Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.
The 34th President of the United States was born 100 hundred years ago. John F. Kennedy captured the hearts of the American people like no other president, before or since. And from the first stirrings of his efforts to become president, to events that took place after his death, my home state of Louisiana held a special place in the Kennedy legacy.
John Kennedy’s first foray in building Louisiana relationships began in 1956, during the then young senator’s efforts to become the vice presidential candidate on the Adlai Stevenson ticket. Stevenson had promised the VP spot to Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver but didn’t want to offend the Kennedy patriarch, Joseph Kennedy. So he threw the nomination open to the convention floor.
The approval rate for members of Congress seems to be in free fall. Few constituents approve of the dysfunction taking place in the nation’s capitol. Just 15 years ago, Congress had an approval rating of 65%. But no more. The most recent Harris and CBS polls show approval rates dropping to an all time low of 9%. Like the guy sings in the Limbo Rock song, “How low can you go?”
Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards is approaching 90 years old and hasn’t seemed to slow down a bit. He remains active, still speaking throughout the state, often accompanied with his young wife and 4-year-old son. Last year, a Baton Rouge Advocate poll listed him as Louisiana’s most popular governor.
John Bel Edwards for president? The Louisiana governor is being touted as a Democratic Party contender on the national front. Just a little over a year in his present job, it may be a sign of the few future contenders the Democrats have available. Here’s what a writer for the Huffington Post had to say last week:
Dave Treen was sworn in as Louisiana’s Governor 37 years ago. Anyone who knew him noted what a nice guy he was. But Treen’s legacy will not be based on his friendliness. History will treat him well and acknowledge that he was the first, and perhaps only, true conservative Louisiana Governor in the past century.
Former NBC newscaster Tom Brokaw wrote a book a few years back about what he called “The Greatest Generation.” In contrast, there’s a recent best seller out calling America “the dumbest generation.” And since Louisiana is at the bottom of the barrel on most national lists, you can imagine how folks in the Bayou State are viewed.
If you could sit down with our new president, what would questions would you ask him? What insights would you be looking for? What knowledge would you expect him to have? And just how much difference do you think he can really make?
Most likely, the nation’s financial problems would be at the top of anyone’s list. “It’s the economy, stupid,” says the Ragin’ Cajun, James Carville. But can a president really make that much difference in solving the country’s economic woes?
Before President Trump made his choice to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court, the White House undertook a nationwide search. But by even the widest stretch of standards to be met by any nominee, one thing was pretty clear from the start. No judge serving on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was given the slightest consideration.
One of the new President’s first actions announced this week is to support the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that the Obama administration had disapproved. Both Louisiana senators hailed the decision and talked about all the new jobs that will come to the Bayou State. But is building the pipeline such a huge job creator and economic bonanza for Louisiana?
You would think that in the New Year, following a year when the Louisiana legislature raised taxes by over one billion dollars, lawmakers would sense the public’s anti-tax fervor and would be averse to mining every nook and cranny for more taxes. But now Governor John Bel Edwards, with full legislative support and in a desperate attempt to send more revenue to state coffers, is quite willing to stick purchasers with sales taxes for whatever they buy online.