Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | December 04, 2002

GOP poised for LA victories

Republicans are confident they will oust Democratic senator Mary Landrieu in Saturday's runoff election, and they are probably right.

The GOP is calling the runoff "Operation icing on the cake". In short, Bush and the rest of the GOP machinery is making an all-out effort to eliminate one of Bush's most loyal Democratic allies.

At this point, I am half-rooting for a Landrieu defeat. I want it to be crystal clear the price Democrats pay for standing with President Bush on anything. Carnahan and Cleland were both targeted by Bush despite their frequent support for his policies. SD's Tim Johnson escaped by a sliver, despite offering the president his consistent support. Even Landrieu seems to have gotten the message:

Before the Nov. 5 election, Landrieu emphasized her support for Bush, turning off many of her traditional supporters. Since then, she has tried to make amends by moving toward the center. Now, her campaign brochures and ads say she "puts Louisiana first," and she countered the president's visit by holding a town-hall meeting with dock workers she says were laid off because of administration policies.
But it may be a case of too little, too late. Landrieu is facing a revolt within her own party by her African American constituents. Not only is turnout expected to be weak amongst Democrats, but it would be pretty silly for conservative Louisiana voters to elect a conservative Democrat (despite her recent "move to the center") into the minority, when they could elect a bona fide Republican into the majority.

The latest polls have the race tied, with Landrieu holding a statistically insignificant 44-43 lead. But, this race will depend on turnout, and Landrieu has done nothing to ensure the state's black community will turn out.

In a way, this is tragic. Landrieu at one time was on a list of possible VP candidates for 2004. Now, she'll probably be unceremoniously dumped, thanks in large part to her supposed ally in the White House.

Then again, I was wrong about November 5, so who the heck knows.

Update: MyDD thinks Landrieu has the edge, subject of course to the black vote actually materializing.

MyDD also directs us to this Mother Jones brief that mentions one EXTREMELY important reason we should root for Landrieu:

Indeed, President Bush will face drastically fewer roadblocks in pursuing his conservative agenda if Terrel can oust Landrieu, something Kenneth R. Bazinet and Thomas M. DeFrank of the New York Daily News aren't about to miss:
"The political stakes go well beyond bragging rights. Congressional sources say that if the Republicans win, giving them a 52-to-48 Senate majority, Democrats could lose two seats on every committee instead of the one-seat reduction now envisioned."

Posted December 04, 2002 08:40 AM | Comments (103)


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