President Barack Obama has quietly endorsed the re-election of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu — an apparent attempt to increase African-American turnout as polls show Landrieu headed towards defeat in Louisiana’s run-off election this weekend.
Obama offered his endorsement in a campaign conference call, the Washington Examiner reported Monday. The president called Landrieu “an outstanding advocate on behalf of Louisiana working families every step of the way,” according to a tweet from one participant in the call.
The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Landrieu losing to GOP challenger Bill Cassidy by 15.7 points. The run-off is set to take place Saturday, Dec. 6.
The endorsement seems to be a Hail Mary on Landrieu’s part: Obama remains deeply unpopular in Louisiana, where Republicans have run negative ads tying the senator to the president, which would explain why Landrieu’s campaign has not advertised the president’s support.
Like other vulnerable Democrats who used racially-tinged tactics this year to get black voters to the polls, the Landrieu campaign is running a radio ad of a black congressman lamenting the “crazy stuff” that “Republicans are always saying about President Obama.” Though Republicans say there is no chance of it happening, Landrieu’s campaign claims the GOP will impeach Obama if that happens.
“They have shown our president so much disrespect,” the ad says of Republicans. “They said he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, they even sued him – and if Cassidy wins, they will impeach him.”