Sunday, December 08, 2002

Wow, Queen of the Spite Girls, Katherine Seelye, spins the Landrieu win against Bush.

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 7 — In a rebuff to President Bush's political power and personal prestige, Louisiana voters today rejected Suzanne Haik Terrell, his hand-picked candidate, and retained Senator Mary L. Landrieu, a freshman Democrat, leaving unbroken the Democrats' 130-year-old monopoly on Louisiana's two Senate berths in Washington.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Senator Landrieu had 627,253 votes, or 51 percent, and Ms. Terrell had 591,791, or 49 percent. Ms. Terrell conceded late tonight.

While surveys had shown this $11 million race to be a dead heat, many analysts had believed that Ms. Terrell, whose campaign was engineered and fueled by the White House, had the momentum going into today's runoff election, which was needed because of Ms. Landrieu's failure to win 50 percent of the vote in November.

Aided by warm, clear weather, the Landrieu campaign succeeded in pulling out enough African-American voters to counter Ms. Terrell's overwhelming support among white voters, a strong commitment from the national Republican Party and a last-minute attempt to discourage blacks from going to the polls.

Candy Crowley, on the other hand, appeared suicidal on CNN.

UPDATE: There's a mysterious disappearing and reappearing paragraph in that article. Was there, then gone, now back again:

With a last-minute outcropping of anti-Landrieu signs, the Republicans did their best to suppress the black vote so crucial to Ms. Landrieu's fortunes. The new signs, paid for by the Louisiana Republican Party, said: "Mary: If you don't respect us, don't expect us." The quotation was from a popular black official, State Senator Cleo Fields, who had initially been cool to Ms. Landrieu's candidacy because she had not supported his bid for governor and because he believed that she was taking the black vote for granted. Mr. Fields later endorsed Ms. Landrieu.The Republicans paid black youths $75 today to hold the signs aloft on street corners in black neighborhoods. After the signs appeared, the Landrieu field operation, captained by Donna Brazile, an expert in get-out-the-vote efforts, asked Mr. Fields to tape a telephone message that could be speed-dialed into thousands of black homes across the state to prod voters to the polls. He did so.