Political parties don’t cast anybody aside, with the exception of the very rare David Duke, but there are not many well-known politicians in the state that would be an odder fit than Ieyoub to the GOP. He’s no U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, who was a card-carrying conservative who criticized the GOP mildly in the years up to his switch. Instead, Ieyoub as recently as his failed gubernatorial run in 2003 did things such as:
This doesn’t count such rhetoric from previous campaigns but, suffice to say, except for a pro-life view, Ieyoub definitely does not fit the Republican profile. Party chairman Richard Villere has voiced noncommittal remarks about this, as well he should. Such a switch would do little to aid the party, and promises of assistance to Ieyoub for a switch need not be considered at all.
Given his past, Ieyoub only could be interested in running for governor in 2007 or U.S. Senator in 2006 and he could possibly pick off a few votes from the Democrat incumbents by doing so. But the party would have to guard against the distraction Ieyoub might create regarding “true” GOP candidates in these races. Since both Blanco and Sen. Mary Landrieu look vulnerable and are not likely to draw opposition from the left, it would be better to have the party work to clear the field as it did concerning Sen. David Vitter’s 2004 run and removing GOP competitors for these contests.
This strategy will work because of quality candidates have begun surfacing within Republicans ranks. With more quality, homegrown GOP politicians out there now where it seemed just a few years ago the best the party could do to win statewide office was to send out a RINO, it would serve the party and its conservative base ill to do anything in addition to welcoming Ieyoub on board if he chooses that, and just leaving it at that.