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July 28, 2014 1:09 PM Something About Mary

By Ed Kilgore

I wrote earlier today that the bad image of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce among conservative activists might have been a significant factor in the defeat of Georgia Senate candidate Jack Kingston, whom the Chamber backed heavily after earlier being at the center of the Thad Cochran Conspiracy in Mississippi. If this report via the New York Times’ Joe Nocera is accurate, wingnut hatred of the Chamber will know no bounds:

At the most recent Committee of 100 [the heads of trade associations and regional Chamber groups] meeting, Rob Engstrom, the chamber’s national political director, told the group that the chamber planned to support Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat who is running for re-election to the Senate.

TPM’s Daniel Strauss got a non-committal answer from the Chamber when he followed up on this report. If the group hasn’t actually made a commitment to Landrieu, I’m sure the sun, moon and stars will immediately fall on it from Republicans infuriated at this potential “betrayal.” Though the Chamber has long backed “pro-business” Democrats (including Landrieu), that hasn’t much happened since Tom Donahue decided to go all-in with the GOP heading into the 2010 cycle.

It would be highly ironic if the Chamber does support Landrieu and her race winds up deciding control of the Senate (either in November or in a December runoff). Either way it went, the mighty business lobby would look a mite foolish.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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