Mary Landrieu fights to save her seat.
It seems the voters have already done themselves some good.
For the first time in the six-year fight over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, both houses of Congress will hold a vote on the proposed project, giving each side in a Louisiana Senate election a chance to boost its candidate.
But not so fast:
A large showing of Democratic support for the pipeline could complicate the administration’s decision-making process, given the party’s dismal showing at the polls last week. Environmentalist allies of the president are solidly against the project and have been doggedly lobbying the administration against approving it.
But Republicans successfully used the president’s environmental and climate agenda as key lines of attack against Democrats in several contested midterm races. Those results strengthen the arguments of those who believe that it would be a political mistake for the administration to deny permits for the unbuilt sections of the pipeline, and congressional approval of the project could put the administration on the defensive if it were inclined to halt the project.
You know what I love most about this? It again highlights Obama’s idiocy. Love it.
Acknowledging the importance of energy to Louisiana’s economy, Landrieu and Cassidy have championed completion of the pipeline, which would transport oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The GOP-controlled House voted several times in recent years to support the pipeline, while the Senate, in deference to the administration’s review, has resisted holding a vote on the matter despite strong objections from several moderate Democratic senators from rural or energy-rich states.
You have to ask: At this point, what difference does it make? (Don’t you just love that question?)
For six years, the pipeline has been under review by the State Department, which has jurisdiction because the project crosses international borders. Democrats such as Landrieu from energy-producing states have joined Republicans in calling for its approval.
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) voiced strong support for the plan on Wednesday, saying that “it would be a tremendous windfall for all of us. It’s something we can count on. And I can’t for the life of me understand why we haven’t to date been able to move this piece of legislation forward.”
Joe, let me help you out here. You haven’t been able to move this piece of legislation forward because your Senate leader, Harry Reid, refused to permit a vote. Does that ring a bell, Joe?
Meanwhile, Landrieu is tense:
Party leaders agreed suggesting that it [the pipeline] could be voted on next year in the new Congress.
Landrieu had other ideas.
“I don’t think we necessarily need to wait until January,” she said Wednesday in a floor speech that lasted almost three hours. Landrieu made no attempt to hide her motive. “I’m going to do everything in my power here and at home on the campaign trail, where I’m still in a runoff, as you know, to get this project moving forward,” she said.
She blathered on for three hours!!! She must really want to keep her job.
This exchange between Chuck Schumer and Landrieu is priceless:
Before her remarks, Landrieu was spotted riding the escalator alone up from the Senate trains that carry lawmakers between their offices and the Capitol, toward a row of elevators. She was stone-faced and declined to answer questions from reporters. Once she reached the top level and stepped off, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of his party’s top campaign strategists, walked over.
Smiling, he asked Landrieu to step aside for a private conversation. She shook her head and moved briskly toward the elevator. As she did, she pointed to her phone, saying she had a call. Schumer paused for a moment as she moved away. His smile dropped, and he turned to follow her. “Mary, Mary,” he said, a few steps behind, asking her to speak with him. When she kept moving and ducked into an elevator, he hustled and jumped in to join her as the doors closed.
You know, I’ll just bet she’s furious with the elitist, coastal Left wing of her party. But… she voted with them time after time. I hope that the voters in Louisiana think long and hard before returning her to Washington.