Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Gubernatorial Games

I have written a couple of posts about the Louisiana Gubernatorial race before. Initially, I commented when Governor Blanco announced that she would not run. I then had some things to say about the possibility that John Breaux would run for the position and the Republican objections on the grounds of eligibility. There has now been another twist in this saga. Breaux recently announced that he will not be running, after all.

The following statement can be found at www.johnbreaux07.com:

"I said I would be guided by the Attorney General's opinion and therefore will not be a candidate for Governor. For me to run now means that we would face a campaign based on an eligibility to run, with the prospects of being in a courtroom only weeks before the election. That is not in the best interest of our state or what this election should be about."

This is an interesting turn of events. With both Blanco and Breaux currently out of the running (remember, things can change), there does not appear to be a strong Democratic candidate for the position of Louisiana Governor. As there is a strong Republican candidate, namely Bobby Jindal, it seems that if things do not change, then it would appear that the election is being conceded by the Democrats. Why might this state of affairs be permitted?

There are several possibilities. It could be the case that the Democrats have decided that, as they have no strong candidate, they will save their money and energy for other contests. Somehow, this seems to be an option with minimal plausibility, but it could be what is going on.

Another possibility is that either Breaux, or Blanco may have a change of heart. This appears to be a slightly more plausible scenario. The thinking could be that Blanco's chances were limited, with the possibility of Breaux in the wings. Now, Breaux has been ruled out, she may change her mind and decide to run after all. Stranger things have happened. It would be a strange set of events, but who knows.

It could be that another strong Democratic candidate will suddenly be thrust forward. The problem with this is finding plausible candidates to play this role. The one person who might stand is Mitch Landrieu. He currently holds the position of Lieutenant Governor. He improbably and possibly disastrously lost the Mayoral election in New Orleans, against Ray Nagin. However, there has been no indication that he might be interested in running for the top State job. Of course, there may be other strong candidates, but they have yet to make their intentions known.

Perhaps there is something that the Democrats know, or suspect, that will change things radically. One possibility that does come to mind is that the upcoming hurricane season will produce another devastating storm. As things stand, it is looking like it will be another bad season. Perhaps the thinking is that a bad storm before the elections in October, in which Blanco performs well, might give her the basis for a late run for re-election. Alternatively, the thought may be that if there is another bad storm, nobody in their right mind would want to be Governor of Louisiana. Thus, Jindal may win with a walk, but it could turn out to be a poison pill. However, it does seem unlikely that the politicians would be betting their futures on questionable weather forecasts.

One thing that is for sure, this being Louisiana, there will be some more surprises with this race. It is too early to tell where the next twist will come. However, it is a safe bet that the story of this Gubernatorial race is very far from over. So, as I have recommended before on this topic, keep watching this space!

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Update: Today, Mitch Landrieu announced that he will not be running for the Office of Governor. He will be running again for his current post of Lieutenant Governor. Oh well, so much for my 'crystal ball'.

The CP

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