Hillary Clinton hyped it up like she was getting ready to blow the doors off the Obama White House with her long-awaited opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline. After ducking the question for months, Clinton finally said last week that she was done giving the administration their due time. “I can’t wait too much longer,” she said in New Hampshire. “I’m gonna tell you what I think soon because I can’t wait.”
America held her collective breath, and then let it out in a sigh as Clinton came down – quite predictably – against the construction of the pipeline.
“I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone XL pipeline as what I believe it is: A distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change, and, unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward and deal with other issues,” she said in Iowa Tuesday. “Therefore, I oppose it. I oppose it because I don’t think it’s in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.”
Donald Trump takes a lot of flack for his vague, generalized answers on specific policies, but does anyone think Hillary Clinton can carry on a detailed conversation about the Keystone XL? She sounds like a flummoxed beauty pageant contestant up there. I think the Keystone XL is bad for the environment and that is why the U.S. should not have any Keystone XL because there is climate change and it would be bad and I don’t like it.
It didn’t take long for (very) distant competitor Martin O’Malley to slam Hillary for the delay. “On issue after issue–marriage equality, drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, children fleeing violence in Central America, the Syrian refugee crisis, and now the Keystone Pipeline, Secretary Clinton has followed–not forged–public opinion,” he said. “Leadership is about stating where you stand on critical issues, regardless of how they poll or focus group.”
Indeed, this is at odds with what’s supposed to be the new, freewheeling, spontaneous Hillary Clinton her campaign people promised. This is the same old calculating, spineless Hillary we’ve gotten accustomed to. The beautiful thing is how she tried to frame it like some controversial attack on the president – the same president who vetoed the damn thing earlier in the year. It’s not exactly a puzzle where he stands on it, either.
While not surprising, Clinton’s stance does put her at odds with pro-labor Democrats and firmly in the camp of the environmental wing of the party. Keep in mind that Obama’s State Department has already confirmed that the pipeline would contribute almost nothing to carbon pollution, while its construction would add more than $3 billion to the U.S. economy. But apparently we can afford to pass on that.
Maybe Hillary can speed this whole campaign season up a bit, give us all of her freedom-restricting, economy-killing proposals now, and save us the suspense. We’ve got stuff to do.