Monday, 03 February 2014 22:21

Will Landrieu reconcile he must run for Louisiana Governor to beat Vitter?

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vitter-gatorNever normally means never, except for perhaps in the land of politics.

In 2009, then, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said he was not entering the race for New Orleans mayor.


In early December of that year, he had a change of heart. 

Despite the candidacies of a number of high-profile candidates for the city’s top spot, Landrieu announced at Café Reconcile that he  run, after all.

The Café Reconcile location was chosen, in part, because he said while eating lunch at the dinery, he previously had been urged by a prominent city figure to run.  The café was designed to help troubled inner-city-youths to develop skills in the restaurant and related service industries.

In explaining the reasons for his change of heart, Landrieu said he looked internally into his self and felt his presence was sorely needed.

Landrieu said, “I love New Orleans with all my heart and all my soul.”

He said he would do “everything in my power to make the city of New Orleans the best place it can be. I believe I have the depth and the breadth of experience to make that happen. I know what to do. I know how to do it."

"I will do everything I can to make sure that I bring the people of this city together to heal the racial divide that has kept us apart for so long," he said. "God willing, I will be able to do that."

One state official, a democrat, wants Landrieu to remember broken pledges.

Only less than 48 hours after Mitch Landrieu  was re-elected Mayor of New Orleans,  Democrat John Bel Edwards, so far the only democratic candidate for Louisiana Governor released a press release directly reminding Landrieu and the public of a more  recent, yet similar personal pledge by Landrieu.

Tyler Bridges of  The Lens, chronicled the Edwards press release:

In a press release Monday, state Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite congratulated New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu for his re-election Saturday. Then Edwards, an announced candidate in next year’s gubernatorial election, threw the first elbow among potential Democratic contenders.

He noted that almost two-thirds of voters in New Orleans are Democrats, but turnout in the mayor’s race was only about 34 percent.

“This kind of turnout tells us that a successful statewide candidate must possess the shared values of the people of our state,” said Edwards, who is the House Democrats’ leader.

Landrieu was elected twice as lieutenant governor, and many political insiders believe that he, too, will run for governor next year. However, when askedin Thursday’s WWL-TV debateif he would serve his full term, Landrieu responded, “Yes.”

Edwards threw another elbow on that point, suggesting Landrieu “might backpedal” on that promise. “I can tell you that when I make a promise, I keep it,” Edwards said in the news release.

Ryan Berni, who was Landrieu’s spokesman during the mayoral campaign, did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

This latest development raises a serious question for Louisiana Democrats and yes, for Landrieu.

Currently,  U.S. Senator David Vitter has announced he will be running and some members of the GOP feel he is a shoe-in.  Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and possibly John Kennedy might also run for the seat.

John Bel Edwards has declared his candidacy yet he is unknown outside of political circles.  The Louisiana Democratic Party and others believe, the state’s worst nightmare would be the "tenacious and vicious as a gator" Governor Vitter for four-to-eight years.

Louisiana Democrats have experienced a dramatic loss in power at the state level.  Other than Mitch Landrieu and his sister Mary, the Louisiana U.S. Senator, no democrat has won  a statewide seat since Hurricane Katrina.  A couple of years ago, the GOP who once was said to hold its meetings in a phone booth, suddenly took control of the  legislature, a feat that took the party centuries.

Sister Mary Landrieu is up for re-election and for now, her presence for that seat is anyone’s call. 

Something tells me that if Mitch Landrieu is not seriously thinking about his options, he soon will.

Obviously, Edwards must have thought the same or otherwise he never would have sent out such a press release.

In 2009, Landrieu seemed to feel that with the city desperately trying to return from the Katrina dead, with the recovery wobbling, with friends and close advisors pleading for him to enter the race, he had little or no choice but to pursue the governmental seat he had always cherished.

Now that he has been rewarded a second act, what should happen if state officials, friends and respected advisors urge him to reconsider?  What will happen if they and he feel that the alternative would be a storm of political disasters not only for the party but for Louisiana.

Landrieu reconciled his internal conflicts over four years ago at Café Reconcile.

I am not betting that he won’t do it again considering what he might feel is on the election menu.

Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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