Will Former Senator John Breaux Run For Governor of Louisiana?
(image via cspanarchives)
On Chris Matthews' "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" segment he made the intriguing prediction that former Senator John Breaux, currently a wealthy lobbyist, may be drafted to run for Governor of Louisiana in the 2007 Democratic primary, against the embattled Katherine Blanco. According to BayouBuzz:
"With U.S. Senator David Vitter�s withdrawal from the 2007 Governor�s race, the stage is set for Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-Kenner) to take on Kathleen Blanco in a rematch of the 2003 contest. In the last race, the Democrat Blanco dispatched Jindal in a 52-48% vote. Much has been made of the fact that Jindal�s Indian heritage likely cost him votes in certain conservative areas of the state.
"... A few years are an eternity in politics and if the race were held today, Jindal would be the overwhelming favorite. He has performed admirably since Katrina and Rita, working hard for his state, traveling across Louisiana, and visiting with victims of the hurricanes. Jindal has been pushing a conservative agenda in Congress, but one that is decidedly pro-Louisiana. He has worked tirelessly for more recovery funding for the state and is sponsoring legislation to give Louisiana a larger share of offshore oil and gas revenues. He has not hesitated to criticize the Bush administration when warranted, most recently in the controversy over a United Arab Emirates owned company controlling port operations in cities like New Orleans.
"In contrast, Blanco has been extremely lackluster since Katrina. Her leadership has been uninspiring, and her agenda has been flawed. Her relations with the Bush White House have never been good, harming Louisiana�s chances for strong administration support. In the latest SurveyUSA poll, Blanco has only a 32% approval rating, the third lowest among the country�s governors."
The demographics of Louisiana, as any politics geek will tell you, have changed radically as a result of Hurricane Katrina. A huge segment of the African-American middle class has left Louisiana. So have New Orleans' poor population that, ostensibly, also voted Democrat. The close margins of Blanco's 52-48 victory may be a thing of the past, as may be any future Democratic Party victories in the Bayou. Enter: John Breaux:
"Right now, leading Democrats are desperately searching for another candidate. Commissioner of Agriculture Bob Odom is trying to convince former Senator John Breaux to make the race. But why would Breaux and his wife want to give up their comfortable lifestyle in Washington D.C. to return to hurricane ravaged Louisiana and deal with plenty of difficult problems? Breaux is a high priced lobbyist who has lived in the nation�s capital for decades. Would he be willing to return home to face a mountain of troubles during such a challenging time? Since leaving his Senate position, Breaux has been practically invisible, not taking a leading role in the recovery efforts from the hurricanes. He would indeed be a stronger candidate than Blanco, but not a sure bet in a state that is tending more Republican since the Katrina evacuation."