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|Million-dollar homes and manicured lawns|
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has one issue working in her favor in a big way in her campaign for a third, six-year term.
More specific, seniority.
With some 12 years under her belt as a member of the most exclusive club in the world, Landrieu, a life-long Democrat, can easily argue that it would be somewhat foolish for voters to toss her out of office in this fall's elections when she faces state Treasurer John Kennedy, who's being backed big-time by the national and state Republican parties.
While it appeared not long ago that Louisiana had evolved into a true "Red" state, or a Republican enclave, that prevailing opinion was dismissed when Democrat Don Cazayoux prevailed in a special election against Woody Jenkins, a hard-core Republican, in the 6th District congressional race.
Not many people believed a Democrat could get elected in the Baton Rouge-based 6th. A Republican has held the seat since the 1970s.
Cazayoux, though, successfully painted himself as a conservative Democrat who would put the people first and politics second if he was elected to succeed Richard Baker, who retired from politics to become a highly paid lobbyist. Cazayoux also scored by labeling Jenkins as an extremist, who was cut from the same cloth as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Thus, it raises the question, or questions.
Is Louisiana not as conservative as we thought?
Or are Democrats making a comeback in the Deep South, promising voters along the way that they'll take care of Main Street USA first and downtown Baghdad second?
Yet, the official party support for Kennedy in his bid to unseat Landrieu doesn't necessarily mean all Republicans are supporting him.
From most accounts, that much was evident Sunday night at a fundraiser for Landrieu at Bill and Vickie Krutzer's home on River Oaks Drive in the oh-so chic River Oaks subdivision in north Monroe.
That's Republican country.
Million-dollar homes, manicured lawns and a private tennis club, which is where one might find Bill Krutzer if one were looking for him.
Bill Krutzer, though, isn't what we would describe as a party animal.
Politically speaking, that is.
Instead, he's more inclined, politically, to stick with an incumbent, regardless of party affiliation.
Many successful businessmen like Bill Krutzer feel the same way.
That helps explain why scores of Republican businessmen and women across Louisiana have committed to supporting Landrieu's bid for a third term. They either believe the state can't afford to lose Landrieu's seniority on Capitol Hill or they aren't too excited about Kennedy.
Take your pick.
But seniority in a place like Washington doesn't mean squat to true conservatives, who, in many instances, will cast a vote for the candidate with an "R" beside his or her name over a Democrat any day of the week. They're true believers.
That's the constituency Kennedy, who used to be a Democrat, must win over before he ever entertains a thought of courting moderate voters, who will decide the Senate race come November.
If moderate voters play it safe and stick with the incumbent, Landrieu is a shoe-in for re-election.
If the moderates latch on to the idea that change is for the better, we'll be calling him Sen. Kennedy come January.
And the boys and girls living in million-dollar homes with manicured lawns will have bet on the wrong horse.
It won't be first time they did.