Tags: Mary Landrieu

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Awesome Weekend


When you see this:

. . . you can spin it one of two ways.

One: Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, demonstrates at this weekend’s college-football game that she’s willing to go the extra mile for constituent service.

Two: Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, is so terrified of losing in this year’s midterm election that she’s incapable of saying, “No, I’m not going to help you do a keg stand, I’m a U.S. senator and this job used to have a little dignity to go with the title.”

Tags: Mary Landrieu

Senator Mary Landrieu’s Worst Poll of 2014 . . . So Far.


Senator Mary Landrieu hasn’t polled particularly well all year, but this latest one from Southern Media and Opinion Research is disastrous for her:

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s approval ratings have taken a major hit, but she still enjoys a 36-35 percent lead over Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, according to a poll Thursday by Southern Media & Opinion Research.

The poll says that 58 percent of the 600 likely voters surveyed rated the three-term Democrat’s performance as either poor or “not so good,” while 39 percent rated her performance excellent or good. The polling firm said negatives for Landrieu, who has been attacked recently in a series of ads by Americans for Prosperity and two other conservative advocacy groups, increased from 28 percent to 58 percent in a little over 18 months.

That 36 percent to 35 percent lead doesn’t mean much. Louisiana has a “jungle primary,” where all candidates are listed on the ballot in November and if no candidate gets 50 percent plus one — a good possibility — there is a runoff between the two top finishers on December 6. You could interpret this poll as Landrieu getting 36 percent and 46 percent for Republican candidates.

It’s a tough issue environment for Landrieu:

The poll found that 62.5 percent were opposed to the Affordable Care Act, a 2010 law that Landrieu voted for and continues to support, though she’s called for changes to make it work better. Cassidy, Maness and Hollis continue to urge that the law be repealed.

The poll, conducted April 28–30, has a margin of error of +/– 4 percentage points.

Tags: Mary Landrieu , Bill Cassidy , Paul Hollis , Rob Maness , Louisiana

The Keystone Pipeline’s Utterly Useless Democratic Friends


From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

USA Today National Poll Conclusion: Duck and Cover, Democrats!

BOOM, breaking this morning:

A nationwide USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows the strongest tilt to Republican candidates at this point in a midterm year in at least two decades, including before partisan “waves” in 1994 and 2010 that swept the GOP into power. Though Election Day is six months away — a lifetime in politics — at the moment, Democrats are saddled by angst over the economy, skepticism about the health care law and tepid approval of the president.

The Keystone Pipeline’s Utterly Useless Democratic Friends

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is getting a little tired of hearing Mary Landrieu talk about how hard she’s fighting to build the Keystone Pipeline. This morning they’re detailing her sudden interest in the pipeline, and her efforts which appear to be a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing — or at least nothing all that consequential or influential, as the pipeline remains tied up in reviews and red tape, no decision is expected before 2015, and Rolling Stone reports that the president has already decided to kill the project, but doesn’t want to announce it until after the midterms.

The NRSC lays out the case:

In fact, Mary Landrieu was virtually silent on Keystone for the two years prior to her political campaign — until January 2013 when Landrieu began to see signs of her reelection hopes in dire straits.

The truth is, Mary Landrieu has a record of ignoring Keystone, that is, until it became politically convenient for her to “champion” in light of an extremely competitive reelection campaign. Since that time Landrieu has stepped up into election mode to give the appearance that she’s delivering on Keystone:

44 – Tweets From Mary Landrieu About The Keystone Pipeline

17 – Press Releases Sent By Landrieu’s Office About Keystone

3 – Press Conferences With Landrieu About Keystone

2 – Letters To The Obama Administration About Keystone Landrieu Has Signed

3 – Floor Speeches By Landrieu About Keystone

1 – Declarations By Landrieu That She Is “Indispensable” Because Of Her Influence In The Senate

Yet in all that time serving on the Energy Committee, Mary Landrieu hasn’t been able to accomplish anything on Keystone. The fact is that now, as Energy Chair, Landrieu is beholden to the radical, anti-energy agenda of Barack Obama and Harry Reid.

That Rolling Stone article featured this quote:

But Jane Kleeb, founder of Bold Nebraska and one of the leaders of the anti-pipeline movement, described the move to me as “a pretty brilliant move” that will give red state Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich an easy and highly theatrical way to distance themselves from the president in the mid-terms, as well a rallying point for oil and gas money to support them. “Obama just used oil and gas to get red state dems elected,” Kleeb wrote. “No way will gas and oil push against Landrieu and Begich.”

