When I first started working in radio, I was fortunate enough to get an interview with Mary Landrieu. It was just after her initial vote to push Obamacare to the floor for a final vote. She defended it and I largely let her – at the time, I wasn’t very politically aware, and I was working at a station in a city that is 65% black, many of whom listened to the station. I wasn’t nearly as brave as I would be now in that same situation.
Well, her office was so pleased with the interview that her two press guys, whose names escape me now, came to my town and had coffee. The conversation was interesting, and I really enjoyed the talk. One of the things that stuck with me, however, was their biggest complaint about working against Republicans. “They can shorten their attacks to just a word, making it impossible to attack back because there is such a stigma attached to what they accuse us of.”
Their examples were “communist,” “socialist,” and terms like that. What is fascinating to me is that, in the same breath, they and their allies would call Republicans racist, sexist, overall bigots, etc.
The absolute blindness on their part to see they readily do what they accused Republicans of doing is astounding. Which leads us, of course, to today, where Mary Landrieu is receiving a little pushback on some comments she made Thursday:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Republicans are calling on Democratic [mc_name name=’Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000550′ ] to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama’s deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
In an interview with NBC News on Thursday, Landrieu was quoted as saying that the South “has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.”
The comments came after an NBC reporter asked the senator why Obama has such low approval ratings in Louisiana. Landrieu’s first response was that the president’s energy policies are deeply disliked by residents of the oil and gas-rich state.
She then added, “I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”
Story via AP. It’s a wonderful tale of “Oh @#$% I’m In Trouble” on the part of Landrieu’s campaign, which has been floundering of late. Recent polling shows [mc_name name=’Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001075′ ] narrowing the jungle primary gap and outright dominating the run-off. The campaign has struggled for weeks now, with no messaging of note to really curb the growing Republican trend through the state and the rest of the American South.
But, it’s only natural for Democrats to return to their tried-and-true habits. They have nothing left, thanks in part to the president tying his policies to this election, Democrats failing to put enough distance between them and him, and having an overall lack of message. Landrieu has a compelling argument in her chairmanship of the energy committee in the Senate… or would, if she had done anything during her (hopefully short) tenure there. She had things she could accomplish while she was there, but the misunderstanding and overall fear of the electorate kept her in limbo.
Landrieu’s time may be drawing to a close, but, as always, never underestimate a Landrieu in an election year.