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Hillary Clinton's Conflicting Monday Night Plans

In the span of a few hours, Clinton will help a key supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline and a group fighting to kill it.

Hillary Clinton will raise money in New York City on Monday evening for embattled Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who supports construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and opposes President Obama's greenhouse-gas limits on coal-fired power plants.

A few hours later, Clinton will be the featured speaker at another New York fundraiser, this time for the League of Conservation Voters, a group that's battling Keystone and is fighting to preserve Obama's climate-change regulations.

Being the presumptive Democratic front-runner is complicated. Clinton has stayed mum about her views on Keystone despite growing pressure from progressives, while she's on record with general praise for Obama's climate agenda.

But Clinton is also showing party loyalty by helping out her former Senate colleague Landrieu as she faces an uphill battle heading into her Dec. 6 runoff in Louisiana against Rep. Bill Cassidy (who clashes with green movement goals even more than Landrieu).

Also, although Republicans are taking over the Senate next year no matter what happens to Landrieu on Dec. 6, every seat counts in 2016 when the Senate's electoral map will be more promising for Democrats. Any incoming Democratic president has good reason to want the upper chamber back in the party's hands.

As for Clinton's speech Monday night, it's unclear how much she'll talk substance. In early September, Clinton laid out her energy and climate principles in broad strokes when she spoke at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's annual green-energy summit. But when it comes to detailed policy views on a range of topics, she's kept her cards close to the vest so far.