Facing almost certain political extinction, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu appears to have retreated into her own private world of delusion and denial, telling a local radio host that Obamacare was not the president’s “signature legislation” and questioning whether the local radio host interviewing her could read.
Her disdain for the host was probably due to the fact that he is a well-known Tea Party conservative. Jeff Crouere was relentless in his questioning and Landrieu eventually hung up on the host before the first segment was over.
It marked a sad end to a campaign that the incumbent was destined to lose anyway.
Crouere began by asking her why she had been absent for so long, to which she apologized — albeit awkwardly — and then countered that “I’ve been looking for you as well.”
The first question of substance was on why Landrieu gave a decisive vote in favor of Obamacare, since Crouere sees it as the death knell to her career in the US Senate. After she responded for 50 seconds, acknowledging that the law had flaws but diverting attention to Hurricane Katrina aid, he gently interjected, “well, right,” but he could not get another word in.
“Hold on, Jeff,” she said curtly. “You asked me a question. Let me finish.”
After Crouere then suggested that her loyalty to Obamacare and the president had placed her in a vulnerable position, she let loose, and not in a way likely to score points with the listeners.
“Let me just tell you something. I am really sorry you’re a part of the Tea Party, because they’re taking this country in the wrong direction.”
She then went on to compare Obamacare to Social Security and Medicare, two other fiscal train wrecks that apparently she sees as monumental and admirable. But Crouere countered that it “has killed [her] campaign.”
Then came an exchange that can only be termed bizarre:
LANDRIEU: “I voted for the Affordable Care Act. I did not vote for Obama. I voted for the Affordable Care Act for Louisiana —“
NN HOST: “His signature legislation.”
LANDRIEU: “That isn’t a truth.”
NN HOST: “That’s his signature legislation. His number one accomplishment.”
LANDRIEU: “That is such baloney! You know what his signature legislation was?”
NN HOST: “I think it’s ObamaCare.”
LANDRIEU: “Jeff, you are smart enough. Jeff.”
NN HOST: “That’s his number one. When the history books are written they gonna say ObamaCare in the first paragraph, senator, you know that.”
LANDRIEU: “Jeff. Jeff. Where did you go to high school?”
NN HOST: “Del Sol.”
LANDRIEU: “OK. The brothers at Del Sol would teach you to read. Do you know what his signature education, I mean his signature healthcare plan was? It was single payer.”
Calling the observation that Obamacare is the president’s signature legislation “baloney” is indicative of a politician in total denial. She is so desperate to separate herself from the president in the final hours of the campaign that she attempts to change history — or, at least, posit an alternative universe where she’s almost saying “Barack who?”.
Right before she hung up on the host, she had this to say in response to a question about fraudulent ballots cast on her behalf:
“Love you man, love your family. Jeff, take care.”
She did accept one more question from Crouere, but it was regarding an allegation of fraudulent votes in her favor, so there was no let up.
“It is such an insult for you and your listeners to claim that black people in the state, or African-Americans, cannot cast votes honestly. It’s truly sickening.… You’re repeating it because it makes you just such a happy person.”
At that point she repeated her out-of-context pleasantries and hung up abruptly.
Landrieu’s blow up is a bizarre coda to a discordant campaign that the voters of Louisiana are probably relieved is now over.