Embattled Senator Mary Landrieu is in trouble, and Tuesday’s vote on the Keystone XL pipeline approval might be her last chance to convince Louisiana voters that her representation in Washington is worth their vote.

Challenger Bill Cassidy is up 16 points and by all accounts headed for a landslide win over the incumbent Democrat, who has come under fire from all sides but her own for not representing the interests of her home state. Landrieu’s last-ditch effort to push for a vote on the pipeline looks more and more desperate, (at last count she had only 59 votes backing the project,) seeing as how the President would have to throw himself under the bus in order to stand behind Landrieu and green light the project.

Via Fox News:

Most political analysts think Landrieu’s effort to win a fourth term by trying to show voters in oil-rich Louisiana how much she supports Keystone is a lost cause, with reports of Washington Democrats pulling out and polls showing Cassidy ahead by double digits.

South Dakota GOP Sen. John Thune said on “Fox News Sunday” the vote will be a “cynical attempt to save a Senate seat in Louisiana,” considering Reid has blocked the vote for years.

President Obama appears to be giving every indication that he will veto the bill, repeatedly saying the only way the $8 billion pipeline can be approved is after the completion of a long-stalled State Department review. There is also the pending outcome of a legal challenge to the pipeline’s route through Nebraska.

And during his recent trip to Australia for an economic summit Obama said: “I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices.”

The media may be willing to run preliminary defense against a presidential veto, but members of her own party haven’t been willing to stand by and let the token vote gain meaning:

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told “Fox News Sunday” that he hopes Obama will veto the bill, considering the oil is “the filthiest fuel on the planet.”

Whitehouse said he thinks the new Senate Republican majority “has long despised and denigrated this president and if they can roll him I think they would like to.”

The only person who has anything to lose here is Landrieu, and it’s not looking like any of her colleagues seem particularly motivated to step up and let her “take the lead” on what would otherwise be a piece of legacy legislation.

Reid is allowing the vote, but there’s no way he’d be doing that unless he were confident in an eventual veto. Obama is a lame duck who just lost his Senate majority, so I doubt he cares either way; saving Landrieu won’t save his majority, so while he won’t work with Reid to stop the vote, he’s definitely not going to applaud politely while Landrieu attempts to bail herself out of a hopeless runoff situation.

On the other hand, this is win/win for Republicans, who now have a chance to rubber stamp an energy program and then watch Obama massacre his own caucus with his infamous pen.


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