Lenar Whitney is getting famous, but not in the way she wanted. The Louisiana Republican is a state representative and is running for Congress in an open race in her state. Whitney describes herself as very conservative.
“Several people have asked me to run for this seat because I have one of the most conservative voting records in the Louisiana House,” she says on her campaign website.
“I fully intend to join the growing ranks of conservatives in Congress and I think that is something people can count on, from my past performance. I think that’s the main reason people are calling for me to run.”
Whitney is a former dance studio owner. She proudly claims to have a concealed carry permit, is a lifetime NRA member, and likes it when people call her the “Palin of the South.” Little could she know how apt that nickname would become. Ordinarily, attention to a Congressional hopeful would be welcome. But Whitney made it into the Washington Post under less-than-favorable circumstance.
It seems that Whitney was sitting for an interview with David Wasserman, the House editor at the Cook Political Report, a major election-forecasting group. Partway through the interview Wasserman asked Whitney some questions based on a political ad she had put out claiming that global warming was a hoax.
Wasserman describes Whitney’s response to his questions about her video.
“[I]t’s not unreasonable to expect candidates to explain how they arrived at their positions, and when I pressed Whitney repeatedly for the source of her claim that the earth is getting colder, she froze and was unable to cite a single scientist, journal or news source to back up her beliefs.”
Given Whitney’s controversial stance on climate-change, Wasserman asked her another question.
"To change the subject, I asked whether she believed Obama was born in the United States. When she replied that it was a matter of some controversy, her two campaign consultants quickly whisked her out of the room, accusing me of conducting a ‘Palin-style interview.’ ”
Whitney’s advisers were no doubt referring to the two interviews with Charlie Rose and Katie Couric that haunted Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential race, where she could not name what newspapers she regularly read or discuss such basic political concepts as George Bush’s policy of preemptive military engagement.
Following her walkout, Whitney herself took to Facebook, also a Palin favorite, and cried foul about the interview.
“It was obvious, from the onset of the interview, that Wasserman had planned to jump me simply because I am a Conservative Woman and liberal shills like Dave Wasserman want to destroy us.”
Commenters on Whitney’s Facebook page were not letting her off that easily, especially Republicans.
"Ms. Whitney. The Cook Report is about as even as it gets in terms of DC reporting. Your advisors need to be replaced, walking out of that interview was a poor choice. BTW, I am a lifetime GOP voter!”
"It's idiots like you that ruin any chances for the Republicans. If you are ill informed, just drop out and let someone qualified have a shot at it.”
"Oh hell no, lady. Don't make yourself into a feminist martyr for simply not interviewing well. Keep us women out of it!”
"He asked you two straightforward questions regarding issues that you or other members of your political party have made part of the national conversation. Shame on you for ducking them.”
“The easiest way to clear this up would be to post your positions on global climate change and the birthplace of the President of the United States.”
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
— Lenar Whitney (@LenarWhitney) July 25, 2014
Image via Lenar Whitney Facebook Page