DESPERATION: Landrieu Stabs Reid In The Back

The denouement of Mary Landrieu’s career in the U.S. Senate continues apace, as today Landrieu – who accepted $2.4 million worth of TV ads by the Senate Majority PAC during the primary cycle – was one of four votes against Harry Reid continuing as the Democrats’ leader in that body.

Reid controls the Senate Majority PAC’s spending. He has to feel like he ought to get his money back after today’s vote. Particularly since last night Reid was supposedly beating the bushes to raise money for Landrieu…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is leaning on Democrats to give cash to help Sen. Mary Landrieu win a runoff race that will be critical if the party wants to reclaim the Senate in 2016, according to two Democratic sources.

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Landrieu wasn’t quite alone in voting against Reid. She had some company…

On Thursday, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – all from red-leaning states – voted in opposition to Reid’s staying on as the party’s leader in the new Congress next year. Earlier in the day, McCaskill told reporters she would not back Reid, and Manchin hinted that he wanted new leadership.

“I voted for a change,” Manchin told reporters after the vote, according to the Hill. “I didn’t get a change.”

Landrieu’s opposition comes as the senator is locked in a tough runoff next month to keep her seat against Republican Bill Cassidy and looks to appeal to her state’s more conservative voters. On Wednesday, she further distanced herself from Reid while calling for a vote on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and asserting her eagerness to work with McConnell and Republicans.

If Landrieu was going to oppose the most hated man on Capitol Hill as the new minority leader, it may have helped her to have said so earlier. That isn’t what the public heard before today. This was in April

“Absolutely,” Sen. Mary Landrieu, a vulnerable Louisiana Democrat facing voters this fall, said when asked if she would back Reid as leader no matter the outcome of the November elections. “We all share in success, we all share in the failures; we’re a team. But Harry Reid has tremendous respect of members of our caucus. … I don’t believe that he would be challenged in our party for leadership until he’s ready to step aside.”

And this was in May…

But by October, she wasn’t so sure…

To be fair, Landrieu has a beef with Reid – and a valid one. There are hundreds of bills on Reid’s desk which have passed the House with bi-partisan support, some of which Landrieu, if she were interested in backing up her claims to be a moderate, might have voted for – and support for those bills would have broken her 97 percent record of voting with the president. Instead, Reid has blocked virtually everything coming from the House and the only votes Landrieu has been able to make have been on things like presidential appointments.

Virtually every voter in Louisiana knows that Landrieu votes with Obama 97 percent of the time, and that has become all the campaign narrative Bill Cassidy has needed. And with the state drifting more and more quickly to the right, Landrieu isn’t wrong in blaming Reid for damaging her with the voters back home.

Still, when the Senate Majority PAC has spent $2.4 million trying to re-elect Landrieu and the other PAC Reid is involved with, the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee, has spent more than $4 million on her, it does seem a bit ungrateful to throw Reid under the bus. With the latter PAC, Landrieu can play the “what have you done for me lately?” card, as the DSCC just canceled $2 million in TV for the runoff and Landrieu is now getting annihilated on the airwaves as a result.

It adds up to Reid probably losing interest in raising money for Landrieu, and a collection of stink-eyed glances among the Democrat caucus in the lame-duck session. Losing begets such ill will and betrayals.



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