The Washington Times - August 12, 2008, 11:20AM

With polls showing John McCain has gained ground by embracing offshore oil drilling, Democrats are fighting back by trying to undercut his motives, arguing he’s in the pocket of oil companies.

Last week they launched their Exxon-McCain ‘08 campaign to mock McCain’s ties, and this week they’ve put out their first Web video.

Fittingly, it is a parody of a man from oil country, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, whose “Big John” video sort of lends itself to parody.

As this blog said last week, the energy debate hasn’t moved very far over the last 20 years. The exact same alternatives-versus-production debate is happening this year.

We may finally be at a make-or-break point. Democrats, allied with environmentalists, are going all-out to try to break the oil companies once and for all, while Republicans are poised to fight to expand domestic production, arguing it makes no sense to ignore our own energy supplies.

This presidential election may finally settle this battle.

Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times