Whether he’s present at them, the Louisiana gubernatorial debates have been all about Sen. David Vitter and his campaign strategy, as witnessed in the two most recent this week.
For the first and last time presumably this election cycle, statewide televised forums occurred on consecutive days, the first with Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, and state Rep. John Bel Edwards, and the second including them and Vitter. The events’ tones differed as a result.
Two things distinguished the first: the bland, technocratic presentation that lacked almost any ideological referents and almost as much discussion and referents made about Vitter by the other three. Knowing nothing else about the candidates or contest, one might have thought the Republicans Angelle and Dardenne and Democrat Edwards all were moderates of the same party as they differed by small degrees in their issues preferences as expressed there and almost went out of their way to avoid drawing distinctions on their core beliefs.