It’s the other shoe time dropping time with the final prong of the Rep. Charlie Melancon campaign emerging, possibly as part of a presumably coordinated effort with defeated Senate candidate Chet Traylor.
In his quest to take the seat held by incumbent Sen. David Vitter, the Democrat Melancon has found himself on the wrong side of most issues about which a majority of Louisianans care. Recognizing this, he has based his campaign almost entirely on attempted character assassination of the Republican Vitter, making thoughtful people wonder whether it’s worth putting such a petty, vituperative person that focuses most of his efforts attacking his opponent into such an office of great responsibility.
The unusual entrance of Republican Traylor into that party’s primary from the beginning smacked of an attempt to create a stalking horse working with Melancon against Vitter. With little organization, almost no money, and considerable political baggage himself, the only plausible explanation as to why Traylor would enter, and lose devastatingly, was as an excuse to intensify Melancon’s attack strategy against Vitter.
In particular, Traylor ran some ads thin on substance but long on personal attacks on Vitter, more extreme and explicit than previously had surfaced from the Melancon campaign or from allied Democrat organizations and affiliates. This level of venom has continued with new ads out designed to support Melancon by tearing down Vitter. Now, Melancon, who would have looked less statesman-like had he initiated these on his own in the past, can claim he’s simply repeating what other candidates already have articulated.
If Traylor was encouraged by backers of Melancon to enter the race, that was the main purpose, to provide this kind of cover for a campaign that will get nastier because that’s all Melancon has to offer. It reflects poor character on his part to permit such shenanigans to go forward, rather than conduct a campaign concentrating instead on issues of government spending, taxation, support of Democrats’ agenda, federal funding of abortion, and wasteful junkets.
But if polling data to date don’t change dramatically, it’s not working. Louisiana voters are more focused on issues, even if Melancon avoids them as well as his constituents, and this final descent into hate-filled politics that Democrats are making serves perhaps as the final validation of why in the next couple of months Americans will judge them unfit to run its national legislature, as well as illuminating Melancon’s deficient character.