Oil and gas back Democratic senators who can’t help them with their pipelines; the health-insurance industry backs Obamacare, only to find out later that they’re at risk for a death spiral. God save us from businesses t6hat are utterly convinced they’ll be able to tame the Democrats’ anti-business instincts.

“Yeah, yeah, Keystone, jobs, blah blah blah. Whatever, Mary, just smile and wave.”

Tags: Mary Landrieu , Keystone XL Pipeline

Hagan and Landrieu Are in Trouble . . . But Pryor’s Okay?


From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Hagan and Landrieu Are in Trouble . . . But Pryor’s Okay? Really?

This morning the New York Times drops a poll showing most southern Democratic senators up for reelection this year in trouble, with one striking exception:

Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a two-term incumbent who has been considered perhaps the most imperiled Democratic senator in the country, holds a 10-point lead over his Republican opponent, Representative Tom Cotton.

Kind of out of whack compared to other polling so far this year, showing a neck-and-neck race. Democrats will undoubtedly begin the victory party, but we’ll see if the Times’s sample is just an outlier, showing them what they want to see.

Elsewhere the Times poll finds:

Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, appears more endangered as she seeks a second term. She has the support of 42 percent of voters, and Thom Tillis, the Republican state House speaker and front-runner for his party’s nomination, is at 40 percent.

In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, is also effectively tied with his Democratic rival, Alison Lundergan Grimes, a race that may be close because Mr. McConnell, first elected to the Senate in 1984, has the approval of only 40 percent of voters, while 52 percent disapprove. But Ms. Grimes must overcome Mr. Obama’s deep unpopularity in the state, where only 32 percent of voters approve of his performance.

For what it’s worth, you don’t see Republicans as worried about McConnell as they were late last year.

With 42 percent support, Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, has an early lead in a race that is not fully formed against a large field of Republicans. Representative Bill Cassidy, the Republican front-runner, was the choice of 18 percent, and 20 percent had no opinion. There are two other Republicans in the race, but Louisiana has no primary. So all candidates of both parties will be on the ballot in November and, absent one of them taking 50 percent, there will be a runoff in December.

So the more important number is Landrieu’s 42 percent, nowhere near enough to avoid a runoff at this point and a decent opportunity for Cassidy to put together a majority in the runoff.

Tags: Kay Hagan , Mary Landrieu , Mark Pryor

The Better Homes and Gardens of Populist Democrats, Part Two


John Maginnis, writing in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, urges endangered Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu to campaign against the richest 1 percent and play on class envy and wealth resentment:

With [Americans for Prosperty], we have two billionaires [Charles and David Koch], the top 1 percent of the 1 percenters, muscling legislators into denying healthcare coverage to the working poor. They have written the script for Landrieu’s and the Democratic super PAC’s consultants. She will need a strong emotional message to push more Democrats to the polls, and anger is always a greater motivator than gratitude. It may not be enough to save her, but the Koch brothers’ overplaying their hand could neutralize a potent issue for the Republicans.

Maginnis notes “the Senate Majority PAC, has just started defining the Baton Rouge doctor [her likely rival, Republican congressman Bill Cassidy] as bought-and-paid-for by the richest of the rich.”

As this week’s “Better Homes and Gardens of Populist Democrats” series will point out, Democratic lawmakers are ludicrously implausible advocates for demonizing the rich, as they are exceptionally wealthy themselves. The public is urged to turn its anger at the “richest of the rich” by the merely very, very rich.

Mary Landrieu, of course, has a net worth estimated between $894,018 and $2.6 million, with assets totaling $1.9 million to $3.1 million, according to her 2012 financial-disclosure form.

That 2012 estimate may not fully represent the booming value of her five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 5,247-square-foot Capitol Hill home. (Landrieu’s husband, Frank Snellings, is listed as the owner of the property on D.C. tax records.)

(The location of the senator’s home is public record, but don’t be a jerk and go onto her property or bother her or her family. The above photo is from Google Street View.)

The District of Columbia assessed the home’s value at $2.5 million in 2014, and projected its assessment for 2015 could be $2.8 million. The real estate site Zillow estimates the value of the property at $2.9 million.

Landrieu’s effort to demonize the Koch brothers for spending money in politics will undoubtedly be supported by “Friends of Mary Landrieu,” which has raised $35 million since 1995; and her leadership PAC, Jazz PAC, which has raised another $1.8 million since 2004.

