CNN screenshot

Hillary Clinton is in a bit of a tough spot when it comes to stating her position on the planned Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. As secretary of state, she had a hand in revving up the controversial project, and now that involvement isn’t exactly going to make her popular among some members of her constituency.

One way around that problem? Refuse to answer questions about it.

That’s just what she did Tuesday during a question-and-answer session in Nashua, N.H., after one voter in the audience point-blanked her, as CNN reported:

“I am not going to second guess (President Barack Obama) because I was in a position to set this in motion,” Clinton said, referencing environmental reviews conducted by the State Department that began when she was secretary of state. “I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide.”

She added, “If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

[…]In a conversation with reporters after the event, Clinton stood by her decision to not answer the question.

“I’ve been very clear: I will not express an opinion until they (President Barack Obama and John Kerry) have made a decision, and then I will do so,” she said. “If this is the number one issue on people’s minds, then they’re going to have to wait to see what Secretary Kerry and President Obama decide to do about it.”

That Clinton would be versed in the art of the non-answer should come as no surprise, given her years of experience as an observer of the political process and, more recently, as a practitioner.

Meanwhile, one Bruce Blodgett, who posed the question at Tuesday’s event, remained unsatisfied following his encounter. “I just thought that was a very weak answer,” he told CNN.

Clinton rival Bernie Sanders took the opportunity to turn up the heat on his competition, which he has generally stopped short of doing thus far. “It is hard for me to understand how one can be concerned about climate change but not vigorously oppose the Keystone pipeline,” Sanders said.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig