You know Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is facing a tough re-election when even the Associated Press (AP) recognizes that her main selling point to voters of holding “clout” as the Chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is nonsense.
In a new report, AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte analyzes Landrieu’s argument to voters that a vote for her come November is a vote for power on the Senate Energy committee. Deslatte, however, is calling BS.
Here’s an excerpt from the report:
Her leadership of the committee could end up undermining her clout argument, however, as the Democratic senator rallies for positions at odds with the Obama administration and the Senate’s Democratic leadership, and seems unable to gain traction on high-profile disputes.
Deslatte goes on to describe all of the “victories” Landrieu has garnered for Louisiana since her time in Washington D.C. But, she soon points out that Landrieu has failed to make significant progress on energy issues as the Chairwoman of the Senate Energy committee, specifically the Keystone XL Pipeline.
For example, Landrieu’s support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline hasn’t forced a Senate vote on advancing the long-delayed project. Proposed liquefied natural gas export terminals for Louisiana still await regulatory approvals. Meanwhile, Landrieu’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s plan to cut carbon dioxide pollution hasn’t altered the proposal despite outcries that it could cost Louisiana tens of thousands of lost jobs.
Even if Landrieu’s on the right side of energy issues for Louisiana voters, she’s running into repeated complaints that she’s aligned with the wrong party to get those things done.
And what did Landrieu have to say about her critics slamming her for claiming to have “clout” in Washington? Well, that she cannot get everything done that everyone wants her to get done.
“I can’t get everything done that everybody would like. But no one can. And I’ve gotten an awful lot done,” Landrieu said.
But, as Deslatte surprisingly points out, Landrieu has not gotten much done as the Senate Energy Chairwoman. And because of Landrieu’s inability to get the job done, conservative groups like Americans For Prosperity have launched attack ads surrounding Landrieu’s “clout” argument.
For now, savor the moment. It will not be long before the Associated Press is back to defending Landrieu day-in and day-out.