November 21, 2002
PROFILE IN COURAGE:All Eyes on La. Senator's Votes (DAVID ESPO, Nov 20, 2002, AP)
Faced with a difficult choice in the Capitol and a difficult election in Louisiana, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu stood in the well of the Senate until time to vote had nearly expired.
Finally, with the issue already settled, she cast her vote with President Bush and the Republicans, and against a last-minute Democratic attempt to change legislation creating a new Department of Homeland Security. It was important, she said afterward, "for me to be able to express that I'm for the creation of this department and I've been for the creation of this department."
Other senators were unusually blunt in describing the political forces at work.
"I think she did the right thing," said Louisiana's other Democratic senator, John Breaux, who supported the proposal that Landrieu opposed. If Landrieu had voted the other way, "It would have created a new issue for a whole new set of ads" for Republicans to air in her runoff election on Dec. 7, he added.
The chairman of the GOP senatorial campaign committee seemed to agree. "If she had voted to obstruct the president's leadership it would have hurt her in Louisiana," said Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn. "So from a political standpoint, it was a wise decision on her part."
Sounds like she did everything but lick a finger and hold it in the air to test the political winds.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2002 9:38 AM