There is only one person who can bring back the Southern States into the Democratic fold for the 2008 Presidential election.
She is United States Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
The perfect political storm is waiting for her in New Hampshire. No one in the Democratic Party can demonstrate better than Mary, the ineptness of the Republican Administration.
Hurricane Katrina is an example for the Gulf States, and the rest of the nation, of how our domestic policies under a Republican President, a Republican House of Representative and a Republican Senate, have left our nation in need.
Without spending a lot of money, she could travel to New England, and make the case for change. As Eugene McCarthy surprised the country in 1968 by coming in second to LBJ, just by testing the waters on the War in Vietnam, Landrieu can do the same by outlining our serious domestic infrastructure needs campaigning in New Hampshire.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a bulging political staff, expensive political polls, and billions of dollars to run a credible presidential campaign, at the start.
An airplane ticket, a few news conferences, meeting the folks in Nashua, Concord, and other towns, is all she needs to start a revolution within our own Democratic Party.
Thinking about Hillary? For the first time ever, none…. not one of my long time democratic friends will vote for her. She’ll spend a hundred million dollars trying to make people forget her past.
Mary does not have to reinvent herself. She is on the military appropriations committee and is an expert on the use (misuse) of our National Guard in Iraq.
She is the eldest of NINE siblings, which automatically makes her a tough cookie.
Other than FDR, most of our Presidents from the Democratic Party have been at least a touch more conservative than the party itself.
Even JFK, when debating Richard Nixon, was much more the “hawk” on international affairs.
I was very impressed when I watched her battle with conservative hosts on Fox News. She not only held her own, she came out looking great.
It’s nice having “feel-good” candidates from San Francisco, Vermont and Boston, but they can’t win in the general election.
Landrieu could take the country back and would have the “skirt-tails” to bring a new majority Democratic Congress. As Democrats, we desperately need someone who can bring back a super-majority in Congress.
She is pro-choice as a policymaker, although, like Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, she has personal reservations. This also matches much of voter attitudes within “fly-over” states where a Democratic Presidential nominee has to do well to win. She is not going to challenge Roe v Wade, and any such accusation would backfire.
The “IT” Factor
I had a friend during the 1970’s who had the “IT” Factor. In Hollywood, producers and directors look for that special star power. It is something that some performers have and others fall beneath the bar.
When I would hang around with singer Tim Buckley, he would walk into a bar or nightclub and immediately turn on an entire audience. He was supposed to sign a picture deal based on the life of Woody Guthrie, but accidentally overdosed and died at age 28. It was a great loss to others, and me but I will never forget that extra pound of personality that he had.
I believe that Senator Landrieu has this special quality, and it could work to her advantage on the political trail.
The Art of the Practical
When Howard Dean entered Iowa, he was a sure winner. But, he had to go hand to hand with regular people. He was the “candidate” and already anointed the Democratic nominee by the major media. Below the media radar, many democrats either didn’t like his personal style, or his politics turned them off.
In California, and New York, voters really only get to know the candidates by their television commercials. That is why small states are necessary for the start of the Presidential Primaries.
Politics is the art of the practical. Senator Landrieu has the energy and practical ideology that average people like.
When she goes hand-to-hand with Democratic Party activists and voters, she will turn people on, not off. She does not have any of the negative trappings of our recently defeated male presidential candidates. She is not perceived as pompous, or ill at ease with large crowds.
I still like Al Gore and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, but with the excitement of a Woman running for President, without a high negative rating going into the primary, our party could have the entire country buzzing again.
Alternative energy, a rebuilding of our infrastructure, lowering of our national deficit, national health care and other programs so desperately needed, could happen with a super majority of Democrats in Congress and the White House.
But, first we have to reenergize the American voter, and I believe that Mary Landrieu has that capability.
Thanks for reading.