It's a bit early for politicians to be creating distance between themselves and their party's presidential candidate, is it not?
Whether it's because of a (cough, cough) "clerical error" or an exercise in political self-defense, Louisiana Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu has done that.
But in a report early this afternoon, Associated Press writer Melinda Deslatte was curiously incurious (saved at host for future reference) as to why Landrieu might be concerned about being tied too closely to the Illinois senator. Instead, Deslatte turned her report into an exercise in charge-trading between the incumbent and her Republican challenger, the deliciously named John Kennedy:
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who faces a tough re-election, has had her name removed from a fundraiser announcement for presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Landrieu will attend the "Lipstick, Laughter and Libations" fundraiser for Barack Obama at a Washington restaurant next week, but she won't help host it.
Landrieu's campaign said her name only was added to the online announcement of the fundraiser on Obama's Web site as a mistake. Her Republican opponent's campaign said she is trying to keep her distance from her party's presidential candidate and removed her name after they pointed it out.
"She was never scheduled to host," said Landrieu campaign spokesman Scott Schneider. "She is attending, and there was some sort of clerical error in which somebody said she was hosting, but she is not."
A spokesman for Landrieu's GOP opponent, John Kennedy, said he believes the senator removed her name because she doesn't want to be too closely connected with Obama in Louisiana, which has trended Republican in federal elections.
Deslatte didn't investigate why Landrieu might be worried about hosting Obama. Why, one would think that she would be doing anything she could to be a host.
The Louisiana senator's concern, simply stated, is most likely this: Barack Obama is radically proabortion; Louisiana is not.
In 2002, in a contentious re-election battle, Landrieu was so concerned about abortion being her undoing that she reversed her previous position on partial-birth abortion and came out in favor of a ban.
The radical feminist organization Emily's List, which insists that all of its endorsed candidates "back abortion rights, including the right to late-term (or ‘partial birth’) abortions; be a Democrat; and, in primary elections, be a woman," had supported Landrieu's candidacy in 1996. In 2002, the group renounced their support:
The organization was heavily credited with getting Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., elected in 1996 in the closest Senate race in the country that year. But the PAC withdrew its support after Landrieu came out for a ban on controversial late-term abortions, referred to by opponents as 'partial birth' abortions.
But Barack Obama isn't "merely" a clear supporter of reinstating partial-birth abortion now that the US Supreme Court has ruled the federal law prohibiting the practice constitutional.
Obama, as an Illinois state senator, even voted down a bill (HT Michelle Malkin; paper trail index here) to “protect live-born survivors of abortion - even after the (senate) panel had amended the bill to contain verbatim language, copied from a federal bill passed by Congress without objection in 2002, explicitly foreclosing any impact on abortion.”
You read that right.
Given the Illinois Senator's positions and Louisiana's still-strong Catholic constituency, it's understandable why Landrieu would have wanted to avoid being the host of his fundraiser, whether her name "somehow" got included because of a (cough, cough) "clerical error" or not.
Instead, Deslatte's readers are left to wonder what the fuss is all about. Her readers deserved to know, or to at least be made aware of some possibilities. But the AP writer, like so many of her wire service colleagues, let them down.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.