Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu is one of those handful of red-state Democrats liable to welcome all and any help they can get in disclaiming and/or distracting from ObamaCare’s blackballed attentions in their reelection bids this fall, and as I mentioned last month, the deliberately orchestrated and probably imminent departure of Sen. Max Baucus to the ambassadorship to China was rather a timely boon for her.

Louisiana just happens to be the seventh-ranked oil producing state in the country, and the subsequent musical-chairs reshuffling of Senate committee assignments meant that Landrieu was probably headed to the chairmanship of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — all the better to raise a campaign-oriented rumpus around energy issues that, most helpfully, have nothing to do with ObamaCare.

She needs the help, and Harry Reid is ready to give her the electoral VIP treatment, reports Bloomberg:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will do just about anything to help Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu. …

He is set to promote her to be chairman of the Senate energy committee, where Landrieu can mind her state’s oil and gas interests. …

“There’s hardly a leadership meeting that goes by that that question isn’t raised: How will this impact the 2014 class?” Senator Dick Durbin, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said in an interview at the Capitol yesterday. …

Reid’s elevation of Landrieu on the energy committee is all the more remarkable because she has been an opponent of the White House drive to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and a supporter of the $5.4 billion Keystone XL pipeline, a project that has outraged the party’s environmental wing. …

Landrieu, who’s never won more than 52 percent of the vote and is being attacked back home for her support for the 2010 health-care law, is seizing the opportunities Reid has given her. …

The Energy chairmanship is a great platform from which she can very vocally differentiate herself from the Obama administration in a way that is particularly important to Louisiana without having to talk about that pesky crowning legislative achievement of theirs: Stalling on natural-gas export permits, reduced offshore-drilling permitting, and the Keystone XL pipeline are all ways to take the White House to task and come across as a conscientious dissenter (Obama took less than 41 percent of Louisiana’s vote in 2012) — as well as reap campaign donations from one of the few industries in this economy that’s really flush with cash right now, hem hem.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., joined Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird in urging President Barack Obama on Wednesday to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline.

“We think the time has come for the administration to make a decision,” Baird said during a meeting with reporters in the senator’s Washington office. He said Landrieu’s support for the project is important, particularly in the Senate Democratic caucus where some are pushing the president to turn down the project. …

A reporter asked Landrieu whether the president would be helping her with her challenging 2014 re-election race by giving the go-ahead for the project. …

“The facts are pretty clear, this should be done because it creates jobs, it is smart, it is safe,” said Landrieu, who contends transporting the gas is more safely done via pipeline than by truck or rail.