Saturday | November 16, 2002
GOP out to get Landrieu
Given the perception that the GOP trounced the Democrats last election, a Dem victory in LA takes added importance. The question is not whether the GOP will have an additional 2-vote advantage in the Senate. It's whether they can continue to elicit the same b.s. CW that Bush and the GOP are dramatically pushing the country rightward.
The GOP wants to maintain its momentum, and will be sending cash, Cheney, and perhaps Bush to campaign for GOP candidate Suzanne Haik Terrel.
A Terrell win would boost the GOP's advantage in the Senate to 52-47, with one independent, and bolster the Republicans' argument that the South now belongs to them. Louisiana hasn't had a Republican senator since Reconstruction.Senator Landrieu's campaign is receiving a boost by deep divisions within the Louisiana GOP.
Louisiana Republicans have yet to unite behind Terrell, a 48-year-old lawyer. Rep. John Cooksey (news, bio, voting record), who finished third in the primary, withheld his endorsement, saying Terrell may have been involved in a "smear campaign" tying him to support of homosexual rights. She denied the chargeLandrieu has problems with the African American community, spurred by lingering resentment from leading black politicians.
Ultimately, a Landrieu victory would blunt the perception of a Bush juggernaut, show that Democrats still have a pulse, can still compete in the South, and can still win in the face of Bush and Rove's best concerted efforts.