Perhaps it is time to drop the kabuki show: Bill Cassidy might not make it to 2014. A series of embarrassing articles continue to surface, including (GASP) this nugget:
In 1988, while living in California, Cassidy penned a letter to The State-Times, a now defunct afternoon newspaper in Baton Rouge. In the letter, Cassidy mocked anyone who would vote for George H.W. Bush for president and suggested Louisiana residents vote for Michael Dukakis. In a sarcastic tone, Cassidy “thanked” voters for supporting Bush because the Republican president would ultimately help California by increasing defense spending while Louisiana suffered economically during the oil bust because of falling prices.
“You see, when the federal government takes care of poor people, education, health care, roads and the elderly, you people get a lot of that money,” he wrote, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO from archives of the newspaper. “If you begin to realize that patriotism has nothing to do with any of this, tell yourself that there was nothing that the Republicans could have done about the fall in oil prices. Of course, I know better.”
He continued, “Please do me one favor, dear Louisianans. Never ask yourself if you’re better off now than you were eight years ago. If you do, you might wake up, you might vote for a change.”
Let’s just put it out on the table. This is devastating for Cassidy. Let us look no further than Kentucky, or Texas, or Missouri, to notice one ripe truth about today’s modern GOP: the tea baggers at the grass roots are running the show. Whether it’s Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Todd Akin, the ultra right-wing is propelling candidates past “establishment” choices.
Unfortunately for Doc Cassidy, he falls squarely in the latter camp.
Rob Maness, on the other hand, is making a play for the nutjob caucus, and he’s winning:
GOP Candidate Argues His Opponent Would Have Supported Slavery
A Tea Party-backed Senate candidate in Louisiana recently argued that, were his opponent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) alive in the 18th century, she would have sided with pro-slavery forces.
[I]n August, Maness spoke at the annual RedState Gathering. He attacked Landrieu for her observation during the immigration bill markup that “The only way you get something is to become obnoxious.” Maness extrapolated from Landrieu’s statement that she would believe anyone who holds an unpopular belief is “obnoxious,” then inferred that Landrieu would have sided against anti-slavery advocates had she been alive around the country’s founding. “Senator Landrieu might have called Mrs. Adams ‘obnoxious,’ especially since she was opposed to slavery and favored women’s rights when both were very unpopular ideas,” Maness told the crowd.
Charming! He’ll fit right in with the Akins, the Sharron Angles, and all of the other loony-bin characters the tea party hoists into the spotlight.
Luckily for Maness, this is the week of GOOD news for him, as the Senate Conservatives Fund formally endorsed him:
“Colonel Rob Maness is a constitutional conservative with a remarkable record of service to our country,” Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a statement. “He understands the value of our freedoms and will fight to repeal Obamacare and stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are bankrupting our country.”
From Maness’ website, we see his wingnut flag is flying high, railing against government takeovers of Education through Common Core and refusing comprehensive immigration reform.
Rob Maness is on the upswing. He’s playing right to the crowd. And Bill Cassidy is stumbling. Mary Landrieu should start paying attention to Col. Maness. He’s her real threat.
The slowly-deflating balloon that is Doc Cassidy’s #LASEN campaign just lost a lot more air. According to early reports from the 3rd Q of fundraising numbers, Cassidy raised only $700k in this quarter. By comparison, Mary Landrieu hauled in nearly twice as much at $1.35m.
Cassidy also made a curious reference during his fundraising release, noting he had raised more than former Democrat John Kennedy during Kennedy’s run against Landrieu as a Republican in 2008. Unfortunately, Cassidy failed to note that Kennedy lost that race by more than 5 points.
Cassidy’s has only increased his available cash on hand by $200k by the end of Q3, indicating an extremely-high burn rate at this early point of the race. If he doesn’t right his campaign’s financial ship, he’ll have fallen far behind Landrieu at the critical opening gun of the 2014 race.
This is the latest crack in Cassidy’s status as the anointed-GOP challenger to Senator Landrieu. Just last week, the LAGOP quietly condoned North Louisiana conservative Rep. Alan Seabaugh’s open rumination on entering the race as the “real conservative.” Previously, Cassidy was excluded from a critical gathering of rightwing activists at a conference in New Orleans.
