Wednesday, 16 October 2019 15:33

Outsider Sin: From Duke, Bush, Obama, Trump to Rispone Featured

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My my!  How things have changed.

It goes without saying that Eddie Rispone is in a surprise runoff with incumbent Democrat, John Bel Edwards for Louisiana Governor. Somehow, a very rich, but politically unknown, Rispone morphed into Donald Trump.  He, wore Trump  around his neck. He  covered himself with Trump cologne and met him at the alter last week along with fellow gubernatorial candidate and ardent Trump name-dropper, Congressman Ralph Abraham.

 

 

Already, Rispone is pushing Trump-Rispone gubernatorial ticket with tweets vouching his loyal devotion for this president and the Potus’s reciprocity, for him.

Calling upon a national support is not new.  Nor is it new to curse it.

When David Duke, then, a converted Republican, ran for District 81 in Metairie, the blow-dried political Rockstar denounced outsiders taking over the Louisiana election.  Back then, his reference was to the New Yorkers or northerners.  Many people,  including myself, believe he was making a  veiled reference to New York Jews.  In his race for US Senator, Louisiana governor, President and Congress, he repeated the same arguments. His race came down to them vs. us, non-Louisiana northerners vs. the down-home, hard-working, Louisiana voters. 

Ironically, Duke generated significant revenues by tapping into the hate and fears of many whites throughout the nation building a substantial mailing list of like-minded supporters. In many respects, his prophecy rang true. The Louisiana-based races attracted a lot of attention and dollars from many who sought to forever defeat the man considered to be a neo-Nazi. One of the folks who spoke out against Duke was then-President George H. W. Bush. The idea that Duke was calling himself a Republican was hurtful to the party’s image, while, it brought Democrats and independents into the party rolls.

In 2002, George W. Bush entered the Louisiana US Senate race by getting behind the candidacy of Suzanne  Terrell who was taking on the then-popular Democrat incumbent, Mary Landrieu for US Senate. Despite considerable Bush-pull, Landrieu pulled the election out at the last minute.  Bush’s intervention was rebuked by the voters although arguably, since it was a race for national office, US Senate rather than Governor, it was more acceptable.   

Fast forward to the Obama years. When David Vitter campaigned for US Senate, he campaigned constantly against Obama although his real contest was against Charlie Melancon, a Democrat Congressman.   Every ad, every speech and seemingly, every utterance coming from Vitter and the State Republican Party included  the word Obama. That stick-Obama on-any Democrat tail continued until 2015 in Vitter’s  race against John Bel Edwards. Vitter was not alone. When Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness competed against Mary Landrieu the year prior,  in a race that ultimately put  a stop to the Landrieu days in statewide government, the Republicans made certain everyone knew that voting for her meant voting for the Democratic Party President.

Virtually every statewide race during the first half of this decade featured President Obama as the Republican candidate opponent. Voters never tired. It worked, except during Vitter’s last stand against Edwards, but that race deserves a special asterisk. It was a referendum on the man that everybody seemed to hate, Vitter.   

The Trump-card started to be played by then-Treasurer John Kennedy in his 2016 race for US Senate and by former Mitch Landrieu assistant, Angele Davis, in her 2017 run for State Treasurer. What Trump had to do with the state treasurer’s office was a mystery but the association, while not successful, might have helped her against her fellow Republicans.

Of course, this year, both Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone adopted Trump as their respective ticket-mate in the bid to oust John Bel Edwards. Interestingly, Abraham had a sterling record in support of Donald Trump in Congress, but somehow, Rispone out-Trumped the Congressman on “I love Trump” platform.

Thirty years ago, it was a virtual sin to associate the local and other parochial  elections with the national power brokers or with those who had no vote and no say in our local affairs. David Duke ran on the “no outsiders allowed” platform  in Metairie and the same mantra throughout his political bids. It resonated loud and strongly in all of his races. It also helped raise plenty of campaign pennies in support and against him. Since then, all politicians seem to seek outside donors and fortify with those monied influencers.  All major campaigns seek big name stars to generate support and campaign gelt.

Today, building a campaign around an outside figure having little or nothing to do with state capitol issues is paying dividends. It is also not only in vogue, but in favor and ironically accepted by many of the same voters who once cursed it.

In some circles, it surely is no longer a sin.

And, now, from the Bayoubuzz mailbag…. 

From the LAGOP

Senator John Kennedy and Republican Whip Steve Scalise to Headline LAGOP “Call to Action” Event with Republican Candidate for Governor Eddie Rispone and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin

Kenner, LA – On Saturday, the Republican Party of Louisiana will be hosting a special “Call to Action” event in Jefferson Parish to build on the momentum established by Republican voters across Louisiana. This event will be headlined by United States Senator John Kennedy and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise.
 
They will be joined by Republican Candidate for Governor Eddie Rispone, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, statewide Republican officials, Jefferson Parish leaders, and local supporters to discuss the clear message sent by conservative voters in Louisiana and the need to support conservative Republican candidates in the November runoff election.

WHO:  John Kennedy, United States Senator
            Steve Scalise, House Republican Whip
            Eddie Rispone, Republican Candidate for Governor
            Kyle Ardoin, Secretary of State
            Jeff Landry, Attorney General
            John Schroder, State Treasurer
            Mike Strain, Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry
            Eric Skrmetta, Public Service Commissioner 

WHAT: “Call to Action” event to build on the momentum established by Republican voters across Louisiana and highlight the need for conservative leadership.
 
WHEN: 10:00am on Saturday, October 19, 2019
 
WHERE: Hilton New Orleans (Airport) – 901 Airline Drive, Kenner, LA 70062 

Register to attend!

FROM THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR’S ASSOCIATION: 

The Louisiana gubernatorial race is down to two, and voters want to know the difference in the candidates’ visions for the state.  Gov. Edwards immediately committed to a public debate, but Eddie Rispone is ducking him. 

It’s been a hallmark of Eddie Rispone’s campaign for governor so far. He’s known for being largely absent from the campaign trail. Rispone skipped forums with the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, Louisiana Municipal Association, and the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.  

Why is Rispone afraid of debating? Maybe it’s his record of supporting the same Jindal policies that would lead Louisiana back to drastic cuts to education and health care. Maybe it’s because he got caught trying to hire foreign workers instead of Louisianans. Or maybe it’s because now he doesn’t have Ralph Abraham to hide behind. 

Eddie Rispone used to project confidence about debates. In an interview with The Donaldsonville Chief in June, Rispone said, “I've found myself debating with Edwards in my sleep at three in the morning.”

Phony Rispone should put his money where his mouth is and actually commit.

“Rispone has been ducking debates to serve himself and conceal his record from Louisianans,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “Louisiana voters deserve to hear about Eddie Rispone’s plan to take the state back to the failed Jindal era. It’s time for Rispone to stop hiding and debate Gov. Edwards.”

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