I have seen Sen. Landrieu in action on dozens of occasions. She is a very thoughtful and polished speaker owning a very professional presentation.
She did not show it the day before getting destroyed by Rep. Bill Cassidy at the polls, not, at least for the short period of strange Louisiana history, when she appeared on Jeff Crouere’s radio talk radio show on WGS0 990 AM.
Instead, Landrieu became unglued.
It was not necessarily what she said in trying to last-minute political points.
What really caused this interview to deteriorate was her combativeness in both tone and in her message
You don’t have to be a high-paid political consultant to know that the very last thing you would want to do hours before a radio audience votes, would be to insult the popular talk show host, bash his audience and then make a quick departure.
Actually, Jeff Carrere is a local conservative radio talk show host, a founder of the Northshore Louisiana Tea Party. He has been a strident critic of Sen. Landrieu and President Barack Obama. His callers are predominantly Tea Party-types although he also fields calls from those on the other side of the political spectrum—meaning liberals.
When Crouere mentioned the Tea Party audience, Landrieu responded that the Tea Party was destroying the country.
A pretty strong statements by an unpopular US Senator against one of Tea Party’s strongest advocates. Not a good way to win friends and more importantly for her, to convince potential voters, who likely were not too receptive to her point of view, for starts.
Then, in a wild attempt to take a personal stab at the talk-show host, she inquired where he went to school. After Crouere mentioned that he went to the De la Salle in New Orleans, she poked at him by insinuating that he did not take full advantage of his education.
Ouch. Nasty. Mean. Goofy.
Perhaps the most unwise thing for her to have done with only hours left in her campaign was to appear on this radio program for starts. Crouere is a very good and fair interviewer. He does have his opinions and they are strong. He and I go round for round on his radio show every Tuesday morning as we did yesterday when we discussed her phone interview. However, I know that he will engage in respectful discussion and will throw no low blows.
There must have been more radio stations and other media that she could have contacted to make her case--one, in which, she had a greater likelihood of persuading some on the fence or motivating others who might need some additional push in her direction. Crouere’s conservative listeners would not have been on that list in great numbers.
The interview should go down in Louisiana political history as “Landrieu’s last stand”.
It might have been brave to face a hostile audience at a time when her opponent was avoiding the media, but, as I have mentioned here and in a prior column, her decision was simply goofy.
Let’s mark that eleven minutes as a moment in time when a professional politician knew that her very respected and hard-working elective career was on its last fumes.
Now it’s time for her to get some well-needed rest, chart a new career course and be satisfied for now, that despite getting shellacked at the polls, she can be most proud of her solid record of accomplishments of contributing to Louisiana and to America.
Her political epitaph could easily be that she is a “woman living in a different land”. Her political philosophy and her party has moved into a totally different orbit from those in the state who vote.
Moderates and liberals in Louisiana, should think twice before making Louisiana politics their career calling.
Of all people, she must have known this before she made that goofy call to the radio station as what seems to have been “Landrieu’s Last Stand”.
Above is the segment of Jeff Crouere and me discussing this issue Tuesday morning on his morning talk show, Ringside Politics.