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Monday, October 26, 2015

What others are saying about Louisiana's suddenly interesting gubernatorial race

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 5:33 PM


It's been almost 48 hours since the Louisiana governor's race got interesting — and statewide and national media are taking notice. A few samples of what the world is learning about politics in the Pelican State:

, "David Vitter lurches toward a humiliating defeat: A record of scandal and hypocrisy finally catches up to him"

Sean Illing explains the Louisiana "jungle primary" system and sums up the events of last week, including an explanation of why the auto accident in which Vitter was involved last Friday may be more than a simple fender bender. But Illing lays out the story and the players for a national audience (from a pro-Democrat point of view):
For months, David Vitter was the prohibitive frontrunner. He has name recognition, political clout, a plethora of cash, and a state whose demographics increasingly favor conservative Republicans. But this is a unique political climate. Jindal, one of the worst governors in the history of the state, has made toxic everything he touched, including the Republican brand. Running as a Republican gubernatorial candidate after Jindal was always going to be tricky. In addition to that, Vitter, as James Carville told Salon recently, is “one of the most flawed candidates in American politics.”

The Daily Beast
, "The Big Sleazy’s Insane Governor’s Race"

Writer Gideon Resnick calls GOP nominee David Vitter "a kind of dorky dad-figure who would fit perfectly in a Tim Allen sitcom role," and runs down the various stories of the last week: the candidates, the prostitute, the American Zombie, and the Big Chief vs. Spy Boy contretemps that took place last Friday on Metairie Road. 

Bob Mann, "I was wrong: John Bel Edwards can win the Louisiana governor’s race"

Journalist and political historian Robert Mann goes all mea culpa on his blog:
I’m not prepared to say that Edwards will be Louisiana’s next governor (let’s see a poll in about ten days, after Vitter, his super PAC and the Republican Governors’ Association dump a million or two in negative spots on him). But as of Sunday night, it is not hard to see how Edwards can defeat Vitter.
"All in all, I believe that if you could choose which candidate you’d rather be on Nov. 21, today you’d want to be John Bel Edwards," Mann concludes, adding, "That could change, of course. A month is a lifetime in politics."

VICE, "Meet the New Orleans Blogger Whose Story on Senator David Vitter's Alleged Love Child Could Derail His Campaign"

New Orleans writer Michael Patrick Welch introduces the VICE audience to Jason Brad Berry, aka The American Zombie.

"While many have uttered the phrase 'Vitter's political career is over,'" Welch writes, "Berry, with his new reporting, has the potential make that Louisiana dream into reality." He also gives Berry space to talk about New Orleans media:
"I don't trust any of the newspapers in this city," he said. "That doesn't mean I don't trust the reporters. We have incredible reporters in this city, but I don't trust the media entities they work for. I've been doing this for ten years and... What I have seen time and again is money and influence buying editorial control."
Whoever could he be ...

CenLamar, "David Vitter’s Animosities Carry Him Away"

At his blog, Lamar White Jr. puts the last week into a 10-year context:
In 2004, Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post worried that Louisiana politics was “slipping into the monotony of the mainstream.” At the time, former four-term governor Edwin Edwards was still in prison. The state had recently elected a moderate Democrat, Kathleen Blanco, over a relatively unknown wunderkind. You can’t blame Yardley for his assessment. ... In 2004, I imagine things in Louisiana seemed boring by comparison. But ten years after Hurricane Katrina and five years after the BP oil spill, there is nothing monotonous or mainstream about Louisiana politics. 
Things may have been in a lull, but after last week: We're back, baby.

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