Search This Blog


Stunts, attacks only tools left for desperate Melancon

At first glance, with big issues of the day including economic revival, a push by the White House to radically overhaul health care insurance provision, and dealing with ruinous spending endorsed by the Democrat majority, that a fundraising letter by his opponent is the issue Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon spends his time and energy on might surprise folks. But that would misunderstand his Senate campaign strategy in his quest to knock off Republican incumbent Sen. David Vitter.

Recently, Vitter sent out a fundraising letter that, by its described appearance, would be the mirror-image of the Great Seal of the United States. A Melancon campaign operative requested a Senate ethics investigation of its use, even though Senate ethics rules technically just reiterate the relevant statute which reads that knowing display of the seal “or any facsimile thereof” would be a violation. By the letter of the law, since Vitter’s is not an exact copy, there is no violation. If there were, Melancon’s campaign would have asked for Vitter’s prosecution.

Combine this with the fact that when Pres. Barack Obama did something similar during his campaign to which Melancon did not raise objections that this situation is described accurately by Vitter as “frivolous.” So why is Melancon wasting the Senate’s time on a campaign stunt?

Because it is an integral part of a campaign strategy that will have to do something special to resuscitate Melancon’s terminal hopes of winning. He is down massively in the polls because the only major issues on which the finds himself in agreement with the Louisiana public are those with which he agrees with Vitter. On those important positions where he disagrees with Vitter, the public solidly is on Vitter’s side. There is no way to defeat an incumbent given these dynamics.

Unless he can attack Vitter’s character. Thus, the entire strategy of the Melancon campaign has been to obscure issues and his points of agreement with the deeply-unpopular Obama by trying to make Vitter seem unethical and thereby Melancon the only candidate deserving of a vote. This has stemmed from Vitter’s admission some three years ago that he committed a “serious sin” presumably connected to a prostitution service.

With assistance from willing allies among Democrats and other interested parties, for months a broad offensive has taken shape where anything imaginable that could make Vitter look unethical has been thrown against the proverbial campaign wall, hoping that any of it will stick or that enough accumulates to cause a decidedly negative turn of public opinion towards Vitter.

But nothing like that works not only because none of it is convincing but also because Vitter has run a very issue-oriented campaign that has given the voting public what it wants with so many pressing matters in play while Melancon has stuck almost exclusively to personal attacks on Vitter. The only new thing about it all is that the charges levied by Melancon’s campaign are straining credulity further than ever.

Yet don’t expect them to stop coming. Desperate men do desperate things, and that Melancon’s campaign continues in this direction shows its sense of desperation only is escalating.

No comments: