Eleven Senate Democrats crossed the aisle today to vote for an amendment that would have stripped President Obama of the authority to scuttle the XL Pipeline. The vote went down 56-42, meaning a majority voted to strip him of the authority, but did not reach the filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold to make it stick.
The president interrupted his busy schedule of golfing, swank White House parties and expressing faux outrage at conservative talk show hosts to personally lobby Democrats not to vote for this amendment, yet he still lost 11 of them. Those 11 are:
Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana, and Jim Webb of Virginia.
They’re all from red or swing states. They’re aware that a solid majority is in favor of the pipeline that, for political reasons, Obama keeps killing.
Back in February, WH spokesman Jay Carney tried out a line that it was actually the Republicans, not Obama, who scuttled the pipeline. No one bought that line then, but after today, they can’t even try that again because the president himself put his name and credibility on the line to keep the pipeline from being approved.
After today’s lobbying and vote, the president personally owns the XL pipeline decision. He can’t dodge accountability as has tried to do. It’s his and his alone.