The two faces of Mary

Louisiana’s Obama-loving black citizens represent Mary Landrieu’s best hope for reelection to the Senate seat Landrieu holds. They are Mary’s prayer. But she can’t win only with their votes. She also needs the votes of a substantial percentage of Obama-disapproving white voters. Mary’s prayer must include a message intended for their ears. The two faces of Mary’s prayer are in tension. Indeed, they are unreconcilable.

Politico’s James Hohmann catches the two faces of Mary’s prayer at the top of his report:

Depending on whose vote she’s after, Mary Landrieu either stands with Barack Obama — or hardly knows the guy.

The Louisiana Democrat, who is trailing in the polls ahead of Saturday’s Senate runoff, has been quietly running ads on urban radio stations that criticize the GOP’s treatment of the country’s first black president, while her aides and surrogates have boasted to predominantly black audiences of how often she’s supported him.

Meanwhile, when addressing mostly white audiences, Landrieu has been adamant that the election has nothing to do with Obama, and that she can think for herself.

“He’s not for Keystone; I am,” she said during a televised debate Monday night. “He shut down oil and gas drilling; we all are for it.”

Hohmann returns to the first face of Mary’s prayer:

In a 60-second spot that emerged Monday, Rep. Cedric Richmond, a black congressman who represents the New Orleans area, warns that the GOP will impeach Obama if Landrieu’s Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy, wins this weekend.

“They have shown our president so much disrespect,” Richmond says. “They said he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, they even sued him and, if Cassidy wins, they will impeach him. …The president needs you to have his back now more than ever.”

The pro-Obama radio ad was first reported by BuzzFeed. Landrieu’s campaign did not circulate it to the press, and a spokesman declined to comment on the record for this story.

Landrieu’s chief of staff, meanwhile, bragged to a roomful of African-Americans at a recent event that his boss votes with Obama 97 percent of the time and will continue to support the president’s agenda if reelected, according to a hidden-camera video released by the Black Conservatives Fund.

“…If he can’t finish his agenda because he doesn’t have people like Mary Landrieu with him, then our votes don’t matter,” Donald Cravins, the chief of staff, says, according to a transcript provided by the group. “She will go on to support Barack Obama 97 percent of the time.”

And the president himself joined Landrieu on a Monday conference call with supporters to offer a formal endorsement. He called her “an outstanding advocate on behalf of Louisiana working families every step of the way,” according to a tweet from the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Hohmann links to the hidden-camera video referred to above. Here is the video of Landrieu’s chief of staff speaking to a black audience prior to the primary, swearing Landrieu’s fealty to Obama:

Hohmann has much more on the two faces of Mary. The two faces strongly suggest that Mary’s prayer includes a plea that applies to all Louisiana voters regardless of race. She also prays that voters don’t see her two faces.