Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu Distances Herself From Obamacare


Notwithstanding her vote in 2010 in favor of the PPACA, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is trying to distance herself from the law:

Sen. Mary Landrieu, the vulnerable Louisiana Democrat, tried Wednesday to distance herself even further from both Obamacare and President Barack Obama in the first television commercial of her reelection campaign.

The $250,000 buy continues a marked change in Landrieu’s tone from the start of the year and speaks to how devastating Democrats realize the health care overhaul may be to their hopes of holding the Senate.

Built around news clips, the 30-second ad highlights legislation Landrieu introduced to let people keep their health care plans after the public outcry over hundreds of thousands of cancellations.

Landrieu tries to pin the broken promise that Americans could keep their plans if they like them squarely on the president, not on the congressional Democrats who espoused the same talking point.

“Senator Landrieu says President Obama needs to stick to his word,” a local news anchor says in the commercial.

This is the first ad run by a Democrat touting efforts to fix the law. Party strategists say polls show swing voters appreciate a solutions-oriented message more than the full repeal supported by many Republicans.

Notably, Landrieu is running the ad in six Louisiana markets — Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe — but not New Orleans, where Obama remains immensely popular among African-Americans, a constituency the senator desperately needs to turn out in a non-presidential election for her to survive.

Landrieu even takes credit for Obama’s announcement that states and insurance companies could renew individual health plans for another year.

“What I’ve said to the president is, you told them that they could they keep it,'” Landrieu, wearing a cross around her neck, is shown telling a local affiliate.

“I’m fixing it,” she’s then shown saying on CNN. “And that’s what my bill does. And I’ve urged the president to fix it.”

Polling in the Louisiana Senate race has been limited, with the most recent poll more than a month old and those previous to that even older, and while they do show Landrieu with a lead over likely Republican nominee Bill Cassidy, they also show she pulling in less than 50% of the vote, and in some cases only garnering support in the low 40s. This is not where an incumbent wants to be even this far out from election, and especially not in a red state like Louisiana where Mitt Romney won by seventeen points just last year, and polling on the PPACA itself has been largely negative. Thus it’s not surprising that she would try to distance herself from the law, and the President, especially in light of the problems the roll out of the law has faced  since October 1st. Whether it will work or not is something only time will tell.

Here’s the ad:


FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. C. Clavin says:

    This is the first ad run by a Democrat touting efforts to fix the law.

    How is running on fixing Obamacare…distancing herself from Obamacare?
    Jesus-Gawd you are a f’ing hack.

  2. PD Shaw says:

    ” especially in light of the problems the roll out of the law has faced since October 1st.”

    Here is Landrieu speaking from the Floor of the Senate on October 12, 2013:

    “…We did not wake up one morning and declare this the law. The people of the United States declared this through us as their Representatives. If they do not like it, they can unelect us. Believe me, they will have a great chance because I am up for reelection right now. They will be able to do that. . . .

    I am going to run for reelection. I am standing in this election as a supporter of the Affordable Care Act — not because it is a perfect law but because it is much better for all the people I represent than what we had before — the wealthiest people, the middle class people, and the poor people.

    …Contrary to popular belief and what FOX News said, people here read the bills. For 40 years we read the bills. But we did not have to read the bills; all we had to do was look at the faces of kids dying of cancer who had no way to get cured…I don’t need to read a bill. I listen to my constituents. That is what this is about.

    I have a soft spot for Landrieu, and even voted for her once, but her own defense of the PPACA shows the vulnerability of the moderate — she’s more interested in making sure she’s well positioned with the silent majority in the middle than the actual specifics of policy and statutory language. Regardless of its merits, the PPACA was not written well, its chalk full of ambiguities, and that’s not Obama’s fault — he didn’t draft it.

  3. beth says:

    By next year she’ll have a whole bunch of constituents who are getting insurance for the first time or not being thrown off insurance due to pre-existing conditions or lifetime caps that she can showcase in her ads. Her opponent’s going to have to run on wanting to cancel their insurance and all the benefits they’ve gotten from Obamacare. Who do you think will have the winning argument?

  4. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    And to be clear…I’m all for fixing whatever needs to be fixed as well. No one ever thought this program was going to be perfect right out of the box…except maybe Doug…but he’s a Liertarian so by definition he is blithely untethered from reality.
    It’d be great if Republicans pitched in and helped fix it…but that’s unlikely given their childishness.
    20% of Louisiana residents are currently uninsured. Apparently Doug wishes they would just stay uninsured.
    Louisiana has one of the the highest poverty rates. And they are one of the biggest Red State Welfare Queens…taking over $1.75 for every dollar they send to Washington. Evidently the little skinny runt running that state according to Republican economic Theory isn’t helping much.

  5. Tyrell says:

    @beth: Next year she will have huge numbers of constituents who have had their plans cancelled (top of the line plans in many cases) or have seen their rates doubled/tripled. Many people have even seen their children’s plans go out the roof. Insurance for children used to be very cheap because of low risk. North Carolina residents are seeing major increases in Blue Cross plans. Maybe things will be better next year, but new mandates, rules, and fees will take effect; after the elections.
    See Forbes for more information on what to expect in the “Affordable Health” plan.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    blah, blah, blah, nonsense, blah blah, BS, blah, blah.
    20% uninsured in LA., Tyrell…1 in 5 people…and you ain’t offering any solutions. Just blah, blah, blah….

  7. Stonetools says:

    By June most of those who have had their plans cancelled will have their plans replaced by new, better plans. It will be a non issue.

  8. bill says:

    rats flee sinking ships, that’s not news. i heard they’re up to 360k registering now, that’s impressive…..only 6.4 million to go- hopefully they have income to pay for it but in all likelihood they won’t have to as they’ll find some “subsidies” along the way. free stuff is good, where does it come from anyway?
    meanwhile, clavin is replying to his own posts, hopefully his meds are covered under obamacare….seriously.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    I’d reply to yours if they weren’t full of factual errors and lies.

  10. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: stop it, facts are facts. speaking of lies- “…you can keep your health plan, period”! remember that one? the gift that keeps on giving.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    So your defense of your own lies…is that Obama lied? OK. That doesn’t change the fact that you are a liar. And a bigot while I’m at it.

  12. Bob Beller says:

    Beth, she’ll also have hundreds of thousands of constituents who’ve lost their insurance not kept it as promised. She’ll have to explain to them why they should be happy paying more.

    As an example, my son and his wife were thrown off Medicare for making $150 too much one month. Under the old Medicare rules that would have had to go on for 3 months, but no more. They can get coverage on the exchange, for $200/month after the subsidy, but will have a $4500 deductible. Since there are pre-existing conditions, they are looking at nearly $600/month for medical bills, for being $150/mo over the line for Medicare.

    How again is the “PPACA” protecting them, and being affordable?

  13. bill says:

    @C. Clavin: how so, the numbers are within range and my girlfriends black.(really black, not “halfies” like obama)…deal with reality for a “change”.