…and not Obamacare. Which is a fairly self-serving bit of electoral analysis, of course, and one we’ll get into shortly. First, from Roll Call, Landrieu’s statement…
Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said Wednesday that she believes flood insurance legislation was the deciding factor in Tuesday’s special election in Florida, not health care.
Landrieu has championed the legislation in the Senate and, as CQ Roll Call reported previously, has her own political motivations for doing so, given her own tough re-election bid in 2014. But the Louisiana Democrat said Wednesday that House GOP leaders saw the importance of the issue in the Florida gulf district and pushed through a bill, which the Senate could take up as soon as this week, to its own political benefit.
“The Florida special election was more about flood insurance than it was about health insurance and I’m proud to have raised that issue because that district cares a lot about flood insurance,” Landrieu said. “That’s one of the reasons that the leadership in the House moved quickly on a flood insurance bill, because they knew that it could be very difficult for their Republican candidate to try to get here without having addressed the No. 1 concern of the people of that district, which is flood insurance.”
As it happens, we have family in that district who watched the race closely and burned up our phone lines talking about it yesterday when David Jolly pulled the upset over the better-funded and better-known Democrat Alex Sink, who had carried that district in 2010 in her failed gubernatorial race (it also went twice for President Obama). And when we bounced this theory of Landrieu’s off the folks, what we got back sounded a lot like this…
In other words, our people challenge the idea that flood insurance ever came up as a contested issue in the campaign.
Except for the Sierra Club’s idiotic ads trying to say that if the coastline in Pinellas County were to sink into the Gulf of Mexico it would be Jolly’s fault for not believing in global warming, that is – which is kinda-sorta related to the question of flood insurance…
They wasted $350,000 on those idiotic Chicken Little ads, which probably helped Jolly more than they hurt him. That’s true of most of the ads run on Sink’s behalf – she had a 4-to-1 spending advantage in the race but her messaging was mostly worthless.
Meanwhile, there was no particular difference between Jolly and Sink on flood insurance. And we’re told the issue almost never showed up on the ground at all.
But Mary never really cared about the FL-13 race. She cares about her race. And she wants the voters to know that if the Senate passes the flood insurance reform bill up for a vote in the next few hours (we’re told the Senate will vote on it today or tomorrow), that’s a whole lot more important than how she voted on Obamacare.
Which is a crock, mind you. For the same reason flood insurance was no factor in the FL-13 race. There is no real difference between Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy – or David Vitter, for that matter – where flood insurance is concerned. Everybody who represents people in Louisiana is going to vote against hikes in flood insurance rates, because it’s political cyanide to do otherwise.
Where there is a difference is Obamacare. And as you know, Mary told The Lie Of The Year. You know that, if you live in Louisiana, because Americans For Prosperity will never let you forget it.
There is a criticism being made of AFP’s single-minded focus on Obamacare as an indictment of Democrats this cycle; namely, that voters are going to get bored with that message at some point. And that criticism might well be on target; at some point there needs to be at least a variation on a theme – let’s find different ways to say that Obamacare sucks and it’s Mary Landrieu’s fault that we have to deal with it, and that she needs to be made to pay for inflicting it on us.
But when you see Landrieu attempt to lie her way out of her Obamacare responsibility by saying that flood insurance – an issue on which she’s just as good as the Republicans, dontcha know – is what really matters, you see why AFP won’t shut up about Obamacare.