The Issue in 2012: Could it Be Canada?—David Frum
In my column this week for Canada's National Post, I explain how the Keystone Pipeline could make Canada a losing issue for Democrats:
Canadians dislike it when the American political system pays Canada no attention. This election season, Canada may face an alternative: uncomfortably too much.
In the midst of his victory speech after the South Carolina primary, Newt Gingrich inserted a shout-out to Canada.
After blasting President Obama for halting the Keystone XL pipeline, Gingrich added:
"What Prime Minister Harper -- who, by the way, is conservative and pro-American -- what he has said is he's gonna cut a deal with the Chinese and they'll build a pipeline straight across the Rockies to Vancouver. We'll get none of the jobs, none of the energy, none of the opportunity. Now, an American president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership is truly a danger to this country."
The Northern Gateway pipeline does not terminate in Vancouver, but close enough, let it pass.
The real news here is that Gingrich is hitting a theme that will be repeated and enlarged between now and November.
Republicans see in Keystone a powerful political weapon against President Obama. The weapon cuts especially sharp because it divides Democrats from each other. The pipeline— and the oil sands that will supply the pipeline— are anathema to Obama's wealthy environmentalist donors. However, the highly paid construction and refinery jobs that will be created by the pipeline are dearly desired by blue-collar Democrats whose votes Obama will need.
Click here to read the full column.