Well, for those wondering, she was mentioned as a candidate. She was a frequent face on national TV broadcast interviews. Whenever Vitter’s name or face appeared on the national tube, back in 2009, often, so did Stormy’s.
No doubt, I think the very last thing that anybody would expect from Stormy Daniels (or now as her real name has become more public, Stephanie Clifford), would be her actually winning and taking the oath of office as the Louisiana US Senator. Frankly, the general conventional wisdom, i believe was, “she was not going to run, this is a publicity stunt”.
Perhaps it was. Then, that makes her a perfect antagonist for Donald Trump, who made his career taking advantage of one publicity stunt after another.
Back then, despite our great doubts, there was always the question, "was she, could she, should she run"? It’s not like she came up with the idea herself or had the burning desire to enter the political ring. She actually was drafted. Yes, drafted. Somewhat, at least. Apparently, she was the victim of a stunt vs. Vitter. Someone created a “Draft Stormy for US Senate” website. Word got out. She started to receive national exposure. The more attention, the more questions arose: is she serious? Really? Run against Vitter?
Prior to the 2010 election in which Vitter ran against Democrat Charles Melancon, Stormy Daniels became somewhat of a familiar national political television news figure. Vitter, who got ensnared in a controversy with the DC Madam became politically wounded. The gist of her national interviews was that you can "vote for me should i run, or, you can vote for the hypocrite". Vitter had said he felt Clinton should be impeached during the Lewinsky scandal. After promoting a holier than thou identity, his phone number was caught in a prostitution ring and he had even threatened to take the fifth if the DC Madam case forced him to testify.
I had the occasion to speak to Daniels twice during that "Draft Stormy" time period. The first time was when she embarked upon “a listening tour”. Her goal at the time was to go around the state and to listen to the average Louisiana voter. The second time was a few weeks later, when, upon my request, she appeared as a panelist on Jeff Crouere’s and my Politics with a Punch, comedy show.
As you can well expect, her presence alone brought down the "Punch show" house. The room was so crowded, we couldn't even fit a sardine in the "standing room only" crowd at the Eiffel Tower building on St. Charles Avenue. People, whether they liked who she was or whether they saw her as an opportunist, they wanted to see her on stage, in person.
So, what was Stormy like as a potential candidate? Now that she has earned her more than fifteen minutes of fame on 60 minutes, will she be known as Donald Trump’s "the other", other” woman pornstar for the rest of her life? Or, does she possess other qualities that turn heads, not just due to her appearance, but her ability to communicate?
Below is the transcript of the video interview that I did with Stormy Daniels during her “listening tour”, prior to her speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club later that afternoon.
Ultimately, Stormy opted not to run for US Senate. Vitter, who essentially ran against the very much-disliked President Obama, soundly beat Congressman Melancon in the runoff. Five years later, Vitter ran for Governor, once again, tried to make Obama his competition, but his luck turned on him. Voters remembered the DC Madam incident. While Vitter claimed then, as Trump is now contending--the scandal has been litigated and the people have spoken,the voters had their own opinions. In 2015, eight years after the DC Madam scandal broke, and six years after Stormy came on the scene, Vitter lost big in his chance for the Governor's mansion against Democrat, John Bel Edwards, now Louisiana Governor.
No doubt, we have not heard the rest about Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels. As the below Bayoubuzz video and interview appears, it seems that at the time, the under-thirty-something personality, was making a run for some type of publicity. We can debate whether for objective was to further her career or whether she was seriously toying to be our US Senator. Now, a decade later, as she displayed iast night on 60 Minutes, she’s on a personal mission. She's angry. She admits she is not a victim of sexual harrassment as those in the MeToo movement. Yet, she appears to be fighting the same cause. She won't allow a powerful man threaten her or intimidate her, demanding her silence.
Although not seeking public office, Stephanie Clifford, aka, Stormy Daniels, strangely appears to have listened long and enough. She represents nobody but herself yet wants to be heard on her own terms.
This time, however, she is not just taking on a Senator hiding his past, but the President of the United States, who she asserts, wants to bury theirs.
Here is the transcription of the video above:
SABLUDOWSKY: Miss Daniels you're here in Baton Rouge and you're on a listening tour would you tell us why you're here Bowen listen for absolutely
DANIELS: The draft stormy movement was created without my knowledge of course as I've said many times and at first I tried to ignore it, I thought, you know there's no way it's gonna come of this and I don't want to waste my time. It's interesting, but I don't, the last thing I want to do is for people think that it was some sort of publicity stunt or I was trying to make a mockery out of government because I feel very strongly that that's a very bad thing to do. And then the support was so overwhelming and the encouragement to run and I thought, ah, why don't know how the general public feels about this--all I'm reading are people who have access to political sites and people who are very web savvy. So I thought, well the best way to make the decision whether and I do even want to pursue running was to go around and listen to what the common people or the regular folk of Louisiana had to say, what their concerns were, what their issues were. Not only so that I can decide if I want to run but what issues are important that I need to take a stance on. And, I think when you are senator, you have to be the voice of the people, so that's gonna play as two things for me--that way I can incorporate what their views are, combined with my own and see if it's something I can support--because I think to be a good senator like I said you have to be voice of the people and do what their needs are. At the same time I'm not really willing to be someone's complete puppet. So the general consensus goes against everything I believe it that I'm going to choose not to run because I don't want to be a hypocrite.
SABLUDOWSKY: Are you implying that there's a hypocrite running, or?
DANIELS: Well, I have yes. But in the context of that question, no I, just, of course a hypocrite we're referring to is David Vitter. But I think that's on a completely different level. I'm just saying that for me personally--don't want to go up and campaign and push for things that I don't feel strongly about. So, I wanted to get the input of the public to see if it gels with what I feel.
SABLUDOWSKY: Last question, what is your major major issue--I mean the thing that really really gets underneath your skin?
DANIELS: Obviously taxes, the economy, and that's the other reason why I'm here listening is I want to hear what they have to say, you know, but I think that the two big things are the economy and taxes and those two things go hand in hand. I think people are a lot of trouble. I think we have a lot of people in politics who are - too removed from what the average throwing the average resident needs and says and if I need to be the voice of people and I'm prepared to do so