The fun begins at 4:30 of the clip. Carney’s playing a game here by stressing the weak distinction between canceling the pipeline project outright and “merely” postponing a decision on it until after the election so that environmentalists will keep donating to the Unicorn Prince. The State Department announced the postponement back in November — with the approval of Obama’s pals in the green lobby. Remember?
“This is not a political decision,” [a State Department] said, adding that when it came to White House involvement, “there was no effort to influence our decision.”
Once the State Department broached the idea of a delay, Obama’s political and campaign team began floating the idea to environmental leaders and influential donors who had warned that approval of the project could dampen enthusiasm for the president’s reelection. A number confirmed discussions of the proposal over the past several days.
Essentially Carney wants you to believe that if Obama’s environmentalist allies had told him the postponement was unacceptable, O would have shrugged and said, “Oh well. State’s gotta do what State’s gotta do.” What ended up happening was that, after the decision was postponed, the House GOP squeezed Democrats on the payroll-tax extension until they agreed to include a provision requiring the White House to make a firm decision on the pipeline within 60 days. O’s decision, of course, was to cancel it, ostensibly because “the arbitrary nature of the deadline” left State with little time to consider greener pipeline routers but in reality because he’s not about to alienate a core constituency in the middle of the campaign money war to end all campaign money wars. Not even the NYT op-ed page is willing to spin this crap for him. But then, they don’t get paid to. Well, not by the White House, I mean. I think.