No Visit With Possible VP on Louisiana Trip For McCain

(CBS)
From CBS News' John Bentley:

(NEW ORLEANS) – Even though he's been mentioned on numerous vice presidential shortlists and attended John McCain's Memorial Day barbecue, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal will not be meeting with the presumptive Republican nominee during his trip here.

"Their schedules aren't going to work this time," said Melissa Sellers, Jindal's press secretary. "There are no meetings or anything else planned."

McCain has called Jindal one of the "rising stars" of the Republican Party, but with no meetings or joint public appearances planned, Jindal may no longer be in the running for the VP spot.

The purpose of McCain's visit here appears to have more to do with policy rather than the vice-presidential process, as he will be making a visit to an offshore oil platform later this morning.

The campaign is hoping the weather will be more cooperative today than it was last month when McCain first tried to visit an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Dolly caused him to cancel the trip, and Hurricane Fay, brewing to the east of here, could cause another last-minute cancellation.

Offshore oil drilling is a key element of McCain's energy plan. He mentions it at virtually every event he does, and many political pundits believe his constant refrain about more drilling is helping him against Barack Obama, who has advocated a more cautious approach to domestic drilling.

"It is time for America to get serious about energy independence, and that means we need to start drilling offshore at advanced oil rigs like this," McCain will say, according to excerpts released by the campaign. "Sen. Obama opposes new drilling. He has said it will not 'solve our problem' and that 'it's not real.' He's wrong, and the American people know it."

Even though most experts say offshore drilling would not have much of an immediate impact on oil prices, McCain has continually said that the U.S. could see the effect of domestic drilling within a matter of months.

President Bush overturned the ban on offshore drilling in July, but Congress has yet to vote on the measure. There are certain areas of the country – like the Louisiana coast where McCain is visiting today – that already allow drilling.