How quickly things change when decision making is a purely political exercise.

Just two days ago I quoted Bill Curry of Salon (This is a climate-change nightmare: Droughts rage and fires burn, while evil ALEC and hapless Democrats dither), thusly:

In 2010 Hillary Clinton, nominal front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said she was “inclined” to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. In July she told a man at a New Hampshire town hall meeting he’d get her final answer when she became president. As Bill McKibben noted in an open letter to her, she spent her years as secretary of state flying around the world telling developing nations to get into the fracking business.

Did that posture reflect a feeling the nomination was in the bag? Could be. Seems the pressure of a real fight for the nomination has changed the thinking of the Hillary camp. From Common Dreams today:

An aide to Clinton admitted to CNN on Tuesday that her campaign “had been taking on water” by refusing to take a position on Keystone XL. As the Des Moines Register noted Tuesday, Clinton’s campaign events in New Hampshire and Maine last week were attended by activists who held signs that read “I’m Ready for Hillary to say no KXL,” demanding she oppose the pipeline.

And so —

Joining political rival Bernie Sanders in his long-held opposition and distancing herself from the reluctance of the Obama administration to reject the project outright, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton came out publicly against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline for the first time on Tuesday. [emphasis mine]

I thought Bill McKibben, as quoted by Common Dreams, summed up precisely what happened here:

Bernie Sanders played his part too. He’s made no direct criticism of Hillary, but he has pointed out regularly how odd it is she has no position on this key issue. As he rose in the polls, her determination to dodge the issue clearly wavered.

So I wonder:

Where would Hillary Clinton lead us if she didn’t have Bernie Sanders to lead her?