Politics

Ellison’s Must Read of the Day

My must read of the day is "In Louisiana Tonight, the Last Debate of the 2014 Midterms," in the New York Times:

The last debate in the last race of the midterm elections will be tonight, when Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana meets Representative Bill Cassidy.

It will be the only face-to-face encounter for Ms. Landrieu, the Democratic incumbent, and Mr. Cassidy, a Republican, between the general election last month and their runoff on Saturday.

Ms. Landrieu, who is languishing in the polls, has highlighted her efforts to push through approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Mr. Cassidy has spent the campaign trying to tie Ms. Landrieu as closely as possible to President Obama in a state the president lost by 17 points in 2012.

Look at that, there’s a debate in the race almost no one is paying attention to—and really why would you be?

Despite her ability to surprise many people and hold on to her seat in previous close elections—Landrieu was doomed days after this runoff began.

Every problem she had in the general election was compounded after Democrats lost control of the Senate, and any advantage she was touting rapidly vanished.

First, Democrats jumped ship, pulling the majority of their funding from the race, and then they left her hanging in a last ditch effort to prove she could influence energy policy.

Both were bad omens, but even before that Landrieu could no longer credibly argue one of her strongest points in the general election: that her top position on the Senate Energy Committee provided her with the clout needed to influence policies in a way that favored Louisiana. She lost that argument because one, Democrats were no longer the majority, and two, Senate Republicans promised her Republican challenger a spot on the same committee.

So there’s a debate tonight, but barring a fangate incident, it’s not going to change much. Landrieu’s coffin was sealed the night the Senate failed to pass legislation to authorize the Keystone XL. Whether you support the pipeline or think it would be detrimental to the environment, politically the nay vote was the final nail that has largely guaranteed Republicans will take her seat.