We’re calling it The Last Debate, because it looked an awful lot like the last debate of Mary Landrieu’s career. She was pretty clearly mailing it in. This had to be a blowout for her; she needed to be Mitt Romney in the first debate of the 2012 presidential election, and she was anything but.
What Landrieu did, for the better part of an hour, was to try to beat Bill Cassidy up over a supposed scandal emanating from some less-than-stellar record-keeping about his $20,000-per-year part-time work in the LSU/Charity Hospital system.
We were on vacation last week when this brouhaha boiled up, but the long and short of it is this – Cassidy stays active in the medical profession doing a little of what he used to do full-time before he got into politics – namely, he sees patients and he teaches medical students. But he’s doing it at a 20 percent workload of what he used to do full-time, and that means – loosely – that he works about eight hours a week to earn that $20,000 a year.
Because he does, LSU has a gastroenterologist who has a specialty as a liver doctor, with 25 years of experience – something they otherwise would not have in the entire LSU medical school system – for all of $20,000 per year.
And the Landrieu campaign has been shopping a story for six months, we have it on pretty good authority, that Cassidy has supposedly been bilking LSU out of hours he hasn’t worked. The evidence of this is that there are incomplete records of time sheets, or those time sheets aren’t specific enough to meet Landrieu’s standards. or something. Last week, this became a “thing,” because the Democrats’ Blogger Of Last Resort Lamar White posted an “expose'” on Cassidy’s purported perfidy.
Bear in mind that nobody at LSU has ever complained about not getting $20,000 a year worth of value from Cassidy, and when reached for comment on this kerfuffle LSU’s response has been more or less “whatever, dude.”
And it’s significant that Lamar White, who our readers know most recently as the laughable “I Am Not A Prop” shill for Wendy Davis in advance of the latter’s annihilation in the Texas governor’s race was the vehicle for launching this Cassidy-as-goldbricker narrative. Given what the polls and the early voting numbers show, White is likely to go 2-for-2 in shilling for dead-in-the-water Democrat candidates. But though the newspapers did manage to cover the Cassidy timesheet thing, it was White who “broke” the story. What that tells you is nobody else would eat that stale, moldy bread – once White ran it out there they’d give it an airing but it wasn’t attractive enough to be a scoop for the reputable newsers. Even Bob Mann, who was perhaps too busy assailing Elbert Guillory as an Uncle Tom, didn’t go there.
But that was Mary’s whole hour. She didn’t have much else to say other than to whine about how much Cassidy had to say about Obamacare, to do a little #grubering of the Louisiana voters by claiming she didn’t actually call us racists, to call Cassidy a liar on a number of occasions when he’s clearly got the facts on his side, to mail in a weak appeal based on how much clout she has, to essentially advertise that if she gets re-elected she’ll vote to raise taxes.
Oh – and Koch Brothers.
Cassidy did OK. He might actually have performed a little better in the final debate of the primary campaign, but the relative position of the candidates was probably different then. Cassidy was trying to close the sale with some of the Rob Maness voters in that debate, which required him to make a strong showing. Now, those voters are pretty much locked up for Cassidy and the race is all but over. So his charge is to not take chances and not screw up. And he didn’t.
Challenged on the timesheet business, Cassidy said he and his boss at LSU have made multiple statements on the subject and it’s all BS, and then took the case up to 30,000 feet by saying he’s working as a doctor to help poor people on Medicaid, and obviously the poor people on Medicaid are benefiting from that, and who is benefiting from Mary taking private planes to fly all over the state for fundraisers and campaign events on the taxpayers’ dime? That was his answer repeatedly, and it came off as reasonable – though we would have liked to see a bit more ridicule of Mary’s desperation and pettiness in trying to raise the issue of timecards as though he was the night watchman and not somebody who went to medical school.
Especially coming from a member of Louisiana’s reigning Democrat royal family – a family and a party which for decades has marked itself by corruption, graft, waste, fraud and brother-in-law dealing in amounts which would make whatever few thousand dollars one could argue Cassidy didn’t earn a pittance by comparison.
Nothing much else in that debate mattered. It was all about Landrieu attempting to stick Cassidy with the timesheet issue, and that was a miserable, laughable failure.
And after Saturday night, Landrieu won’t be in a position to perform this poorly on such a stage ever again.