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Obama: Cautious with Keystone XL, but sprints over the Constitution

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

“We can’t wait” has been the phrase uttered by President Obama throughout the fall while he was campaigning for 2012 touting his American Jobs Plan. Then, his first order of business in 2012 was bypassing the Senate to appoint Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, and three union stooges to his rogue Nation Labor Relations Board—because, of course, "we can't wait".

But when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline—a project estimated to create over 20,000 jobs and lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil—Obama can wait; in fact, he needed more time to give the project “careful consideration.”

Oh course, this rush to approve a project (that has been on the table for years) can be blamed on the “Republicans in Congress who forced this decision” in a mere 60 days.

This is quite an odd attitude coming from a party that once famously said in 2010 regarding its hasty passage of a barely reviewed healthcare reform bill, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it".

In a time where our country is entering a standoff with Iran, the opportunity to have an ally, Canada, be the supplier of our foreign oil can wait says Obama. The President continues to put re-election before national interest.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman joined others in a bipartisan chorus scolding President Obama on his denial of the project. Heineman stated that rather than disapprove TransCanada’s plan altogether, Obama “should be focused on putting Americans back to work, and could have done so by issuing conditional approval of the pipeline. Approval of the pipeline would have allowed TransCanada to move forward with the project while Nebraska finished the review process of a new segment of the route around the Sandhills.”

Gov. Heineman brings up a valid point that should have been considered by a president who claims to have urgency in creating jobs and reigniting the US economy. Canada has already explicitly stated they “can’t wait” to sell their oil—and after Obama’s rejection, Canada has threaten to sell it to Asia.

Clearly, if Obama has proven anything throughout his term it is that everything he does is carefully calculated when it comes to his re-election. And by not issuing a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, he keeps the environmentalists happy, yet can still pretend to be a warrior for the working class.

On Jan. 24, when the President delivers his State of the Union address, you can bet he will plead his goals of bipartisan compromise in the coming year. He may even give the illusion that he is working feverishly on job creation and his policies are geared toward the national interest. President Obama will be full of excuses, but offer few answers for his failures.

Yet, the reality is when it comes to Obama, it’s not national interest that is at the core of his decisions, it’s his re-election. He treads cautiously when contributions and his 2012 prospects are at risk, but “he can’t wait” when it comes to sprinting over the Constitution.

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