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Sen. Mary Landrieu Says Race Hurts Obama In Louisiana

McClatchy Tribune News Service Politics

Sen. Mary Landrieu Says Race Hurts Obama In Louisiana


By Evan Halper, Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

WASHINGTON — Embattled Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, has struggled throughout her re-election campaign this fall to cope with the low approval ratings of President Barack Obama, whose signature energy and health care policies are widely disliked in the state.

She gave her GOP opponents some political red meat this week when she expounded on why Obama is so unpopular with her constituents. Landrieu said the president’s race is a factor.

“I’ll be very, very honest with you,” she said in an interview with NBC News that aired Thursday. “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.”

Landrieu said Southern voters are also hard on female candidates.

While noting that the South remains a socially conservative region where white male candidates have an edge may seem ho-hum, Landrieu’s remarks could help mobilize the voters she most needs to cast ballots, African-American liberals.

Most analysts agree that all paths to victory for her include a large turnout of African-American Democrats.

Louisiana Republicans grabbed her comments to appeal to voters who might take umbrage in a closely watched, tight race that could determine which political party controls the Senate next year.

“When under our Constitution we work through the political process to change directions, we’re called racist,” Rep. Bill Cassidy, Landrieu’s leading GOP opponent, said in an interview with Fox News.

Noting unhappiness among Louisianians about Obamacare and the administration’s failure to approve a major oil pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf Coast, Cassidy said Landrieu “should focus more on policies instead of insulting us.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal, also a Republican, wrote on Twitter that the remarks were “a major insult by Senator Landrieu to the people of Louisiana.”

Jindal went on: “Obama’s policies, which Mary supports, are unpopular here, and the other 49 states, because they are ill advised, liberal, and don’t work. His administration has also proven to be incompetent. Trying to blame it on race is ridiculous.”

Polls suggest that none of the nine candidates in the race, including two-term incumbent Landrieu, is likely to cross the 50 percent threshold needed under Louisiana’s quirky law to claim victory on election night.

That would trigger a runoff on Dec. 6 between the top two vote-getters, widely expected to be Landrieu and Cassidy. A rematch, along with a similar potential runoff in Georgia, could leave Washington in suspense after Tuesday’s election about which party will hold the Senate majority next year.

Photo: Talk News Radio Service via Flickr



  1. FT66 October 31, 2014

    Oh! ya, that is Chuck Todd going after every Dem Candidate. He recently said Grimes in Kentucky is no longer qualified while the woman will pull it out. Now he has gone for another Dem. I really don’t understand what this man is always after. I do not think he fits to interview people on Meet The Press. It is more boring now than it used to be. I really lost trust in this man, before 2012 Election when he was playing with numbers on screen in order to convince people that it will be 269 Electoral Votes to each candidate. He gave New York and California to Romney. Really, New York and California going to republicans? We are going to stop watching NBC because of this man. He doesn’t suit to be there.

  2. latebloomingrandma October 31, 2014

    Wow! A politician who dared to tell the truth! If she loses because of this remark, that tells me that voters prefer to be pandered to. I live in the north where people make blatant racist remarks, but declare that they’re not racist.

  3. Jane Snape November 1, 2014

    Thing is, Landrieu knows full well that the white racist voters are already all going to vote against her. This is about getting the non-white voters to make sure they go to the polls.

    1. whodatbob November 1, 2014

      You got that right. Hope it works!

  4. Jed Eckert November 2, 2014

    Always keep in mind, folks – Obama’s primary jihad is against the Constitution of these united states.

    1. kenndeb November 2, 2014

      I fear that the elections will mean NOTHING. If the dems win, it will be because of voter fraud. If the republicans win, the regime will declare the elections null and void, and most likely just instill himself as KING.


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