Bush to lift executive ban on offshore drilling

Smart policy, smart politics.

There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by former President Bush in 1990. The current president, trying to ease market tensions and boost supply, called last month for Congress to lift its prohibition before he did so himself.

But [WH spokesman Dana] Perino said Bush no longer wants to wait. She pinned blame on the leaders of the Democratic Congress, noting that no action has been taken on this issue…

Bush says offshore drilling could yield up to 18 billion barrels of oil over time, although it would take years for production to start.

Why didn’t he take MM’s advice and do this weeks ago? This is one of the few gimmes McCain has right now; putting the ball in the Democrats’ court forces them to defend an unpopular position. By waiting so long, though, Bush has timed this so that it’s going to get eaten up by Obama’s trip to Europe and Iraq next week, when foreign policy will be front and center. I don’t get it.