Cassidy’s awkward rightward tilt has produced similarly disappointing results. He was viciously mocked by the Daily Show just last week for his raw hypocrisy over the Government shutdown.
By Robert Mann
It was an article of faith among some Republicans that President Obama's reelection was doomed because voters would stampede to the polls in anger over Obamacare. So, how'd that turn out? Election results notwithstanding, Republicans believe Americans hate Obamacare. That presumes, of course, they understand it, which they don't, because Obama so poorly communicated its provisions. In the House, however, Republicans have voted
The annual Redstate conference, spawned by the blog/circle jerk curated by Georgia tea bagger impresario Erik Erikson apparently took place in New Orleans this past weekend. Many conservative luminaries appeared, including intellectual heavyweights Rick Perry and Nikki Haley who were featured speakers, as was teahaddist Ted Cruz. Ever the attention hound, Governor Jindal also graced the stage in front of tri-corner hat wearing activists and various other white nationalists.
One person that wasn’t invited was Louisiana Senate candidate Bill Cassidy. And his absence was conspicuous. Louisiana’s GOP base is heavily populated by the tea bag right, and Cassidy will need these nuts to win.
Unfortunately, Cassidy wasn’t included on the program. In fact, he was hardly acknowledged. And it isn’t a surprise.
“I’m just not a big fan of Bill Cassidy,” Erickson said in an interview Saturday, confirming that an invitation was not extended to Cassidy, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., next year.
All along, Cassidy has been the candidate of the Republican establishment in DC. They see his moderate record as a controllable alternative to a “wacko bird” like Senators Ted Cruz or Mike Lee. Cassidy, on the other hand, is just a generic republican and someone who will take orders well. This is exactly the type of Republican tea baggers hate.
Attempts to clear the field in Louisiana (including Vitter’s work to sideline rightwing Congressman Fleming from entering the field) for Cassidy show that he isn’t the choice of the activist base. Cassidy’s moderate record and squishiness certainly won’t stand up well under scrutiny of the ’16 LASEN race.
As the redstate snub indicates, Cassidy has a long way to go to activate the tea bag base in Louisiana. And without that motivated core, he’ll have an even tougher time beating Mary Landrieu.
More embarrassingly, Cassidy’s tea bag rival, Rob Maness, was invited to close out the conference. Maness has done very little in terms of fundraising or campaigning, but he shared the final stage as a highlight of the conference. That’s not just a cold shoulder to Cassidy, but rather an ice bath.
Stu Rothenberg over at Roll Call explains Mary Landrieu’s [correct] vote on background checks:
Landrieu always depends on a huge turnout in the black community and a near sweep of the black vote to win election, and voting against the president on guns might have poisoned her relationship with that community. And if Mary loses black voters, Mary can’t win.
In 2008, according to exit polling in the Senate contest, when she last stood for re-election, Landrieu won 96 percent of the black vote to 2 percent for Republican John Kennedy, the state treasurer. Interestingly, Landrieu received a larger percentage of the black vote in Louisiana than did Barack Obama (94 percent), according to the presidential exit poll.
Landrieu lost white voters to Kennedy, 65 percent to 33 percent, but she easily outperformed Obama that year among whites, since he carried just 14 percent of white voters in the state in his White House bid.
Landrieu ended up winning with 52 percent statewide, while Obama drew only 40 percent of the vote in the Pelican State.
Obviously, Landrieu needs to hit certain percentages of both black and white votes to win, but if politics starts with base voters, Landrieu knows which voters she can’t afford to lose during her 2014 re-election bid. She must have a huge black turnout, and she must win almost unanimous support in that community. Her support in the white community, after all, is not likely to increase between 2008 and 2014.
Of course, if Mayor Bloomberg is going to play in #LASEN 2014, this vote is definitely going to help. Howard Wolfson, Bloomberg’s political chief, lays it plainly here:
With the first major fundraising quarter under the belts, Senator Mary Landrieu continues to draw serious dollars to her campaign side. And most surprising, some of that money is coming from major Republican donors.
Landrieu, D-La., is announcing she raised about $1.2 million during the first three months of the year, which compares favorably with the more than $500,000 brought in by her only 2014 opponent thus far, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.
