After watching the video, click here
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 11:51
Democrat Edwards stresses outlier issues in Louisiana gubernatorial commercial
Written by 

bel-edwardsLouisiana’s 2015 governor’s race may tell us whether the standard playbook of southern Democrats needs permanent revision.
The party’s endorsed candidate for that office, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, finally joined his major Republican opponents in running a television ad – perhaps so late because he trails them on in fundraising. In it, we discover, as testament to being a “born leader,” that he was the all-American boy in high school, a West Point graduate who served his country in elite capacity in the Army, and is “pro-life” and “pro-Second Amendment.” Also, he’s a “fighter for education, health care, and working families.”


How nice, but aren’t we all? Time constraints I imagine precluded the spot from telling us he’s attentive to his aged, widowed mother and he doesn’t kick stray dogs. And this gloss is all the campaign will disseminate, because the only way a candidate like Edwards can be competitive is to create an impression at odds with the essential ideology of a candidate like him: he’s a liberal Democrat that wants in his communications to the mass public to sound like a Republican as a solid majority of Louisianans are right-of-center in political views.

It’s nothing more than the playbook for Democrats. It’s not so much that his ads or other campaign material unusually fail to identify himself as a Democrat – in Louisiana’s nonpartisan blanket primary system, which actually doesn’t have a primary election, candidates typically do not announce their party identification. Only Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne on his web site gives his GOP affiliation perhaps because other candidates will note his past legislative record of voting for tax increases and by listing his identification with the party that generally opposes higher taxation this might help blunt an impression that he supports big government.

Rather, it’s that the outliers among his issue preferences from national Democrats are stressed above anything else, and so nakedly. In fact, of the about dozen television ads the four major candidates have run, only one besides Edwards’, being of Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, mentions abortion or gun rights. His others and all of those of Sen. David Vitter’s go into some broad details about various issues areas, such as government spending, education policy, job creation, and welfare reform, all reliably conservative in content. Dardenne’s also seem more image- than issue-oriented, but do stress his character and experience in office. 

So if there’s any candidate now on the air whose portrait through his ads seems most vacuous if not misleading, it’s Edwards’ one effort. There’s nothing in it about his policy preferences that, when acted out through his legislative voting behavior, would indicate he has a lifetime 30 rating on the Louisiana Legislature Log voting index, indicating a very liberal/populist record. Instead, it’s an exercise in inoculation: by priming viewers who basically know nothing about him on two issue areas where he is atypically non-liberal, this tries to goad them into considering him not to be leftist in his entire orientation and therefore when introducing other vague talking points hopes they read conservatism into those. To the typical members of the voting public, they’ll be protected from knowing of his ideology much more liberal than his Republican opponents.

And it will stay that way until the runoff, for none of his opposition will try to uncover the real Edwards. Each wants to get into a heads-up contest with him, because they know they’ll defeat him, so they have no incentive to play truth detective for public consumption and prevent his joining them. Meanwhile, Edwards’ only hope is to steal a march on them in this period until Oct. 24 and not just make the runoff but carry a good-sized plurality with him, counting on such a sufficient amount of inoculation that he can lock in enough voters and find some more to eke out a win.

Soldier, statesman, champion of the unborn, “fighter” … if one truly believes the ad, then it puzzles to be unable to find the cape on his back and “S” on his chest. If in a day and age where Louisiana Democrats find themselves losing, and badly, in the marketplace of ideas, if this kind of candidate using this strategy cannot be finessed into winning, as long as they cling bitterly to the ideas Edwards deliberately downplays they may never win a statewide office again.

Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Deja vu for Louisiana high-speed a Internet Broadband project, once again
  • Republicans Gatti, Crews vie for Louisiana House to replace now-Congressman Mike Johnson
  • Retiring Louisiana State Police Chief Edmonson retirement $ back in news
  • Trump, Ryan going to BAT for tax reform, economic growth

jindal broadbandIt’s déjà vu all over again for a broadband access project in Louisiana that saw the same mistakes repeated, leading to its demise both times.

Read More

lou gehrig burnettby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

   Raymond Crews and Robbie Gatti are headed to a runoff in state House District 8 on April 29 to fill  the seat left vacant when Mike Johnson was elected  to Congress.  Both are Republicans.
    Crews came in first with 41% of the vote, followed by Gatti with 37%..  Two other candidates in the race were Duke Lowrie, who finished with 16%, and Patrick Harrington, who had 6%.

Read More

edmonson2by Tom Aswell, Publisher of Louisiana Voice

It must be nice when you can get the rules written just for you.

There must come a time when even the most disinterested, blasé, apolitical person living has to look up from whatever else occupies his interest and say, “Wait a damned minute. This just ain’t right and we’re not gonna do it.”

Read More

trump greatIt has been over three decades since our country’s last major tax reform was passed during the Reagan administration. Since that time, America has increased tax rates on businesses and individuals and become less competitive. 

Read More



Trump Talk: Ryancare, Russia, Investigations, Travel ban--with Jeff Crouere

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1