FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
There’s Something About Mary Landrieu
You remember Mary. Even if you don’t live in Louisiana, you remember Mary.
Well, dear Mary is up for re-election for the U.S. Senate in 2014 here in Louisiana, a state that has surged red to the point where an incredible amount of Democrats switched parties just to stay alive in the state political system (but that’s a different story entirely and in some cases, some remaining Democrats are more conservative than the party switchers). So, naturally, Landrieu is playing to the conservative lean of her constituents in order to boost her odds against a growing slate of potential opponents, right?
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday accused Gov. Bobby Jindal of refusing billions of federal funds that would help uninsured Louisianans get access to health care because of his ambitions to run for higher office. “He just seems adamant about putting his political future ahead of the economic interest of the people of Louisiana,” Landrieu said during a conference call advocating that Louisiana embrace the Medicaid expansion envisioned in the federal health law.
This NOLA.com story details Mary pitting herself firmly against one of the biggest conservative issues of the moment and also against her supposed opposition to the health care law originally (before the $300 million bribe detailed in the opening link of this post).
On the program, Jindal also criticized the inflexibility of the Medicaid program, saying that it needs to be changed before it grows. The federal health law calls for states to expand Medicaid to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty law in order to provide health insurance to the poor.
Landrieu, a Democrat, challenged that assessment, saying the program is flexible. “He is hiding behind this cry for flexibility to blunt what he is actually doing,” she said. “It is really disturbing.”
Mary. Dear. I hate to tell you this, but it’s incredibly obvious what you’re doing. You see Jindal’s dismally-low approval rating and see it as something to take advantage of in order to secure votes. It’s a risky strategy, given that if his tax overhaul passes and gains some speed in the next year, you’re chastising the man who has turned your state around.
Landrieu’s playing the “Democrats care” card in a state where she is only tolerated because of her oil and gas industry support, something she is handsomely rewarded for, and outside of the New Orleans area, her support wanes. She has the minority vote, but it’s becoming more and more likely she’ll lose almost all of her conservative support come 2014.
See this post and others of mine here. Follow me on Twitter: @joec_esquire