Those dollars leave Landrieu with a $3.46 million war chest thus far compared with Cassidy’s $2.4 million, though the election is nearly 18 months away.
The $500k raised by Cassidy must be a disappointment to republicans, who were hoping their moderate nominee would draw strong interest from establishment conservatives seeking a new US Senator from Louisiana detached from the teabag crew.
Landrieu’s strong showing also included some interesting names:
Landrieu also promoted the support she has from top Republican donors, such as New Orleans developer Joe Canizaro and Lockport shipyard magnate Boysie Bollinger, who is a former state Republican Party chairman.
“Any challenger to Sen. Landrieu will have a hard time building support as more and more prominent business leaders back her,” Bollinger said in a prepared statement. “People know that at the end of the day, Mary always fights for our state. For me and many Louisianians, that’s more important than anything.”
The fracturing of conservative over Cassidy’s coronation and strong-arm tactics to clear the field continue to show that hardcore wingnuts aren’t buying into Cassidy’s weak tea moderation. Major GOP donors recognize this, and would rather have a Senior Senator with real pull that disagrees with them on issues than a Mary Landrieu-lite candidate like Cassidy.
Congressman Bill Cassidy, whose career has been spent working for the State of Louisiana as a Doctor in a Charity Hospital, has blandly announced his candidacy for Senate in 2014 against Mary Landrieu.
Ironically, while Cassidy touts his work for the poor in a “public” hospital, Governor Jindal’s civil service board voted to privatize it on the same day of Cassidy’s announcement. Maybe Congressman Cassidy is running for Senate because he just lost his old job.
You can watch his announcement video below, and marvel at how these many months of preparation and meditation on the race could have produced such a boring, content-less video:
Cassidy repeats several meaningless, conservative boilerplate agenda items in the video, including his support for the ridiculous “balanced-budget amendment,” a policy that prominent conservative commentator Ramesh Ponnuru calls “a terrible idea.”
Cassidy also plans to “run against” Barack Obama, who according to recent polling, is actually more popular than Governor Jindal, the guy who is shutting down Cassidy’s old hospital. Perhaps he should be running against Jindal? Look, we can see that the President is not very popular in Louisiana, but unfortunately for Bill Cassidy, Barack Obama isn’t on the ballot anymore. He’ll have to actually face his real opponent, Mary Landrieu.
Cassidy also intertwines some interesting pseudo-populist “conservatism,” totally off-loading libertarians and shunning the Rand Paul-section of the GOP. Cassidy, the “conservative,” wants to
- replace Obamacare with… something that sounds like Obamacare.
- He wants to preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security. Hello, socialism?
- His wife and he continuously mention their connection to “public” schools, including the “public charter school” she works at, and the “public college” that their son attends. I thought that was socialism?
- Cassidy treats the “uninsured.” Isn’t this the agenda of the takers? The 47%?
As liberals, it’s hard to tell if this is Cassidy’s platform, or moderate Mary Landrieu’s. Conservatives cannot be happy with Cassidy, and in deep-red Louisiana, we know the tea baggers ought to be grumbling about Cassidy’s weak-tea conservatism, at least compared to today’s “stupid party.”
Is he just Mary Landrieu-light?
Mitt Romney’s pollster, Public Opinion Strategies, has a new Louisiana Senate poll out.
Those words alone should make you suspicious, considering the utter incompetence of the Romney polling apparatus in 2012.
Let’s not digress, however, and get straight to it!
Mary Landrieu is well-positioned against ANY GOP candidate, EVEN when respondents are subjected to one-sided, push polling in favor of the Republican. Top-lines, in a 4-way jungle primary:
- Mary Landrieu – 47%
- John Fleming – 15%
- Bill Cassidy – 14%
- Chas Roemer – 6%
Run-off, between Sen. Mary Landrieu and Cong. John Fleming:
- Landrieu – 49%
- Fleming – 45%
And then the push polling began:
After testing opposition research points on each candidate, Fleming pulls further ahead of Cassidy on the informed ballot, and Landrieu drops some more. We tested eight opposition research points on Landrieu (focused on her spending and health care record), five opposition research points on Fleming, and just three on Cassidy.