Her “Big Easy Committee,” which consists of her personal campaign and her leadership PAC, is holding a $5,000 per couple fundraiser this weekend at the Loews New Orleans Hotel.

Or perhaps she’ll fume about the richest 1 percent’s selfishness over shellfish at her $1,000-to-$2,500-per-plate May 7 fundraiser for “Friends of Mary Landrieu” at Johnny’s Half Shell restaurant on Capitol Hill.

This midterm election year offers us a particularly vivid example of a party’s intellectual exhaustion as we witness rich lawmakers raising money from other rich people by emphasizing their determination to punish other other rich people.

Tags: Mary Landrieu

Obama and Red-State Democrats: Perfect Matches!


The National Republican Senatorial Committee marks Valentine’s Day by offering, which shows how much Senate Democrats in red and purple states are, in fact, near-perfect matches for President Obama’s agenda. Everybody from Mark Pryor to Mark Udall is a 90 percent to 99 percent match!

Truly, they were meant for each other. Of course, voters in their states may find the perfect compatibility less appealing.

Tags: Barack Obama , Mark Udall , Mary Landrieu , Mark Begich , Mark Warner , Kay Hagan

Guess Which Issue Is Missing from Senator Landrieu’s Campaign Site?


For one of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents, Senator Mary Landrieu’s campaign site is rather . . . sparse right now.

The opening splash page is an invitation to contribute money — standard on campaign web pages these days — and then . . . three buttons: a link to the Facebook page, a link to the Twitter feed, and the “News & Press Releases” page.

In the 29 items listed on the “News & Press Releases” page, the words “Obamacare,” “Affordable Care Act,” “health care,” and “health” never appear.

“Insurance” gets mentioned six times . . . but only in the context of flood insurance.

She does announce that the “Telecommunications Development Fund (TDF) Foundation has awarded $30,000 to the City of Vidalia to deploy a wireless network throughout Vidalia’s 77-acre Municipal Park.” She also mentions her support for a bill to boost foreign adoptions, her push to ensure that Poverty Point, Louisiana, becomes a World Heritage Site, and her efforts to protect the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

But no mention of Obamacare.

Tags: Mary Landrieu , Louisiana , Obamacare

NRSC: Yes, Landrieu Really Said She Would Vote for Obamacare Again


When a red-state Democratic senator says she wishes our health-care system were more like the ones in Europe, and says she would vote for Obamacare again if another vote were held tomorrow . . . well, it’s an easy lay-up for the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

I like that they didn’t use Stentorian, Dramatic Voice-Over Guy for this one. Landrieu’s refusal to reconsider a piece of legislation her constituents strongly oppose is dramatic enough.

Tags: Mary Landrieu , Obamacare

Cassidy Announces Bid to Unseat Landrieu in Louisiana


Bill Cassidy, a three-term Republican congressman and a medical doctor, is running for Senate in Louisiana against incumbent senator Mary Landrieu.

His announcement begins warmly, with him discussing his work teaching medical students and working in the state’s charity-hospital system, and his wife mentioning her work as a breast-cancer surgeon and working in a charter school for children with dyslexia . . .

. . . and then he gets rough, quick. Cassidy mentions Landrieu’s opposition to a Balanced Budget Amendment, support for taxpayer funding of overseas abortions, and Obamacare.

Louisiana has trended Republican in recent years. Romney beat Obama here 57.7 percent to 40.5 percent; that’s actually a small improvement for Obama, having lost 58 percent to 39 percent in 2008. In 2008, Landrieu beat Republican John N. Kennedy, 52 percent to 45 percent.

Nearly 1.9 million Louisianans voted in that presidential year; two years later, with 1.2 million voting in the 2010 midterms, incumbent David Vitter overcame old scandal charges and beat Democrat Charlie Melancon, 56 percent to 37 percent.

UPDATE: The DSCC sends along this statement from Louisiana Democrats:

“Bill Cassidy knows his only hope is to run a Jindalesque campaign of smoke and mirrors. His rhetoric is as empty as his record. He cannot talk about anything he has done or accomplished in Congress because he repeatedly votes against Louisiana — be it hurricane relief or burdening the middle class with higher taxes — and for extremists in Washington.” –Stephen Handwerk, executive director for the Louisiana Democratic Party.

If a “Jindalesque campaign” leads to a result like the 65 percent that Jindal won in his 2011 reelection bid, then that sounds pretty good.

Tags: Bill Cassidy , Mary Landrieu

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