It would appear that Hillary Clinton's act is wearing thin even among the people at that liberal bastion known as NPR.
Tuesday afternoon, the headline at an NPR story about Mrs. Clinton's sudden decision to publicly announce her opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline project indicated that her announcement was deliberately timed to coincide with Pope Francis's visit to the United States (HT Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media):
The opening paragraph at Tamara Keith's report demonstrates that the headline was not some amateurish accident:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. It's something she has spent months avoiding taking a position on — and her announcement coincided with the mass media event of Pope Francis' landing at Andrews Air Force Base.
"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," Clinton said at a campaign event in Iowa. "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."
Clinton had previously said she wanted to stay out of the Keystone debate and give the Obama administration a chance to decide the fate of the controversial oil pipeline, but today she said the process has taken too long.
... Clinton promised a comprehensive energy plan soon.
The fact that Mrs. Clinton still has no energy plan further supports the idea that her team saw an opening to release her Keystone position while the spotlight was elsewhere to minimize the likelihood of blowback from private-sector organized labor, a group which still inexplicably believes that the Democratic Party represents their best interests.
The folks at NPR may be a bit cynical about all of this, but the Associated Press's Ken Thomas stayed right in line, effectively portraying the timing of her announcement as a shrewd political move in a Wednesday afternoon report:
Whether it was by coincidence or not, Hillary Rodham Clinton picked a fortuitous time to announce that she opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.
The longstanding criticism of Clinton's reluctance to say where she stands on allowing the pipeline project to go forward was buried in the headlines by arrival of Pope Francis for his first visit to the United States.
The next day, the pope's call to action on climate change fit with Clinton's reasons for opposing the pipeline.
Well, that's cute, Ken, but even your former AP colleague and fire-breathing liberal Chris Tomlinson, who is now a business columnist at the Houston Chronicle, sees thru the hypocrisy of opposing a pipeline which will have no impact on oil consumption — only on how it continues to be delivered:
Hillary Clinton, facing pressure in the polls, has come out against the Keystone XL pipeline, perpetuating the myth that stopping pipelines will somehow help fight climate change.
... The Keystone pipeline would deliver oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Opponents say much of that oil will come from tar sands, the dirtiest form of oil, and refining it will contribute to climate change. They want to block the pipeline to stop the refining.
That makes no sense.
First, the oil is already coming to the United States, and it will continue to come to the Gulf Coast, whether the pipeline is built or not. The Canadian government supports the oil industry in Alberta, and it will produce as long as the price is right. Even at $50 a barrel international prices, it still makes sense to produce oil in Alberta.
Blocking the pipeline means the oil will have to take a longer, more dangerous route. Alberta oil is currently transported by rail and ship, both of which are far more dangerous than pipelines. Those forms of transportation also require burning more hydrocarbons, which means they are more polluting.
... Opponents of Keystone are more interested in a high-profile political victory than actually doing something about the climate. They are winning with Democratic politicians, but that will have the unintended consequence of causing bigger environmental degradation in other ways.
Note that the above came from a columnist who completely buys into the "globaloney" hokum.
Clintonian politics has a great deal in common with the Keystone-opposing enviros: It's all about appearances, not substance. So she has, for now, appeased the mob in the name of saving her struggling campaign.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.