The post-oppo informed ballot was 38% Landrieu, 32% Fleming, and 20% Cassidy.
Without a concluding, post-opposition research, run-off, we can’t really know for sure. But certainly, after pummeling Mary (and in a vacuum against a static, defense-less caricature of the candidates, especially Mary), it can’t be very encouraging that the GOP candidate isn’t even able to pull even with Landrieu.
Oh, and the Fleming/Cassidy match-up (in a mythical, straight for the beltway RSCC conversation of a partisan primary), Fleming pulls ahead after ANOTHER push element.
- Fleming – 51%
- Cassidy – 32%
Wow, lots of scurrilous push polling going on here. No wonder Romney didn’t know where the fuck he was.
Here’s the actual poll memo (paid for by Fleming).
By Robert Mann
“I advise anyone who thinks he knows something about politics to go down to Louisiana and take a postgraduate course.” --Texas U.S. Sen. Tom Connally, 1932.
If you are obsessed with politics, Louisiana is the place for you – especially over the next four years.
In that time, Louisiana voters will choose a new governor and elect (or re-elect) two U.S.
More good news for the wannabe king of the “stupid party.” The word on Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana collapse is getting some much-needed attention. Funny what polling can do.
It turns out that cooyans back here in Loosy-ana actually expect the Governor to make choices that are responsive to us, not primary voters in Iowa. Unfortunately for Boo Boo the Boy Wonder, he didn’t get the memo. This piece from the associated press (written by a former Times-Picayune scribe) takes Jindal down a notch, or three:
Gov. Bobby Jindal faces deepening troubles in his home state even as he dishes out advice on how the divided GOP can regroup and looks to position himself as a national party front man.
The new head of the Republican Governors Association, who also is a potential future White House contender, has made a series of cuts to health services and colleges, drawing criticism from affected constituents and Republicans who say he’s not cut enough. And while he delighted conservative policy wonks nationally with his signature measures overhauling education and public employee pensions, those laws are tied up in state court as Republican judges claim constitutional concerns.
At the same time, recent polls suggest that Jindal’s once-formidable job performance rating has fallen below 50 percent just over a year after he was re-elected without serious opposition.
“He’s got a large number of people in Louisiana who just do not like him,” said Baton Rouge pollster Bernie Pinsonat, not usually a Jindal critic.
Bernie Pinsonat, GOP/Lane Grigsby pollster isn’t exactly a known liberal. And according to our books on Democracy, approval rates under 50% mean that a majority would not choose you to be their leader. While Jindal might not appear on our ballots anymore (for the time-being), he certainly can’t convince Republicans nation-wide that he’s the medicine for their current sickness if his own red state of Louisiana doesn’t even like him.
And then the mountain of hypocrisy begins to tumble upon Jindal:
Yet for all his criticism of a big federal government, Jindal has approved its excess and accepted its bounty. As a congressman, he supported deficit budgets under President George W. Bush. Jindal, like every other governor, used federal stimulus money — provided through an Obama law that Jindal assailed — to balance his state budget for at least two years and, in many instances, he traveled to small towns to hand out checks to local government leaders, while sidestepping the explanation that the dollars came from federal coffers.
As many program cuts as Jindal has pushed in Louisiana, he’s feuded with his fellow Republicans in the Legislature who say he’s not done enough.
Jindal’s state government helped spend billions of dollars in federal rebuilding aid after multiple hurricanes, including Katrina. Louisiana just hosted the Super Bowl in a publicly owned stadium restored and upgraded with taxpayer money.
Jindal has refused one spending area, and that’s providing health care to our state’s working poor. Despite studies that continuously state the importance and impact of expanding Medicaid, Jindal just says “no.” Mary Landrieu takes him to task on this point, here:
“He just seems to be adamant about pushing his political future ahead of the economic interests of the people of Louisiana. It’s very disheartening to me and a growing number of people in our state,” said Landrieu. D-La. “It’s his quest to be the next president and to check off the tea party ‘I am the most conservative person in America’ check list. If he were to get his mind and heart on the people he’s representing, we might have better outcomes.”
Yeehaw, and go get’em, Mary.