Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Campaign Ad Slams Obama's Policies, Which Is A Bold Move For A Democratic Senator
Louisiana's Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu faces one of the toughest reelection battles in this year's Congressional elections. But she has a plan — wedging as much space as possible between herself and President Barack Obama. Landrieu's new campaign ad, released Tuesday, hits out at Obama's oil and gas policies, calling them "simply wrong."
The new ad follows on the heels of months of television commercials from pro-Republican outside groups attacking the senator. Landrieu has weathered attacks before — after all, she is currently serving her third term — but the races are always close. In 2002 she was reelected with just 51.7 percent of the vote, and in 2008 it wasn't much better: 52.1 percent of the vote.
In the one-minute commercial, titled "Will Not Rest," Landrieu is shown in a series of television clips running in several Louisiana locales, including homes and bars. In the clips she attacks the Obama administration's oil and gas policies and is shown fighting in committees for greater energy royalties for Louisiana. She also pushes her support for expanding offshore oil and natural gas drilling — key issues for her state, where 300,000 people are employed by the industry.
Landrieu also promotes her position as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, with the male narrator of the commercial telling the audience that "she holds the most powerful position in the Senate for Louisiana."
It's an interesting tactic, beating up on the leader of your own party. But it has the potential to be a brilliant one. Landrieu deliberately situates herself in Washington in this ad, which is a little unusual; most politicians like to show themselves among their constituents to show how connected they are to their issues.
However, Landrieu is doing this in an attempt to demonstrate the sway that she has in the capital, and that she's using that sway to promote the best interests of the people of Louisiana, even though those interests do not align with her own party leader. Clever, really.
According to Landrieu's campaign, they're spending $250,000 to run the ad for a week. Meanwhile Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the Koch brothers, has spent more than $3 million on ads in Louisiana that draw attention to Landrieu's 2010 vote in support of the Affordable Care Act.
Landrieu's critics have been quick to point out that a significant clip in the ad — when Landrieu is apparently addressing a committee hearing and says "Do you think there are a bunch of fairy godmothers out there who just wave a magic wand?”— is reenacted.
It's true, it is a reenactment, but it's really just a much more contracted, less rambly version of what she actually said in an Energy Committee hearing. You can watch it here — fast-forward to around 2:30. In comparison to the way many other political ads bend the truth, we think we can give her this one.