Green Room

Video: Vitter running for governor in Louisiana

posted at 3:08 pm on January 22, 2014 by

From sex scandal to the chief executive of a state? Give David Vitter credit — he did this in the right order, unlike Eliot Spitzer:

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is term-limited, and Vitter is considered the favorite to replace him. But Vitter faces another statewide officeholder — Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) – and could face a second one in state Treasurer John Kennedy (R).

On the Democratic side, state Rep. John Bel Edwards is running, but all eyes are on New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and whether he runs after his 2014 reelection campaign. Landrieu faces a primary in the coming weeks but is heavily favored to retain his current post.

Vitter is only a few years removed from being tied to a Washington prostitution scandal. Polls suggest he has recovered politically, and he easily won reelection in 2010.

Sean Sullivan thinks his scandal is too far in the past to be a problem now:

On the luck side, timing had a lot to do with it. The Post’s Paul Kane took a deeper dive into Vitter’s career arc last year. As Kane reported, the fact that 1) Vitter didn’t have to go before voters until 3 1/2 years after the “D.C. Madam” revelation and 2) The year he did was a banner one for Republicans fueled by deep unhappiness with President Obama helped him a keep a job that may well have slipped away under less favorable circumstances.

Vitter did his part to keep a low profile as he worked his way back and cooperated with Democrats once he was. Plus, it certainly didn’t hurt that charges never materialized. …

There’s no one recipe for dealing with scandal. Every case is unique. But what Vitter’s survival shows is that time is often a scandal-plagued pol’s best friend. And what an incumbent does with the time before voters get to pass judgement on them at the ballot box can prove to be critical.

It’s possible the “D.C. Madam” story could surface again in Vitter’s campaign for governor. Opponents might be tempted to raise the issue in a heated race. But such kinds of attacks probably won’t have anywhere near the potency they would have had in the immediate wake of the scandal.

We’ll see. The only potential fly in the ointment I can see is the off-year election date. Louisiana’s elections are usually national-interest stories because nothing much else is going on at the time. If so, then his scandal is going to get dissected on a national basis all over again, and Vitter — and the GOP — better hope there’s nothing more to be found.

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It’s possible the “D.C. Madam” story could surface again in Vitter’s campaign for governor.

Possible? Count on it.

joekenha on January 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Do I chalk it up to GOP stupidity or Lousiana political stupidity?

I’ll go with both just to be safe.

Steve Eggleston on January 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

…another “GREAT” candidate!

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I might support him.

22044 on January 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Steve Eggleston on January 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Do you think Vitter–warts and all–is worse than the Edwin Edwards candidate, John Bel Edwards, who is the son of Edwin’s confidant? (cousin?) Or Mary Landrieu’s breaux Mitch? I guess the process of elimination leaves Kennedy or Dardenne.

Christien on January 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

He’ll probably win just because it’s Louisiana, but come on. As red as Louisiana is, are there not other strong candidates? The bench has to be deep there, no?

GOPRanknFile on January 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Do you think Vitter–warts and all–is worse than the Edwin Edwards candidate, John Bel Edwards, who is the son of Edwin’s confidant? (cousin?) Or Mary Landrieu’s breaux Mitch? I guess the process of elimination leaves Kennedy or Dardenne.

Christien on January 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Let’s just say I don’t envy the choices in Louisiana.

Steve Eggleston on January 22, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Vitter had already cleaned up his act before he was outed for having made phone calls to the DC Madam. The public thrashing actually got him to focus on more family time with his kids after some soul searching.

He beat that last viable Dem contender to statewide office 57-38 in 2010. He has more political clout statewide than Jindal. The Dem ran on “ethics” and was the last “Blue Dog” Dem in the state.

He’ll win and it won’t even be close.

Kermit on January 22, 2014 at 6:03 PM

It’s obvious that neither Ed nor Sean has a clue. That’s like those out of state nutters who have endorsed a candidate for senate in Louisiana who has ZERO instate support. Kinda hard to win without any voters.

Kermit on January 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM

He’ll win, and it won’t even be close.

MinnesotaSlinger on January 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

In Louisiana, a politician with a hooker is considered scandalous enough to cause people to make an Étouffée.

Kafir on January 22, 2014 at 9:08 PM

My father is a registered Democrat and has been impressed with Sen. Vitter’s staff in dealing with the Veterans Administration and they’re still helping out. Can’t say the same for Landrieu’s office. My mother isn’t too keen on the whole DC Madam thing.

Both voted for Vitter when he ran for re-election. Only the hardcore left in NOLA will vote for one of the several weak Dems and Vitter will avoid a runoff.

Do you think Vitter–warts and all–is worse than the Edwin Edwards candidate, John Bel Edwards, who is the son of Edwin’s confidant? (cousin?) Or Mary Landrieu’s breaux Mitch? I guess the process of elimination leaves Kennedy or Dardenne.

Christien on January 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

John Bel Edwards is no relation to Edwin Edwards but has connections. He is the brother of Tangipahoa Parish Sherrif John Edwards and son of former Tangi Sherrif Frank Edwards, who was a good friend of Edwin’s.

Source: I live in Tangipahoa Parish.

Lay-Z on January 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM