It was supposed to be a love story meant for the political ages: Mitt Romney (aka Mittens) and Dave Heineman. One was a presidential hopeful, eager to scrub his moderate record for a more Tea Party-esque persona. The other, a Midwest governor with his eyes on the Vice Presidency. The two went public with their relationship when Heineman endorsed Mittens on June 10, 2011.
Sadly, less than a week after the couple became official, this love story came to a crashing halt. During the CNN Republican presidential debate last Monday night, Mittens turned on Heineman.
Prehaps a little more exposition to this betrayal is needed. You see, Heineman’s continually told Nebraskans that he can do nothing about the Keystone XL pipeline that TransCanada wants to build through the precious Ogallala Aquifer and Sandhills.
TransCanada, meanwhile, has continually threatened landowners with eminent domain if they do not sign easement papers. Nebraska’s weak eminent domain laws gave little clarity to the situation, and Heineman never publicly condemned the corporation for trying to use a government tool for private purposes.
So when Mittens said he didn’t believe a government should take private land and give it to private companies, he essentially backed “mum’s the word” Heineman into a corner. We can only imagine the loud gasp of betrayal that came from the Nebraska Governor’s mansion at that moment.
To make the backstabbing even worse, Mittens went on to say that the only way to make America energy independent was to invest in homegrown energy. Well, that knocks out a foreign project like the Keystone XL.
Now that we know where Mittens stands on the issue, we think we deserve to know where Heineman stands (other than blaming Obama and Clinton, that is).
Will he stand with the man he endorsed by telling TransCanada to back off with their eminent domain threats and oppose the Keystone XL, looking to American-made energy instead? Or will he stand with a foreign company and turn on his beloved Mittens by keeping his lips zipped about the pipeline?