In the middle of a tough reelection campaign, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) bravely told the truth about the race based reasons why Southern Republicans hate President Obama.
In an interview with Chuck Todd, Landrieu was asked why President Obama has struggled in Southern states.
There are any number of reasons. You know, one of the main reasons is because his energy policies are different from ours. I mean, we are a pro-production state….He put the moratorium on offshore drilling, and our state was furious about that. Now he could have shut down the BP operations, but he didn’t. He shut down the whole Gulf. When you shut down the whole Gulf of Mexico, it puts a lot of people here at risk and out of business. That’s number one.
And number two, I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a positive light as a leader. It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place, so we’ve had to work a little bit harder on that. But the people trust me I believe, really they do, to trust me to do the right thing for the state.
Sen. Landrieu’s honesty immediately caused Republican heads to explode.
Fox News responded with this:
Fox News, the home of racist and sexist political coverage, sounded the breaking news alarm to immediately tell their viewers that Mary Landrieu thinks that Louisiana voters are racist and sexist.
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is suffering from the delusion that the party of race based hate will make him their presidential nominee in 2016, said in a statement, “Senator Landrieu’s comments are remarkably divisive. She appears to be living in a different century. Implied in her comments is the clear suggestion that President Obama and his policies are unpopular in Louisiana because of his ethnicity. That is a major insult by Senator Landrieu to the people of Louisiana, and I flatly reject it.”
It takes a serious leap of logic to go from the fact that the South hasn’t always been friendly to African-Americans to Mary Landrieu thinks Louisiana voters are racist.
Sen. Landrieu stated a fact in the gentlest way possible. The South was the home of slavery and Jim Crow. It hasn’t been friendly to African-Americans and legacies from those policies still exist today.
Southern Republicans have been especially hostile towards President Obama from the moment that he was first elected. Has everyone forgotten Southern congressman Joe Wilson screaming, “you lie” at President Obama during the State Of The Union?
The American people and the media claim that they want to hear the truth from their leaders, but when Mary Landrieu told the truth, she was immediately vilified.
It took a lot of courage for Sen. Landrieu to answer Todd’s question honestly. She could have pandered to voters by endlessly bashing Obama. Instead, she pointed to a real source of policy disagreement (energy), and a cultural reality (race).
Sen. Landrieu is widely expected to lose her Senate seat in a runoff, but she is not going down without a fight.
Landrieu deserves praise for her bravery, but the lesson most politicians learn from this episode is that they should never honestly answer the question.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association