07/06/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

GOP Senators Can't Remember This "Drill, Baby, Drill" Thing People Keep Talking About

At some point in the past, you may have gained a passing familiarity with this catchy, chantable little phrase, "Drill, Baby, Drill." It was sort of semi-ubiquitous, remember? It was pretty much one of the three or four things that everyone who watched the McCain campaign understood as an actual, sort of, policy that the Arizona senator supported. And that Michael Steele had invested it with the full potency of his street wisdom?

We have a dim remembrance of that, somewhere in the dark recesses of our synapses. But maybe it is just a trick of memory! Because with gallons of oil floating around in the Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop, Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) are basically telling reporters, "Drill, baby, drill? Was that, like, a thing?"

From The Hill's E2 Wire blog:

"That was not a Senate Republican phrase," Kyl said. "I think there was a candidate that used that. I think our phrase was 'drill here, drill now,' meaning here in the United States and as quickly as oil and gas leases are going."

Roberts said Republicans were always uneasy with the catchphrase.

"I don't know about the slogan. The slogan was what, two, three years ago and basically we had a lot of opposition to it anyway."

Yeah, what was that about? Probably something some obscure candidate said, like... back in 2006 or something? Or am I thinking of "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp?" Anyway, it was probably just some minor thing that definitely didn't get chanted over and over again at the Republican National Convention. Or maybe that's wrong, says Alex Seitz-Wald:

It seems hard to believe that Kyl couldn't think of which "candidate" used the phrase. It was GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who happened to be a Republican senator. He and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin made the slogan the "Republican battle cry" of the 2008 campaign, and Palin repeatedly trumpeted the catchphrase. She even corrected Vice President Biden during their debate when he misquoted the slogan, telling him, "The chant is 'drill, baby, drill.'" McCain, meanwhile, told a crowd chanting the phrase, "you're right, pal. Drill, baby, drill. Drill offshore and drill now."

Moreover, there didn't seem to be much "opposition" to the slogan when future-Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele introduced it at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Activists immediately began chanting the slogan, and erupted in chants of "drill, baby, drill" throughout the event, egged on by leaders like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The chant even interrupted McCain's speech at points.

Does any of this ring a bell, to anyone?

Drill, baby, drill.less than a minute ago via OpenBeak


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