The 6th District Congressional race is just getting started, but state Rep. Lenar Whitney is already making it clear that she’s not just running against her ten or so opponents. She’s also running against what she’s called the “lamestream media” — a pet phrase of Sarah Palin, Whitney’s apparent role model.
Whitney took to Twitter Friday to lash out at a reporter who handicaps Congressional races for the non-partisan Cook Political Report, alleging that he not only misrepresented what happened during her interview but that he’s out to get her.
“What @CookPolitical printed about me is an outright lie. I left interview w/ @Redistrict several ?s later, after he asked if I was a birther,” she wrote. “It was obvious from onset of the interview that @Redistrict had planned to jump me bc he is a liberal shill who despises conservative women.”
“@Redistrict” is actually a veteran journalist named David Wasserman, and this is what he wrote about Whitney in his 6th District roundup (the Cook Political Report is only available to paying subscribers).
While Dan Claitor, Paul Dietzel and Garret Graves round out the top GOP tier at this point, “the newest wild card in the race is state Rep. Lenar Whitney, a dance studio owner from Houma who hopes to rally the southern reaches of LA-06 (about 13 percent of the vote) and takes kindly to the moniker ‘Palin of the South.’ ”
“In late June, Whitney posted a YouTube video entitled ‘GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX’ in which she claims ‘any 10 year old’ can disprove the theory with a household thermometer. Shortly after being asked to explain how she arrived at her views in a recent interview with the Cook Political Report, she fled the room.
One neutral Louisiana observer admits that while Whitney is just as much of a loose cannon and potential embarrassment to the state as (Democratic former Gov. Edwin) Edwards, her over-the-top brand of provocation could sell with some elements of the party. Furthermore, her presence in the southern tentacle of the 6th CD could sap some votes from Graves, best known for his coastal restoration efforts. Still, at this juncture, Graves looks best-positioned,” Wasserman wrote.
Friday, Wasserman said Whitney’s the one who’s twisting things, particularly his attitude toward Republican women.
“I’ve interviewed many, many very conservative women and I’ve been impressed by many of them,” he said. “It’s fair to say she wasn’t one of the candidates who’s impressed us.”
Wasserman said he asked Whitney the same sorts of questions he asks male candidates, and that “it’s part of our standard procedure and our responsibility to gauge how candidates stand up to tough questioning. We believe that’s a pretty good indicator of how a candidate will perform in the race.” Although Whitney stuck to her claims about global warming, he said she “was unable to offer any evidence” despite repeated questions.
He said Whitney and her team did indeed leave after he asked whether she thought President Barack Obama was born in the United States, not immediately following the global warming exchange. Wasserman said he decided to ask “given her unusual positions on some other issues.”
“She replied that it was a matter of some controversy,” he said. Her aides objected and described the meeting as a “Palin-style interview,” he said, and Whitney ended the session.