Thursday, February 03, 2005

Short on Fans in Louisiana...

T-P reports that Howard Dean, the front-runner to become the next chairman of the Democratic Party, may be "short on fans in Louisiana." They characterize the comments of the three Democratic members of Louisiana's congressional delegation as suggesting that Dean will have a hard time increasing party support in states that supported George W. Bush for president because of his liberal image.

"Sen. Mary Landrieu and Reps. William Jefferson and Charlie Melancon said they would prefer the party choose one of Dean's three remaining challengers, although that seems increasingly unlikely."

Chris Suellentrop of Slate contends that the importance of the DNC (Democratic National Committee) Chair has been vastly overstated.

"Dean would exert far less influence over the future of the Democratic Party as its titular head than he would as a 2008 presidential candidate. Ed Rendell was so frustrated with his job as DNC chairman during Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign that he complained to the New Republic, 'I basically take orders from 27-year-old guys in Nashville who have virtually no real-life experience. All they've done is been political consultants living in an artificial world, and basically their opinion counts more than mine.' That's the cry of the DNC chair, Washington's political eunuch."

Chris Suellentrop came to our attention in another Slate article entitled "Harry Reid Is Not Boring," suggesting that "Reid may not be the most colorful figure in Washington, but his career is far more interesting than that of the average senator. In politics, Nevada is the next best thing to Louisiana."

So Louisiana, quite gratuitously, sets the standard for "colorful" politics, and colorful, I feel certain, is used as a code word for corrupt. People of Louisiana, let's protest! Let's write letters to the editors of the many political observers who denigrate our fine state.

I think our last three insurance commissioners are all out of jail by now, and only one ex-Governor is still in. Well, maybe we should learn to live with the tag, it would be easier than trying to make a case that it's not true. And, we are sort of proud of our state being "the best thing" to political journalists.

Write me with any material to help in this ongoing debate.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I agree that making a case that it's not true would be extremely difficult. Louisiana may or may not be the most corrupt place in the nation . . . others may be more smooth about it. But as a resident of a number of states, and a journalist in several (including the former champion, South Texas), my observation is that Louisiana is not only corrupt on every level, but gloriously corrupt . . . from the top on down to the man on the street. It's not a crime as much as a lifestyle. If you removed the corruption completely from Louisiana, you'd suck out the juice and have nothing left but a wrinkled satsuma.

3:49 PM  

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