Debra J. Saunders

Then, just to make it clear how little McCain knew about Gore's speech, McCain said that Gore's 10-year plan was reachable with more offshore oil drilling and clean-coal technology -- precisely what Gore opposes.

And: "I am in no way trying to get in a fight with (Gore), because we share the same goal." If the goal is to be nonsensical on energy, mission accomplished.

I can see GOP readers tearing out their hair and asking why oh why McCain can take on Obama for opposing offshore oil drilling despite gasoline now costing more than $4 per gallon, but not Gore.

But maybe there is a method to McCain's madness. With the USA Today/Gallup poll showing 65 percent of Americans disapproving of President Bush, McCain is within three points -- read: the margin of error -- of Obama in the RealClearPolitics national poll average.

Voters seem to be looking for a president who is more interested in getting things done than scoring partisan points and being deliberately confrontational. Perhaps McCain can be more effective in taking on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for barring any House vote on offshore oil drilling.

"I respect her position," McCain said, but then he slammed Pelosi for her decision "to not even allow votes." If elected, McCain said, he would sit down with Pelosi to talk energy.

Perhaps in joining Democrats in energy babble, McCain actually could get something halfway sensible done -- that is, more oil drilling, more nuclear plants and more renewable energy.

Debra J. Saunders

TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Debra Saunders' column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.