Republicans Target Mary Landrieu Over Dems’ Climate Talk-Fest

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) speaks to reporters at a joint session of Congress for President Obama address on February 24, 2009.
National Journal
Ben Geman
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Ben Geman
March 11, 2014, 7:46 a.m.

Louisi­ana Demo­crat Mary Landrieu didn’t take part in Sen­ate Demo­crats’ all-night talk­a­thon on glob­al warm­ing, but Re­pub­lic­an polit­ic­al op­er­at­ives are try­ing to teth­er her to the cham­ber’s cli­mate hawks any­way.

A new Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee Web ad titled “Wait­ing for Mary Landrieu” ac­cuses the three-term Demo­crat of “wait­ing” while reg­u­la­tions pile up and, in ref­er­ence to the talk­a­thon, “wait­ing while her lead­ers con­demn Amer­ic­an en­ergy on the Sen­ate floor.”

Landrieu is among sev­er­al vul­ner­able Sen­ate Demo­crats fa­cing reelec­tion — in­clud­ing Mark Be­gich of Alaska and Mark Pry­or of Arkan­sas — who didn’t join 31 Demo­crat­ic col­leagues who held the Sen­ate floor all night to call at­ten­tion to cli­mate change.

The NR­SC also sent out press re­leases al­leging sev­er­al Demo­crats fa­cing reelec­tion who didn’t join in (like Pry­or) and some that did (like Col­or­ado’s Mark Ud­all) are part of the “rad­ic­al Obama/Re­id war on Amer­ic­an en­ergy.”

But Sen. Tim Kaine, a Vir­gin­ia Demo­crat who did speak on the floor, said talk­ing about cli­mate change is a polit­ic­al win­ner over­all.

“Vir­gin­ia might be the best bell­weth­er state in Amer­ica now in terms of the match between the elect­or­ate and the na­tion­al elect­or­ate. I know what Vir­gini­ans think about cli­mate change be­cause I ran for the Sen­ate in 2012 and we asked them,” he said on MS­N­BC this morn­ing.

“And over­whelm­ingly what Vir­gini­ans think is this: The sci­ence that demon­strates the con­nec­tion between hu­man activ­ity and cli­mate change is real, we be­lieve it, and we need to do something about it,” Kaine ad­ded.

Landrieu, however, sits to the right of her caucus on en­ergy and cli­mate and is run­ning for reelec­tion in a state where Mitt Rom­ney solidly beat Pres­id­ent Obama in 2012. She has cri­ti­cized EPA cli­mate-change reg­u­la­tions.

Landrieu is chair­wo­man of the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee. Ac­cord­ing to Roll Call, Landrieu said that while she wasn’t tak­ing part in the cli­mate talk-fest, “I think what they’re do­ing is help­ful.”

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