High gas prices are coming in handy for the Republican Party and for John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAfghanistan is our longest war ever and Congress has abandoned all responsibility Kremlin: ‘We have a long way to go’ before any breakthrough with US The GOP is Trump's party now MORE. Months ago, before energy became the No. 1 voter issue, McCain was preparing for a battering on the economy. No matter how hard he planned to run from President Bush, under GOP stewardship in at least the last six years we have seen a credit crunch, the skyrocketing price of oil, the decline of the dollar, accelerating debt and deficit and more. Even McCain knew that all the talk about earmark reform wasn't going to get him out of that tight spot.

But suddenly the throw-the-bums-out trajectory of the economic narrative has changed — now drilling is back in fashion and the Democrats who control the Congress look like they are stonewalling. House Republicans staged Day Two of their "historic floor protest," and they have quite a way with words, as McCain presses Barack Obama to call the Congress back to vote on new drilling.

Obama wants to put more hybrids on the road, issue rebate checks and release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — a move he formerly opposed, as the reserve is intended for emergencies and not price spikes. McCain says he is for an "all of the above" approach, with a path to renewable fuels, nuclear energy and new domestic production as soon as possible. He has called Obama “Dr. No” on energy because Obama opposes nuclear, the gas tax holiday and, until now, offshore drilling.

Unfortunately for Obama, to people who are hurting, the do-everything, kitchen-sink approach McCain is proposing sounds more reasonable.

POLLS SHOW OBAMA HAS THE EDGE ON THE ECONOMY — WILL HE KEEP IT? Ask A.B. returns Wednesday, Aug. 6. Please join my weekly video Q & A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.