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Story Archives: Kennedy's only hope
|Kennedy's only hope|
State Treasurer John Kennedy needs to do more than harp on U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's record on energy issues if he harbors any hope of unseating the two-term senator in the Nov. 4 general election.
Instead of criticizing Landrieu's positions on oil and gas exploration, Kennedy needs to turn the attention in the Senate race on Barack Hussein Obama.
More specific, Kennedy, a Republican, must convince Louisiana's electorate that if Landrieu is re-elected, the Democratic senator will serve as a rubber stamp for anything and everything Obama might propose as president of the United States. Of course, that's presuming Obama, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, will defeat Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, in the general election. And that's a big if in spite of the national media's best efforts to convince the people Obama is a savior, or the presidential candidate who can best solve the country's problems.
Though we have been inundated as of late with news releases and news reports of Kennedy blistering Landrieu over her refusal to go along with efforts to allow oil exploration in so-called environmentally sensitive areas in the country and beyond, one cannot overlook the role the oil and gas industry is playing in Landrieu's bid for a third, six-year term. In other words, if Landrieu is so bad for big oil—such as Chevron and Exxon and the like—why has big oil pumped big money into Landrieu's campaign account?
That question can be answered a number of ways.
No. 1, obviously big oil is pleased with Landrieu's voting record in the Senate on issues big oil deems important to its profitability. Otherwise, big oil would do its best to underwrite, or finance, Kennedy's campaign, which it hasn't done at this point.
No. 2, Landrieu is an incumbent, meaning it is in the best interest of a special interest group such as big oil to take care of an incumbent member of the most exclusive club in the world. For the politically naïve, that means it's wise to bet on the incumbent, for if one hedges one's bet on a challenger and the challenger loses, an incumbent will never forget it. In polite company, we would say paybacks are hell.
That brings us back to Landrieu and Obama, which raises a touchy subject to discuss in any setting.
While we would like to believe race isn't an issue in any election in this day and age, it remains a topic of discussion, or an issue, whether any candidate for public office wants to admit it. Paid political consultants will admit it in a New York second. Behind closed doors, of course.
Yet, you can bet the farm that any political consultant worth his salt recognized long ago Kennedy must subconsciously introduce race as an issue in the Senate campaign. That means Kennedy must link Landrieu's politics to Obama's politics. Bluntly stated, Kennedy must wrap Landrieu around Obama's neck, or vice versa, knowing Obama is not the most popular man on the block in Louisiana.
It's within reason to believe McCain will carry Louisiana in November by as large a margin as George W. Bush carried the state in 2004.
David Vitter certainly remembers it; he was elected to the Senate that year, riding Bush's coattails as the president thumped John Kerry from one end of the Sportsman's Paradise to the other.
That, my friends, leads us to Kennedy's only hope. He must ride McCain's coattails in Louisiana, hoping along the way that a backlash over Obama's race spills over into the Senate race, ending Landrieu's career in politics just as her clout in the Senate was beginning to take shape.