Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hung out to dry

Ahead of next month's runoff election, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was making one last ditch effort to save her political career. 

To prove she has some significant clout in the the U.S. Senate, Landrieu needed to persuade 14 other Democrat senators to approve a measure to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline. As of Monday, Sen. Landrieu had commitments from all 45 GOP Senators as well as 14 Democrats (herself included). That means she was one vote shy, but expressed confidence that number 60 would emerge Tuesday evening when the legislation came up for a vote. 

Alas, it didn't happen

The U.S. Senate defeated a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, delivering a blow to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., by members of her own party.

"I came here 18 years ago fighting to get here, fighting to stay here,'' Landrieu told reporters after the vote, "And I'm going to fight for the people of my state until the day that I leave. I hope that will not be soon.''

Unless Sen. Landrieu doesn't consider January 2015 as "soon" then she's good.

The bill failed to overcome a 60-vote threshold for passage by a narrow 59-41 decision. All 45 Republican senators voted for it, but Landrieu could not clinch the necessary last Democratic vote.

Not surprisingly, our Minnesota senators couldn't be counted on to perhaps throw Landrieu a life line. Heck, even Gov. Mark Dayton conceded that a project similar to Keystone XL would be helpful in alleviating heavy railroad traffic. I wonder if he made any attempts to reach out to Sens. Klobuchar and Franken.  Not that it would have mattered.

Anyhow, this pretty much seems to have sealed Landrieu's fate in next month's runoff election. As if that wasn't enough salt in the wound, the bill she was attempting to get passed was sponsored in the U.S. House by Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is her opponent in said runoff.

After the legislation failed, WV Sen. Joe Manchin, perhaps the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, posed a question.

Over/Under on the number of days until Manchin makes a party switch? 


No comments: