September 23, 2015

Here Are All The Reasons Hillary Clinton Gave For Avoiding Keystone

Hillary Clinton made a move to appease liberals like billionaire Tom Steyer yesterday, announcing her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline (and the more than 40,000 jobs it would create) yesterday in Iowa after months of stonewalling. But it was hardly the first time she was asked to take a position – so what have her reasons been for ducking the issue thus far?

1. Taking a position would be “second guessing” President Obama.

CLINTON: This is President Obama’s decision, and I am not going to second guess him because I was in a position to set this in motion, and I do not think that would be the right thing to do. (0:33)

2. Keeping mum was her “responsibility” as a former Secretary of State.

CNN: “‘Having the experience of being a former secretary of state distinguishes her and her candidacy, but it comes with responsibilities that at times can limit her,’ [Clinton Communications Director Jen] Palmieri said. ‘But we know that the experience is well worth whatever price she may pay politically.’”

3. Weighing in would be “disruptive” and “not responsible”:

Washington Post: Palmeri: “‘But given her former role as secretary of state and having been part of the Keystone process, she believes that weighing in now could be disruptive to the process and not responsible to do.’”

4. And “inappropriate”:

CLNTON: [T]hat was a decision that rests with the Secretary of State, and my successor is going to have to make that decision, one way or the other, and so I have said it’s inappropriate for me to comment on it.” (0:09)

5: She didn’t want to jeopardize the U.S.-Canada relationship.

CLINTON: However this Keystone decision is finally made, some people are going to be very happy and think it was the right decision, and other people are going to be distraught and angry and upset and think it was a terrible decision, and that is not going to go away, so I don’t want to put our relationship on the back of this decision. (3:19)

6. She was above the “political advantages” of taking a position.

Washington Post: “A senior campaign official later said Clinton’s refusal to weigh in now is a deliberate choice that carries a political cost. ‘I understand there could be political advantages to weighing in on Keystone,’ Jennifer Palmieri, the director of communications for the Clinton campaign, said in an e-mail statement.”

Yet despite it being irresponsible, disruptive and inappropriate, Clinton decided she’d go ahead and take those political advantages, thank you very much. She came out against the pipeline yesterday, proving she is, in the words of MNSBC’s Mike Barnicle, “nothing more than just an ordinary politician”: