Mary Landrieu is one of a handful of Democrat senators towing the line as best as possible in order to remain in power in her red state senate seat. As such:
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is part of a diminishing number of Senate Democrats who have not endorsed same-sex marriage. That number is down to just nine among the Senate’s 53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party, after recent announcements by five Democrats that they support gay marriage.
Landrieu issued a statement Thursday night saying that she’ll accept the views of Louisiana voters, though her own have evolved. [emphasis added]
That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
Landrieu is in dangerous waters. Her state is Redder than ever and the more these deeply liberal issues come up, the more she has to shift (with the blessings of Democratic leadership, most of the time) to stay on top. In fact, Louisiana’s Forum for Equality is okay with her stance at the moment.
The New Orleans-based Forum for Equality, which works for equal rights for gay, lesbian and trans-gender Americans, is expressing patience with Landrieu, whom they praise for opposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and for supporting legislation that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.
She has three votes under her belt that specifically run counter to her sudden opposition to a push for equal marriage. Instead, she is choosing to stay safe and try to keep the votes coming in. Those three votes? They’re reference in that last quote, but specifically, she voted against the constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman twice and also voted for an act to repeal DOMA in years past. Regardless of your views on gay marriage, you as well as I know this new position is simply a play to remain re-elected. It’s what politicians do.
Of course, she says she’s going to follow the wishes of Louisiana residents (who voted 78 percent in favor of the constitutional amendment), but she also “doesn’t scare easily”:
“I think it’s in my DNA. I come from a family that feels very passionately and very strongly about public service and about trying to always find a balance and keep our eyes focused on representing the people and not getting too caught up in the politics of the day.”
Landrieu says voting on principle is more important than changing her positions to avoid campaign attack ads.