Landrieu: Using 'Clout' for Keystone Pipeline 'Not My Job'

Landrieu: Using 'Clout' for Keystone Pipeline 'Not My Job'

Mary Landrieu thinks she’s pretty powerful. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, she used the word “clout” 13 times referring to her position as the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee. But if she has so much “clout,” why isn’t she using it for the state that elected her?

Oh, she says she works for Louisiana. She actually said that the influence she’s accumulated really belongs to the state. Of course, she gets to pick and choose when to use that influence for her state’s good, and she’s making the wrong decisions.

Landrieu takes pride in being a “centrist,” but her voting record in the Senate shows that political alignment is more important to her than her state. She takes her voting cues from President Obama 97% of the time. 

Perhaps that explains why, in the midst of her talk about all her “clout,” she said she isn’t planning on using that clout to push for the president to approve the Keystone Pipeline. Her exact words? “Well, that’s not my job.” 

Many Louisiana residents are wondering if she will she even try to get this important measure passed for the good of her constituents, but the answer seems to be a no.

In fact, she’s worked against the gas and oil industry of her home state more than once.

When the president nominated anti-natural gas Rhea Suh to the Department of the Interior, Landrieu quickly moved Suh’s contentious nomination through the Energy Committee. She defended the president’s choice despite the risk Suh’s priorities pose to Louisiana – a state rich in natural gas.

Landrieu also offered her name as co-sponsor to the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency bill, a rouse used by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to kill Keystone legislation. She has said she would gladly support Reid if he runs for Senate Majority Leader again, and she will, if a $10,000 donation to Reid’s 2008 campaign from her JAZZ PAC is any indication. 

Landrieu would much rather focus on her (ahem, the state of Louisiana’s) “clout” than look forward to how she will keep up the fight she’s supposedly undertaking for her state.

She can talk about a vague “long list of things” she’s tackled, but backs away from this integral issue. When faced with a bigger fight that there’s a chance she could lose, all of a sudden, she’s talking about other people’s clout. 

You know, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell has more power than I do and he hasn’t been able to. The Chamber of Commerce has a tremendous amount of power; they’ve not been able to change the president’s mind.

Landrieu says Louisiana can’t afford to lose her seniority in the Senate. But what good does that influence do for the state if she refuses to fight the most important battles?

Louisiana doesn’t need her clout. 

They don’t need a Senator who says she’s for the state but frequently votes against its interests. They don’t need a Senator who voted for Obamacare, still maintains that it “is a good act that will provide opportunity for quality health care for people,” and insists it can be fixed with her suggested improvements. They don’t need a Senator who is urging the Governor of Louisiana to expand state dependence through Medicaid.

Hopefully Louisiana voters will take a good look at her supposed “clout,” and vote her out.

Mark Meckler is the President of Citizens for Self-Governance, which created the Convention of States Project.

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