After campaigning on “standing up to President Obama” on the Keystone pipeline issue, Senator Heidi Heitkamp had gone largely silent on the issue post-election. Until this week, that is, when Heitkamp held dueling press availabilities with Senator John Hoeven.
“The time has come to make a decision,” she said while flanked by Canadian officials according to the Associated Press. “And hopefully the right decision, which is to approve the crossing.”
Interestingly Senator John Hoeven held pretty much the exact same press conference, with the exact same Canadian officials, in the exact same city as Heitkamp.
Senator Hoeven has been extremely active and vocal on this issue, much more so than Heitkamp, but it’s Senator Heitkamp’s fellow Democrat President Obama who is standing in the way of the project being completed. So it’s interesting to see Heitkamp, who also campaigned hard on cross-party cooperation and bipartisanship, holding her own press conference with Canadian officials rather than joining with Senator Hoeven.
A combined press conference with a Republican and a Democrat from the same state standing united on the issue probably would have sent a more powerful message than two separate events.