Chris Christie Tries To Keep Up Momentum By Pumping For Keystone

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project may have temporarily died in the Senate this week, butNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is eager to bring the issue back to life ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run.

He’ll visit Canada in early December — his second trip outside of the U.S. since September — where he’ll meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Garden State governor is expected to give an energy policy speech in which he’ll aggressively trumpet the pipeline, which would create an oil transport system from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. On a recent trip to Mexico, he also forcefully pushed the for construction of the pipeline and not-so-subtly dinged the Obama administration for blocking it.

For Christie, “this is all about keeping up the momentum” after a very successful stint in the midterm elections, said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. After all, as head of the Republican Governors Association, Christie helped propel seven new GOP governors into office, leaving scandals like so-called “Bridgegate” seemingly in the dust. “For someone like Christie, foreign affairs isn’t in his wheelhouse, so it’s a winning issue for him … It’s also an issue [lawmakers] are going to want to bring up immediately when the new Congress is seated.”

Keystone, said O’Connell, is something “all Republicans can rally around. It’s not something that divides Republicans like immigration reform. The news lined up with Christie’s ambitions.”

Read more from Aliyah Frumin at MSNBC.com

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Analysis & Political Strategy