In 2013, during her first year in the U.S. Senate, Heidi Heitkamp signed a letter urging Hillary Clinton to run for President.
Now Clinton has announced her opposition to a key plan of Heitkamp’s 2012 election campaign. Namely, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline which has languished for the better part of a decade. “It has now officially taken longer for the federal government to review the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit application than it did to build the entire transcontinental railroad 150 years ago,” Luke Hilgemann, CEO of Americans for Prosperity, wrote in The Hill recently.
From the Associated Press:
DES MOINES, Iowa – Hillary Rodham Clinton is breaking her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying at a campaign stop in Iowa that she opposes the controversial project.
Clinton says the project has been a distraction and she doesn’t believe it’s in the best interests of “what we need to do to combat climate change.”
This is not a good thing for Heidi Heitkamp’s political future in North Dakota.
In 2012 Heitkamp’s campaign was all about distancing herself from President Barack Obama and the national party. But since coming into office Heitkamp has voted with Obama’s stated position on legislation 97 percent of the time. She was a key vote for Obama on the Iran deal (which, in addition to being a national security issue, wasn’t great for North Dakota’s economic interests). She voted for Obama for President, and now she’s supporting Hillary Clinton for President despite that fact that she, like Obama, will be an obstacle for North Dakota’s best interests.
Interests that Heitkamp, again, campaigned on in 2012.
Heitkamp rode a campaign to the right of national Democrats to an oh-so-marginal win over Rick Berg in 2012 in which the margin of victory was less than 1 percent of the vote.
A political friend asked me recently if Heitkamp would even run for re-election in 2018 given how badly things have been going for her this year. I thought his question was absurd. Of course she’s running.
But now? I’m not so sure.
Clearly Heitkamp didn’t run for governor because she didn’t feel she could win. Does she think she can win in 2018? She may have to try, but boy that’s looking to be an uphill race for her right now.