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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Landrieu's Racial Politics

The Louisiana Senate runoff is Saturday. James Hohmann reports at Politico that Mary Landrieu is stiff-arming Obama with white audiences, embracing him with black audiences.
Landrieu’s campaign released a radio ad to the press on Monday in which a woman tells her husband: “We’re not voting for Obama. We’re voting for us and our future.” Her television commercials on general-interest stations have said “she took on the president.”
During their final debate Monday, Cassidy attacked Landrieu for telling NBC’s Chuck Todd that racism is a factor behind Obama’s unpopularity. “Just because you disagree with the president doesn’t make you a racist,” the congressman said.
Landrieu responded that the quote was taken out of context, and that she also outlined her policy disagreements with Obama. “I said the South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,” she said. “I will make no apologies for something that is a historical fact.”
Other Democrats in red states with sizeable black populations tried ahead of the midterms to link themselves with Obama in radio ads targeting black audiences. North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who ended up losing, released a television ad saying she was not a rubber stamp for Obama, even as she ran an ad on African-American radio stations carrying an endorsement from the president.
Just like Landrieu, these Democrats did not circulate the pro-Obama ads to the press. But the spread of social media networks has made it harder for such tactics to escape broader notice.
In the past two weeks, a conservative Bayou State blog known as The Hayride has picked up two other ads authorized by the Landrieu campaign. Both were captured on radio stations primarily aimed at African-American voters.
In one, picked up on KBZE Radio in Berwick, a narrator says, “They have shown our president so much disrespect: from playing the race card in commercials, talking about trying to impeach him to lying about the progress the country has made under his leadership.”