for the GOP.

But if I’m able to take any small consolation from these horrid personal failures in prognostication, at least I got one part somewhat correct.

I would love to welcome Senator Obama onboard the energy train

Choo Choo! Welcome aboard, Sir! Your seat in the dining car is ready and the first round is on me. Now if we can achieve a rare moment in political history and actually get all the candidates to agree on something important to the country, who knows what could come next?