When you close the barn door after the horse has escaped the barn, you aren't really doing any good. Such is the case for Obama with regards to the Keystone XL pipeline.
The decision to go ahead or not with the Keystone XL pipeline should have been made long ago. After years of obfuscation and delay, it should have been made on the last scheduled timeline and not put off until after the 2012 elections.
Then it should have been brought back for an immediate reconsideration after Canada decided maybe it was time to get serious about selling to China instead. There's no hesitancy from China about buying.
Then again, the administration should have reconsidered after China and Canada came to an agreement.
Or after TransCanada decided to maybe go ahead and build pipeline where they were able to in the United States without further EPA type reviews being required.
In other words, the horse has not only left the barn, or the farm - it's left the state.
Now Obama is apparently discussing openly the idea of approving the southern leg of the pipeline. Nobody cares any more Mr. President. The decisions have all been made to bypass your input because you voted present on the issue.
The pipeline was going to go ahead as far as possible without your input. You left the decision to others by default and they decided. You are now trying to hop on the jobs first bandwagon by tyring to take credit for their decisions.
All you've managed to do show your hand to your kooky environmentalist backers that you are driven far more by politics than by ideals. You can't approve half a pipeline and then veto the rest. Everyone knows it's an all or nothing proposition. So you abandoned the environmentalists in hopes of duping unions into believing you were all about jobs all along and the pipeline was your priority. No one should be fooled by this completely transparent attempt to exact some political capital from a situation that you were not leading (even from behind) but rather that you let get in front of you so far you had no options left but compliance.