Even more disturbing is that the Melancon campaign used video footage from a Hustler Magazine interview with Wendy Cortez. This marks the first time that sleaze merchant Larry Flynt and his magazine have been featured in a mainstream political commercial. This is embarrassing for any political campaign and marks a new low for Louisiana politics, which is quite an achievement considering our state’s sordid political history.
Melancon is trying his very best to change the subject from the poor economy and the ineffective leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama. Melancon gave Obama an “A” rating and voted for Pelosi to be Speaker of the House, so he is linked to both leaders, who remain very unpopular in Louisiana.
If this election is a referendum on Barack Obama, David Vitter will win in a landslide. If the election is a referendum on David Vitter and his personal issues, Charlie Melancon has a chance to win. So, Melancon is dredging up these issues from 2007 in an attempt to remind voters about the Vitter controversies.
In this election season, Louisiana voters care about the poor economy and the unhealthy job market. They are worried about high taxes, their deteriorating paychecks and the uncertain state of the healthcare industry. It will be very difficult to turn their attention to the sex life of David Vitter.
In 1998, Republicans were unsuccessful in their attempt to use the impeachment of Bill Clinton for political purposes. In fact, the major casualties of the Lewinsky scandal were Republicans such as Bob Livingston and Newt Gingrich and not “Slick Willie.”
In the “Great Recession” of 2010 it is highly unlikely that Melancon will be successful in playing the sex card against Vitter. The Democratic candidate has a real handicap that he must overcome, the leadership of his political party.
Unless new information is forthcoming that verifies some of the unsubstantiated charges against Vitter, this desperate attack will not work and may backfire on the underdog Democrat.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].