Last Friday, President Barack Obama again delayed a decision on whether the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the national interest.
But not DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz.
In an interview with David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press, she said that politics “doesn’t factor into [the President’s] decision” on whether to proceed with the pipeline. Watch her response below:
However, two nights ago on Hardball with Chris Matthews, which is a functional outpost of the DNC, guest host Joy Reid adopted a perspective on the matter that is entirely at odds with that taken by party leader Wasserman Shultz.
According to Reid, the President’s decision, far from being apolitical, was in fact perfect politics, because it benefits ALL democrats.
She called it “a boost for democrats that oppose the project and for those that support it.” Pursuant to this line of thought, the President’s punt would galvanize green-minded voters and, at the same time, provide an opportunity for moderate democrats to demonstrate their independence from the White House. See for yourself, as I’ve reposted the segment below.
I respectfully disagree with both Wasserman Shultz & Reid. Obviously, the President’s decision to kick the Keystone can further down the road is political. But I doubt that it’s good politics. Public polling is unequivocal: Americans approve of Keystone. According to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey released just today, 61% of likely U.S. voters not at least somewhat favor building the pipeline. This is a new high.
The President’s punt might or might not motivate environmentalists, but it’s definitely off-putting to independents. Simply put, I doubt distancing one’s self from one’s own unpopular political leader is as politically advantageous as is attacking that leader’s party from outside.