Saturday, October 03, 2015

That'll show 'em

I hope the kids have been enjoying their little in-jokes.
“Off the top of my head, I couldn’t cite you Title 14,” Vitter began his answer Monday night. “I don’t know exactly what it says. But given that Jay Dardenne knows exactly what it’s about, this question was obviously planted as a gotcha question at me.”

He repeated the accusation: “It’s a gotcha question, not a good public debate question for a discussion about the future of Louisiana. So let’s all recognize what’s going on here and what it’s all about. I’ve spoken about my past and how my family has dealt with that, actions from 15 years ago and how me and my family have dealt with that. I’m very happy and very proud to say we’ve dealt with it just fine. If that’s not good enough for you, then that’s not good enough for you. But it is for Wendy [his wife] and it is for our family. It is for us. I really don’t appreciate the games and the gotcha question planted on behalf of my opponents.”

The question came from one of several asked by Anna Friedberg, a criminal defense attorney representing the Orleans chapter of the Alliance for Good Government.

That was the Orleans chapter’s question,” Friedberg said afterward, suppressing a giggle at the idea that they had coordinated the question with the Dardenne campaign.
Whooo aren't we all so naughty! Well, okay, Vitter is clearly the naughty boy here. But that's the problem. Everyone seems to think it's the height of cleverness to fixate on that.  You did it. You got in your little snarky joke. And, of course, Vitter (the guy who wears the diapers) made you look like children for doing it. Because that's what always happens when this comes up.

More importantly, it makes you look like you have nothing of substance to say about Vitter in opposition.  Never mind that Governor Vitter's approach to next year's state budget would preserve all of the worst of Bobby Jindal's tax giveaways to Vitter's allies in the business and oil and gas lobbies. Never mind that Vitter moved to protect his backers in the oil industry from liability even while the Macondo well was still bleeding into the Gulf.   Last month in a statement to a House Natural Resources Commitee hearing, Vitter attacked safety rules aimed at preventing another Macondo type accident, as "a regulatory avalanche coming from the Obama Administration aimed at oil and gas."

Thus far, Vitter's opponents, the various PACs funding their advertising, and the commenters and bloggers promoting their campaigns have steered far away from criticizing Vitter on these issues choosing instead to focus on the prostitution scandal.  I've never understood what goes through the minds of people who write about elections specifically with the purpose of helping a candidate anyway. But in this case, I really have to wonder who it is they think they are helping.

Here's an article by  Jeremy Alford on how the dynamics of the open primary make for "unlikely alliances" among the candidates.
We’re only talking about loose alliances here, forged not by admiration but rather by necessity. Together, in both instances, they offer each other not only protection, but also paths to victory.

Vitter and Edwards are certainly the odd couple out of this set. Vitter’s best shot at becoming the next governor is with Edwards by his side in the runoff, if you believe the polls and the senator’s boosters. That’s because, on paper at least, a Democrat running statewide against a Republican has major hurdles to overcome in conservative Louisiana. 

But Vitter isn’t exactly the Louisiana Republican archetype. He has problems, most notably his “serious sin” from 2007. His opponents, reporters and independent expenditure groups are dumping negatives on him at a constant clip now, dredging up stories that Vitter undoubtedly hoped would remain buried. If the attacks continue to flow and somehow resonate in a meaningful way, Edwards’ supporters believe they can turn the tide and make the impossible possible.
Edwards wants to face Vitter in the runoff because he is the only Republican he could possibly beat. A PPP poll released September 23rd says Vitter is "badly damaged and highly vulnerable" in a runoff.  Here's why.

Second choice

Nobody likes David Vitter. Even supporters of Angelle or Dardenne tend to prefer Edwards as a second choice.  In the PPP poll, Edwards beats Vitter head to head.


Dardenne and Angelle see the race differently than either Vitter or Edwards does. Edwards and Vitter are playing the traditional two stage game; finish in the top two and then start working on the runoff campaign. For either non-Vitter Republican, the whole race is about making the runoff where either is more or less unbeatable.  It would be a difficult task but the numbers show that John Bel Edwards can beat David Vitter.

So the primary at this point is about this. Do you prefer a chance at electing Edwards or do you prefer one of the very conservative Republicans looking to knock Vitter out of the primary?  Basically if you have been attacking Vitter via the prostitution scandal during this period, you are campaigning on behalf of Angelle and Dardenne each of which represents a policy program as bad or worse than Vitter's. Hope y'all are happy with the results of that.

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