I’m surprised Sen. Mary Landrieu has not done a better job of getting in front of the story about her campaign flights paid for with our tax dollars. The old-school method would say do what she did recently. If you have bad news, put it out yourself and do it on a Friday hoping to catch the lower-attention weekend news cycle. My guess is her opponents and others in the GOP won’t let her get off that easy. And I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot of TV commercials about this scandal before Election Day.
The first commercial should come from the senator herself. She should get it on the air for just a week. She should make a sincere apology to the people of Louisiana. She should say she’s already paid the money back, and she should ask for forgiveness. That will let her at least have some control of the story. And it gives her the added benefit of being able to answer future critics, at least on this topic, by saying something like “I made a mistake. I’ve paid the money back, and I bought commercials to apologize to the citizens of Louisiana.” And then there is the added benefit of that all being true. Chances are, if she buys such a schedule, she’ll get a lot of free media from those reporting that she bought a schedule to say “I’m sorry.”
When you make a mistake, people want to hear you apologize. So give the people what they want. A little humility goes a long way.
Maybe she doesn’t want to call attention to this mistake. Maybe she hopes the Friday news release will make it go away. I’m betting the GOP and its supporters have enough money to keep this story alive.
vice president, sales and marketing