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Sibling Defense


  Don't diss a man's sister. That seems to be the message from Mayor Mitch Landrieu to U.S. Sen. David Vitter. In a statement issued Oct. 12 in response to the lifting of the deepwater-drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, the mayor concluded, "We thank Senator Mary Landrieu, Congressman Charlie Melancon, and our congressional delegation for working hard on our behalf to end the moratorium."

  Among the "congressional delegation" is Sen. Landrieu's counterpart, Sen. David Vitter, who has made his opposition to the moratorium (and, indeed, any proposal by President Barack Obama) a cornerstone of his re-election campaign. There's no love lost between the senators on a personal level, but things usually stay at a low boil, erupting only occasionally, as when Sen. Landrieu insisted on a $300 million Medicaid appropriation before throwing her support behind Obama's health care plan.

  Though the appropriation was supported tacitly by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, Vitter denounced the plan on the Senate floor as the "Louisiana Sellout," and within days talk-show hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh referred to Mary Landrieu as a "prostitute" — earning rebukes from politicians on both sides of the aisle, though Vitter refused to come to her defense, infuriating Landrieu's office. With his pointed omission of Vitter, however, it's clear the senator's brother has not forgotten ... or forgiven. — Kevin Allman

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