On the eve of her election defeat, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) appeared as a guest on my radio program, Ringside Politics, on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans.
Over the past 16 years as host of Ringside Politics, I have interviewed Senator Landrieu over a dozen times. In the past, she would call in to promote a particular issue or cause, usually engaging in pleasant conversation or good natured debate.
Our relationship certainly changed in our last radio interview, which occurred over a year ago on the contentious topic of Internet taxes. It was a testy exchange as the Senator and I clashed on whether the government should extend its reach into Internet commerce and tax consumers who purchase goods online.
After our on air tax debate, the Senator refrained from appearing on my program, even though she had an open invitation. She finally relented on election eve and called in for an interview, which was a sign of her last minute desperation facing a major political loss. At the time of the interview, no respectable political analyst gave her any chance of winning re-election.
With her losing badly and battling a cold, it was clear from the beginning of the interview that Senator Landrieu was unhappy.
Initially, we discussed her infamous decision to support Obamacare and later her 97% support for President Obama and finally the shocking allegations made by State Senator Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas) that there was rampant election fraud in her last election. In fact, Guillory alleged that 10% of Landrieu’s votes were fraudulent in the last election.
The Senator abruptly left the conversation before I could ask the dozens of questions submitted by listeners, who wanted to know why she supported the President on issues such as gun control, amnesty for illegal aliens, higher spending, more taxes, etc.
In our 11 minute exchange, she had to defend her vote on Obamacare and was unable to engage in her favorite topic of recent days: Bill Cassidy’s LSU payments and potential billing discrepancies.
Here is a link to the heated interview, http://bit.ly/1z35sEe, which showed how much pressure Senator Landrieu felt with her 35 year political career ending. However, she had no one to blame but herself for her political downfall.
While she was surely abandoned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and her fellow Democratic Senators on the Keystone Pipeline issue, she would not have been so vulnerable if she would have listened to the people of Louisiana.
In the end, she was too invested in liberalism to connect with the voters of her state. She supported President Obama 97% of the time, while Louisiana voters only give President Obama a 37% approval rating, so it was clear she did a very poor job of representing her constituents.
She has a lifetime American Conservative Union voting record of only 20%. While that might work in Vermont, it is miserably out of step in the red state of Louisiana.
The majority of Louisiana voters were very motivated to vote against Mary Landrieu and Barack Obama for a variety of reasons, but the most important one is Obamacare. During the deliberations on the legislation, voters throughout the state bombarded Landrieu’s office with postcards, emails and calls demanding that she vote no on the bill.
Instead of listening to our concerns, she voted with President Obama. The result has been much worse than a billion dollar waste of a website; it has been massive job losses, work hours being cut, many Americans losing their doctor and millions of people facing higher insurance premiums. Today, doctors are fleeing an industry in turmoil thanks to Mary Landrieu and President Obama.
Sadly, Senator Landrieu was irritable on the air last Friday. It was not the way she should have ended her political career. Maybe she had regrets about her poor decisions in office or maybe she was just upset that her privileged lifestyle will be coming to an end. Either way, it was a good lesson for Bill Cassidy.
Hopefully, our new Senator will never forget that he works for the people of Louisiana, not a political party and certainly not a politician or a President.