Monday, March 26, 2007

Handicapping the Governor's Race

Well, Governor Blanco is out. She was a decent governor before Katrina, but then the wheels just fell off.

A lot of pundits out there are looking primarily at the failure of her Road Home program. While it isn't a shining example of success (or transparency in contracting), I think her failure is much more elemental. She made the one mistake no female chief executive can make: she was indecisive in a time of crisis. A note to any future female executive out there: in a time of crisis, you must channel Margaret Thatcher. Women executives must work twice as hard as men to combat the perception of weakness during times of crisis. That is sexist, but that's just the way things work, especially in a state like Louisiana.

Jindal was looking forward to election returns that would have been positively Soviet. I wouldn't be surprised if Jindal was already salivating over a possible cabinet post in 2008 or a later run at national office. And then things changed.

Now, he'll have to face one of the titans of Louisiana politics. The biggest question is whether or not he can run. I'm no expert, but I have a feeling that it won't be nearly the obstacle that some people are making it out to be.

Breaux will have to connect with a much younger voting pool. People my age or younger have never voted for him before and there are quite a few of us. He'll also have to campaign hard in St. Tammany Parish. For the rest of the state, all he'll probably have to do is distribute purple and gold "Geaux Breaux" bumper stickers and make sure he doesn't get Swift-boated.

Jindal's only hope is to slander Breaux with the "Politics of the Past" label (ask Nagin how, he knows how to do it). It's quite true that Breaux was VERY closely associated with some of the more 'colorful' politicians in the past, but, like the Landrieu clan or Harry Lee, has never gotten his nose dirty despite the close proximity. Is it a Teflon coating? Is he honest? That will be the deciding factor in the election.

Other challengers include Walter Oh-Noooo! Williams (another Ben Franklin alum - got to give him a plug) Walter Boasso and Foster Campbell (who could be the next Huey Long, but will more likely just get sidelined). Mitch or John Kennedy (who I have enormous respect for) could throw their hat into the ring if Breaux can't run or backs out at the last minute.

Another factor: this is either going to be the last open primary election or the first party primary election. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I can't remember which.

There's my take on things.

6 comments:

Leigh C. said...

I'm sorry - BFHS?

All I'm thinking is "Big Fucking High School".

Clay said...

Ben Franklin High School

Clay said...

Yeah, that doesn't read quite right now that I look at it again.

Leigh C. said...

Oh, DUH. Never mind.

Adrastos said...

The closed party primary will only apply to federal offices so it will kick in 2008.

JohnnyB said...

Clay,

Never really said what your take is, i.e. who will you be voting for.