Thursday, December 11th
LANDRIEU FORGOT THE LESSON
THAT ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL!
Former U.S. House speaker Tip O’Neill said it time and time
All politics is local. I
interviewed Tip on a New Orleans television show I hosted back in the
He went on for sometime that you
have to be intimately involved in your home state, if you want to survive.
It’s a lesson that Senator Mary Landrieu forgot.
Some political pundits are saying that Landrieu’s defeat was
based on national issues like Obamacare.
Not completely true.
discussed in Washington has a local slant.
If Landrieu was not able to localize the debate, she only has her own
self to blame.
And it’s not
second-guessing her campaign tactics now that the election is over.
There were obvious and common sense steps she
could have, and should have taken years ago to make a re-election victory more
First all, knowing full well that she was to be engaged in
the fight of her political life, Landrieu should have moved her family back to
Baton Rouge several years ago.
just wasn’t around.
pounding away at her multi-million dollar Washington mansion, and her only
residence in Louisiana was her parents home.
For many voters, that just didn’t wash.
Her opponent, and eventual winner Dr. Bill Cassidy, has his primary
residence in Baton Rouge where his family lives full time, and where he continued
his work at a local hospital when he wasn’t in Washington.
Few voters ever saw Landrieu outside of a handful of major
Landrieu handily beat Cassidy in
Louisiana’s three largest municipalities:
New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport.
But she was decimated in less populated areas
where locals know each other well, and also are well aware of personalities who
come to visit.
I made a number of calls
in parishes throughout Northeast Louisiana where I used to serve as a state
senator, and where Landrieu was solidly defeated.
In call after call, I heard the same
“We haven’t seen or heard from
Mary Landrieu in years.”
festivals, rotary clubs, and council meetings, neither she nor her staff ever
She became a Washington
insider and lost contact with the folks that put her in office.
How about the charge that she supported the president 97% of
The White House took a
position on less than 25% of all votes taken by senators, and more than half of
its positions involved presidential nominees and federal judges.
A number of Republican senators often voted
with the President’s position, and Landrieu did so less than the vast majority
of Democrats. Would Cassidy have opposed Landrieu’s votes to confirm the
numerous Louisiana judges that Republican Senator David Vitter supported?
Landrieu should have aggressively stated that
this is a phony issue, and that Cassidy needed to specifically say what presidential
nominees he would have opposed.
just stood by and let the Cassidy attacks continue.
right and left are running away from it.
Liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) said just this week it was a
Yet Landrieu keep hanging
Her position should have been:
“Look, Obamacare is not working out, insurance companies are making a killing,
and the program needs a major fix. What passed is quite similar to what
Congressman Cassidy proposed when he was in the Louisiana legislature.
So we both made mistakes.
I’m ready to go back to the drawing board and
change the law.”
And where was her opposition research?
In the final days of the campaign, Landrieu
attacked Cassidy for billing hours at a Louisiana public hospital when he was
actually in Washington.
A good issue,
but why didn’t it surface months ago?
Landrieu let her opponent off the hook, rarely attacked him on his own
voting record, and spent most of her time defending herself.
Any incumbent in a close race should be attacking
and playing offense.
The lady spent most
of her campaign on defense.
And that was
a losing strategy.
Would this more aggressive localized approach made any
But in the end, Landrieu focused on raising
out of state money, and ran a Washington based halfhearted campaign.
No, she did not lose her senate race in the
She lost it years ago.
Old Tip is somewhere, shaking his head in
"I just know, before this is over, I'm gonna need
a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitching."
— (Democratic?) Donkey (from Shrek,
Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout
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