Mary Landrieu, one of the Senate’s most endangered Democrats, thinks it’s very important for voters in her ostensible home state to know that her top Republican opponent is soft on border security. She’s running an attack ad in which the narrator scoffs at a short clip of Rep. Bill Cassidy expressing doubts about the efficacy of a border fence back in 2010. The spot goes on to tout Landrieu’s votes in favor of “triple layer fencing” along the Mexican border, and her “nine votes” against amnesty. Because if there’s one thing Mary Landrieu is against, it’s amnesty. And if there’s one thing she’s for, it’s a giant border fence, right? Right. Over you to you, Senator:
“You are correct. I voted for the dumb fence once. I’m not going to do it again…so if somebody else wants to go and vote for the dumb fence for the second or third time, go right ahead.”
She delivered that floor speech in June of 2013. And what to make of those righteous votes “against amnesty”? Landrieu was reportedly among the embattled Democrats begging President Obama to put off his (unpopular, sweeping and legally dubious) executive action on immigration until after the elections. Her cynical, self-interested wish was granted. But when Sen. Jeff Sessions forced a Senate vote on the matter in July, whose side did Mary take? The same side she takes 97 percent of the time:
Sessions succeeded in forcing a vote that put Senate Democrats on the record in support of Obama’s proposal earlier this summer. “Only Senator Joe Manchin joined with Republicans to try and prohibit the president’s issuance of work permits to 5-6 million,” his office noted on July31. “Even the Senate Democrats who claimed to oppose the executive actions (Pryor, Hagan, Begich and Landrieu), voted with Reid, Durbin and Schumer to block Sessions’ motion and thereby support the president’s action.”
Strangely, Landrieu’s new commercial doesn’t appear to be available on her official YouTube page, and Real Clear Politics reports that her campaign “has not publicized it” to the media. They’re just spending big money to beam it into voters’ living rooms back home. Huh. It’s almost as if she’d like Louisianans to think of her differently than her Beltway neighbors do. The goal of the ad, of course, is to bamboozle voters into believing that’s she’s somehow more conservative than her conservative opponents. In that sense, the spot reminds me of Sen. Kay Hagan’s ludicrous ad intimating that Thom Tillis kinda sorta supported Obamacare — the law for which she cast the deciding vote and has been lying about ever since. Desperate times call for desperate measures, friends. By the way, Landrieu was recently forced to apologize for improperly spending taxpayer dollars on chartered flights to campaign events and fundraisers. She announced that her office would conduct an internal audit into the matter and report its findings by September 8th. As of last evening, September 10,crickets. Oh, and since I mentioned Hagan above, this seems like as good an opportunity as any to pass along this story:
A debate on U.S. Senate debates surfaced Tuesday after Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan said she wouldn’t participate in an Oct. 21 candidate forum hosted by three of the state’s largest news organizations, including the Observer. Debate sponsors in addition to the Observer are Time Warner Cable News and The (Raleigh) News & Observer. To qualify for the debate, candidates will need to poll an average of 15 percent voter preference in three independent polls in late September and early October. “Before Sen. Hagan even knows who’s qualified for the debate, she’s said she will not attend the debate,” said Bernie Han, vice president of TWC News in New York. “If she doesn’t appear and (Libertarian candidate) Sean Haugh doesn’t meet the threshold, it could just be (Republican challenger) Thom Tillis standing there.”
In light of her poorly-reviewed performance in her first face-to-face meeting with Tillis, it’s not surprising that Hagan would prefer to engage him as infrequently as possible. (Colorado’s Mark Udall is adopting a similar avoidance strategy, having been caught like a “deer in the headlights” at last weekend’s forum — a sad retreat from his previous bravado). During her 2008 campaign, Hagan bashed incumbent Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole for, you guessed it, ducking debates. This marks the second successful 2008 Hagan attack line Republicans have now turned against her in 2014.