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Democrats fantasize about Maness saving Landrieu

And so it’s come to this: if one of their leading avatars is indicative, Louisiana Democrats have become so pessimistic regarding Sen. Mary Landrieu’s chances for reelection that they place their faith in Republican candidate Rob Maness.

That comes from an opinion piece written by veteran operative James Carville, who has the honesty to admit in it that he provides aid and comfort to the Landrieu campaign. Not admitted, if he even realizes it, is that he is whistling in the wind like other observers who do not understand the serious trouble in which the campaign finds itself. Bluntly, the data and dynamics present at this time point to Landrieu’s losing.

Which perhaps explains why he mentions, in expounding upon four reasons why the contest should interest the attentive public, this:


GOP without good candidates faces CD 5 going bad

Rep. Vance McAllister, upon announcing a reversal of his previous decision not to run for reelection, in effect forced Democrats to make a decision and threw something into the Republican Party’s punchbowl.

This space being devoted to political analysis, it will eschew the more gossipy speculation about McAllister’s stated primary motivation for the turnaround, that his wife, whom he cuckolded some months ago, told him that the district’s constituents deserved his representation so that he should not unilaterally remove himself from their adulation. No doubt many a journal article will be written by marriage counseling professionals concerning the amazing speed at which this marriage found repair, the need for achieving this being the reason McAllister once gave for eschewing reelection, so that McAllister and his wife once again could tackle the unglamorous, penurious, and empty social life and standing that comes with being a Member of Congress and a spouse of one.

While comparisons between McAllister and Sen. David Vitter will get made in judging McAllister’s chances of success, the accurate ones will note the considerable dissimilarities. Vitter, who admitted to a “serious sin” believe to be consorting with prostitutes, made the announcement many years after the alleged last act, from which time he appeared to have behaved in this department without reproach. It also came after several years of service in Congress that his constituents on the whole found more than satisfactory, and three years before he ran for reelection.


EWE unchanged motives diverge from changed culture

No, Prisoner #03128-095 is not running for redemption and, barring a series of unlikely events, he’s not running to win. He’s running because that’s what he wants to do and what he is, and serves as a marker to the changing Louisiana political culture.

Months ago, when the former Gov. Edwin Edwards, after being a guest of the federal government for 102 months, launched his campaign for Congress, already noted then were his general reasons for running: as an attempt to make people’s last memory of him as a campaigner and politician that invites recounting of his past triumphs instead of as a pathetic felon; to assist Sen. Mary Landrieu’s reelection efforts by boosting turnout for her among his yellow-dog supporters (in theory; possibly this could backfire as those who feel acrimoniously about him may come to vote to levy a form of punishment and also vote disproportionately against her); and to boost his ego by providing another opportunity to treat (as many politicians do) every vote he receives as a sign of adulation for him as a human being. Redemption isn’t relevant; he has neither the wisdom nor self-awareness to accept what he did that got him put away in the slammer was wrong.

Nor should he, his campaign palaver aside, expect to win absent fantastic occurrences, such as making the runoff (probably the most likely do so as the only quality Democrat in the contest) and then having a Republican opponent get caught with a live boy or dead girl. He may whistle into the wind about raising more than a million dollars for the effort, but the only reason might come close is as an indirect means for others to give beyond limits to Landrieu.


Landrieu backup request carries future political risk

What happens on election day this fall may determine whether New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will be on the ballot in 2015, and must in part motivate a decision that easily could backfire to keep him from running for governor next year.

Last week, Landrieu put in a request to the state to supply New Orleans with 100 state troopers to police the city, in response to a horrific seemingly random shooting in the open in the French Quarter that left one dead and several injured. Legally, state policeman have jurisdiction anywhere in the state and Landrieu was taking advantage of a power often invoked by past governors at local officials’ requests. However, given manpower constraints, the state will provide only 50 through Labor Day. This past holiday weekend 30 already were there.

Word that at a major worldwide tourist mecca without warning one could catch a bullet will travel fast, and it doesn’t exactly thrill the residents and workers there that random bullets fly about the area (I used to live just down the block from where it happened), so undoubtedly Landrieu’s action was designed to allay fears of a major industry which contributes mightily to the city’s coffers as well as to constituents. But the event and subsequent request also may have a more political motive, to build support for a tax increase on Orleanians, its path to reality beginning with a statewide referendum this November.