Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Will he flip, or flop!

The ANWR debate is firing up, and it has the makings of what a Flip Flop commercial is designed for. With the detailed tinkering of voting records, Coleman has himself in a pickle, and it is one of those few lose-lose situations that he has to face. See, in this battle, he is on the intelligent side of the debate.

Norm campaigned against ANWR drilling in his 2002 campaign. However, he did hedge himself, once in office, by considering limited drilling in exchange for energy provisions that would help Minnesota's economy. Now he states that is off the table:
"I don't see any reason why I would not vote again to eliminate the ANWR drilling provision from the budget,"
So it all seems cut and dry, correct. Ohhhh . . Not in the world of Capitol Hill politics.

The drilling provision is a portion of the Presidents budget, which assumes $5 Billion in revenues from ANWR leasing agreements. The budget will pass eventually, the questions is, will this provision be eliminated. That is where Norm's cover is.

The administration will probably allow Norm to vote to remove the provision, since there aren't enough votes to defeat it outright.
Even without Coleman's vote, the Senate's pro-drilling forces seem to have the edge with a 51-49 majority.
Which brings me to my initial supposition. How will Norm vote on the full budget.

Remember all those slimy Kerry ads attacking him for being against the troops, and flip flopping. Most of them came from budget bills. Can Norm risk sticking to principle and vote against drilling, before voting for it. Or will he vote against the budget bill if it includes the ANWR leasing revenues, and face the same furor others do when they vote against the troops, and other budgetary provisions which will be gladly cherry picked by the Left for future campaign ads.

Norms in a bind, and it will be interesting to see what type of political maneuvering is done to save his vulnerable hide.

And to avoid confusion, I am talking about this ANWR, not this one.


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