Updated February 24, 2015
Remember President Obama's first veto? Probably not. Though it took him less than a year to reject any legislation, the move came on what was essentially a duplicate spending bill. How about his second veto? That was pretty obscure, too—the president objected to some of the details in the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010, which he was concerned would have unintended effects.
The third time will be, if not exactly a charm, more memorable. On Tuesday, Congress sent a bill to the White House that was intended to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. And Tuesday afternoon, Obama vetoed it, as the White House had promised he'd do.
"The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people," he wrote. "And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest—including our security, safety, and environment—it has earned my veto."
The quiet rejection is, as my colleague Russell Berman noted in November, the likely dividing line between two eras. Up until this week, Obama has issued the fewest vetoes since James Monroe. From the point the ink dries on the Keystone threat, he's likely to start using his Cross Townsend black roller-ball pen more frequently.