As we enter December 2018, in the land of Louisiana politics, there are two certainties:
No. 1: US Senator John Kennedy is not running for Louisiana governor.
No. 2: The Democratic Party seems as if they could not be happier, for now. The GOP bench of gubernatorial hopefuls is woefully thin.
Exit stage left, US Senator John Kennedy in his bid to be the next Louisiana Governor.
Despite being in a strong position to capture the Governor's mansion, today In a press release, Kennedy stated he won’t run for governor, despite currently leading the current governor in a one on one poll by Bernie Pinsonat over Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards. Kennedy led Edwards in that poll by four points, 49-45 percent. Kennedy had a favorable rating of 61% whereas Edwards rated 60%.
Kennedy is the junior US Senator but has made a strong impact on the cable news circuits due in part to his southern folksy quips.
Steve Scalise, the Republican House Whip from the 1st Congressional District of Louisiana, who was shot during a baseball practice last year, is the leading candidate for Speaker of the House, as per the most recent Politico, Morning Consult poll.
Scalise has not declared his candidacy for the position as he has supported the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, but indicated that he might run if McCarthy did not. According to this poll, Scalise might want to keep the gavel warm as McCarthy is at bottom of pack.
No Speaker of the House has come from Louisiana, although we have been close. There was Hale Boggs, who was pegged for that position before being killed in an airplane crash. Then, a casualty from the Monica Lewinsky days, Bob Livingston opted not to take the seat and instead, abruptly retired from Congress.
Louisiana Congressman, Steve Scalisse for US Congress's Speaker of the House of Representatives? Is that a possibility? As of this morning, what was once a rumor is now a serious discusson since current speaker Paul Ryan has decided not to run for re-election this fall, leaving a leadership vacuum.
So, as Jim Brown and Christopher Tidmore and I were readying to discuss the Louisiana legislative session via Bayoubuzz’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube LIVE, this morning, opportunity suddenly arose to shift gears and focus upon the “hot” and significant national news that could have a huge local impact.
As of now, what is the shape of the Louisiana political waterfront?
This was the gist of a series of questions I asked political analyst and pollster Bernie Pinsonat during a Facebook and Twitter live video conference we held on Wednesday.
If you’ve been anywhere near a television set lately, whether in Baton Rouge or Boca Raton, you probably have watched that man with the wry grin, slow southern drawl, high-pitch voice answering questions about why he dissected the Trump judicial nominee, why he’s “fer or agin” tax reform, or whether the Russian probe is a worthwhile endeavor.
We're roughly two years away from either re-electing John Bel Edwards for Louisiana Governor or selecting his successor. Louisiana, being that dark blood-rich red state comprising a majority of Democrats under Republican dominance, will have a choice. Does it follow the rest of the Deep South and elect only Republicans for major statewide office or, does it buck the trend once again, and back the Democrat incumbent?
How important are endorsements by elected officials in the upcoming New Orleans Mayor’s race runoff?
Maybe not much, but it could all depend.