Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) blasted President Obama’s tax cut compromise yesterday. She decried the “moral corruptness” of the idea of giving wealthy Americans a tax cut extension on the backs of poor and middle class workers.
To many, it came out of nowhere. After all, she voted for these tax cuts back in 2001, and, by her own admission, isn’t really known for taking on progressive causes against the center and the right. But check out this portion of her criticisms of the plan, which went unreported.“I represent a broad constituency of hard-working, poor families, many of whom are African American,” Landrieu said. “The median net worth of African American families — net worth, not income — in this country today according to our Census is $5,000.”
We are borrowing money from constituencies, and large segments of the population like this — now I’ve got many non-African American families that are just as poor…$5,000 is the median net worth of African American families in America, and we’re borrowing money from them — African American and otherwise that might be making over $1,000,000, I think we need to go back to the drawing board.
The recession has hit her constituents hard. But it’s also hit her poll numbers. A June Public Policy Poll found negative approval ratings: 39 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove.
To make matters worse for her, Landrieu’s up for re-election in 2014*. And she’s caught in a seemingly impossible position. President Obama is deeply unpopular in her state… except among black constituents, whom she’ll need to be re-elected. Part of what’s going on here is that Landrieu’s trying to simultaneously put space between herself and Obama (hence her derision of the “Obama-McConnell” plan) while letting those supporters know that, if anything, she’s more on their side than the president himself.
[Ed note: This story originally reported that Landrieu’s up for re-election “this cycle.” In fact, she’s up in 2014. It has been corrected. We regret the error.]
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