Tuesday, 25 October 2011 17:41

Battle Of Louisiana: Vitter v. Jindal, Who's More Powerful?

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Who is the most powerful Republican politician in Louisiana?  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or US Senator David Vitter?   

I say Republican because the other politician who wields plenty of clout is Democrat Mary Landrieu.  However, since for now, Louisiana is overwhelmingly in the Red State corner, thus, as a result, her influence is limited on state matters.   

The reason this question is even being raised is because of the high level of participation by both Jindal and Vitter in the recent elections.  A subtext reason is because many believe there is a power struggle now in play between the two GOP officials.

 Much has been written about the growing friction between the Governor and the Senator. 

Jindal has been a two-term Congressman, a politician who has won two gubernatorial contests without breaking much of a sweat.   On Monday, two days after his re-election, a press release from his campaign said, “ A total of 87 statewide, legislative, and BESE candidates endorsed by Governor Bobby Jindal won outright in the October 2011 primary.  

The Governor also supported the TOPS Constitutional amendment which was overwhelmingly approved by voters with 69.6 percent of the vote.

Jindal-Endorsed Candidates By The Numbers:

Total Candidates Endorsed By Jindal: 104

Endorsed Candidates Winning on Saturday (Including Unopposed Candidates): 87

Endorsed Candidates Advancing to a Run-Off: 9”

He is a lame-duck governor whose next career move will likely be either in the private sector, as a high federal official, as the President/CEO of a large advocacy group or even as a high-paid lobbyist.   

Senator Vitter has five more years as US Senator until re-election.  He has been plagued by the “madam” scandal that has eaten into his power potential in Washington.  Vitter has been a legislator, Congressman and now Senator.   His connections in state and federal government are significant.

As did Jindal, he won his first term in the US Senate by winning a majority in the primary against a field of respectable opponents.  He rode on the anti-Obama wave, winning an overwhelming victory in 2010 against Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon.

According to numerous writers and political pundits, Vitter stepped into the Louisiana election arena 2011 by supporting House Speaker Jim Tucker and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser for high elective office, only to incur embarrassing losses.

Also, his support for specific high-profile Republican legislators against Democrats went nowhere. 

Yet, over the few years, Jindal has had very short coat tails.  Until now, a couple of years ago, an endorsement by him was considered the “kiss of death”.  Now, Jindal obviously feels his coat has donned some formidable extensions.

Some believe Vitter will need to obtain Jindal’s backing in the event he would want to run for Governor.  There is also a belief that Jindal’s success as governor greatly depends upon the political influences and decisions of the Republican Senator.   For instance, Vitter opposed Jindal plan for the University Medical Center which had caused great consternation for those who advocated a larger institution.  

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 So, considering the respective positions of the two Republicans, both Rhodes Scholars, both ambitious and both with their set of loyal followers, whom do you believe is the most powerful politician in Louisiana?  David Vitter or Bobby  Jindal? 

Take the Bayoubuzz poll and pass it onto your friends and associates.  Let you be the judge.

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of Bayoubuzz.com

 Final Results of Bayoubuzz Poll: Dardenne Beats Nungesser (2540 Votes total)
 Final Results of Bayoubuzz Poll: Schedler Tops Tucker (1998 Votes)

Stephen Sabludowsky



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