Blanco C*ck-Blocks Jindal. Big time.

Up until today it seemed that by 2009 the United States would have its first Indian American Governor in Piyush “Bobby” Jindal of Louisiana. You can read my most recent entry about it here. No more. Jindal went from a shoe-in to what some might consider an underdog in the span of a single day. Via Politico:

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) announced she’s not running for re-election this evening at the state Capitol, setting the stage for former Sen. John Breaux (D) to enter the race.

“I am choosing to do what is best for my state. I will focus my time and energy on the people’s work, not politics. After much prayer, I have decided I will not seek reelection as your governor,” said Blanco in her address at the governor’s mansion.

Breaux is currently asking the state attorney general for an opinion on his residency status. Though Breaux represented Louisiana in the House and Senate from 1973-2005, he remained in the Washington area since leaving Congress. He currently lives in Maryland, and serves as senior counsel for the prestigious law firm and lobbying shop Patton Boggs. [Link]

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p>Breaux is the former (popular) Democrat senator from Louisiana (although he often voted like a Republican). With him entering the race, Jindal’s lock on the governor’s mansion is shattered.

Breaux issued a statement following Blanco’s speech: “I join other Louisianians in thanking Governor Blanco for her many years of public service to the people of our state, the last couple under extremely difficult circumstances. I wish her the very best over the rest of her term, and in the future as she enjoys spending time with her family and pursuing other opportunities.”

Blanco was widely criticized for her response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and her popularity had not recovered since the storm. GOP Rep. Bobby Jindal, who narrowly lost to Blanco in 2003, has already begun his campaign

A January Southern Media and Opinion Research poll showed him leading Blanco by 24 points, 59-34 percent. [Link]

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Let me re-phrase Breaux’s statement: “Blanco sucks and is resigning because she wouldn’t even be able to beat a corpse in 2008.” Now it is either “Breaux” or “Jindal.” It is the favorite son vs. the guy who has been laying a lot of groundwork for the last few years. The Swing State Project opines on what Jindal’s new strategy might be:

With Blanco out and John Breaux presumably announcing his candidacy within the next few days, at the very least, Louisiana Democrats are buying an extra inning to hold on to the state. At best, Breaux’s entry will be exactly what’s needed to throw a monkey wrench in hard-right Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal’s longtime gubernatorial ambitions. Expect a lot of mud to be hurled at Breaux about how he’s “gone Washington” and lived out of state for a couple of years. It won’t be easy, but I think we can all agree that Breaux’s chances, even with one hand tied behind his back due to his residency issues, are a heck of a lot better than those of a damaged Kathleen Blanco. [Link]

25 thoughts on “Blanco C*ck-Blocks Jindal. Big time.

  1. a general sense of where breaux is: The same point is borne out by a comparison of Kerry’s ratings with those of other Democrats who are often classified as moderates, such as Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana. Breaux’s lifetime average ADA score through 2002 is 55. When Lloyd Bentsen of Texas was a senator, his lifetime ADA score was 41. Former Georgia senator Sam Nunn had a lifetime ADA average of 37. Al Gore had a 65 average. Joe Lieberman, who is sometimes described as a liberal and sometimes as a moderate — he has a generally liberal voting record but also dissents from several important liberal positions — has a lifetime ADA score of 76 through 2002.

    i think you are right, jindal is going to have serious issues. he is blanco with balls and experience (i.e., he is a catholic democrat who is going to get automatic support from cajun whites to augment his black democratic base, jindal will have to hold white protestants, but a lot of ‘em would rather vote for a white guy [as evidenced by blanco's surprising support in districts where david duke did well]).

  2. John Breaux is one of the most powerful Southern politician. He appeals both to Democrats and Republicans.

    I think he used to be chairman, ways and means committee in the Senate.

    Jindal, bye, bye.

  3. Who are the serious Desi politicians in regions where they would have more of a natural advantage? California and Massachussetts, for example. I could see a Desi Senator in either of those states after Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, or John Kerry retire or become unpopular, or after Ted Kennedy retires, I could see a Desi Governor of Massachussetts after the current haitian american governor retires or becomes unpopular, and I could see a Desi Mayor of San Francisco. Also, I think Desis could be elected to at least 25% of the congressional representative districts that are located in Technopoles (Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Research Triangle Park, etc.)

  4. I stand corrected:

    In 1993, Breaux was elected by Senate Democrats as Deputy Majority Whip, a position he held until his retirement. He also held a number of key Senate committee positions. A senior member of the Finance Committee, Senator Breaux served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy. From his position on the Finance Committee,

    It seems from reading news that he might not to be able to be a candidate because of residency issues, and be mired in court challenges.

  5. C-sharp????

    And I thought I was a nerd… :(

    Sorry, Razib, my mind went straight to the gutter on this one.

  6. John Breaux is the poster child for the Old Boys Network style of politics. Hes pretty conservative on fiscal issues too. He has been working as a lobbyist (surprise!) and has been living in Maryland since he left the senate. The Republicans have already started running ads blasting him for not meeting the state residency requirements.

    He should easily beat Jindal. It will be fun to see Jindal become more right wing than he already is now that hes going to run against a conservative democrat.

  7. ciscokid. Interesting, I think you’re right, but they give themselves plausible deniability by being able to claim it also means “jindal is bad”. I’d like to see people begin to apply statistical analysis to see how likely certain word combinations would be if not chosen for race-invoking double meanings. For example, from a pool of possible website names (againstjindal, jindalwatch, jindaltruth, impeachjindal, etc.) how stastically likely is it that one would end up with “jindalisbad”? How statistically common is that formulation? Are there “johnsonisbad”, “Thompsonisbad” websites too protesting public figures of anglo surname and origin? Rather than speculation, I’d like to see something rigorous and empirical done. This would appear to me to be a particularly slamdunk case with which one could do it.

  8. To get it started, here’s the list of cities in Pakistan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Pakistan

    It does seem they disproportionately end in “bad”. Thus “jindalisbad” seems more likely to create a sense of brown-muslim-foreigner in Jindal, for example, than “jindalwatch” or “jindaliswrong”. I think it would take a statistician and a linguist, or someone who is both to take this to the next level and show why statistically it’s unlikely to be coincidence that the website creator came up with “jindalisbad”.

  9. Who can forget that democrat who called Jindal an Arab-American, and then to apologise said, ok I should have used the politically correct term Indian-American.

  10. This is also a good example of when you have a perfect, defeatable oponent, like Jindal had, you don’t want to blow them out of the water so someone superior can come in too early. A good counter-example is arguably McCain vs. Guiliani &Romney. McCain doesn’t seem to me to be going for the jugular for Guiliani or Romny, and by allowing them both to stay around, I think McCain is sucking a lot of the media attention and money from a single, more conservative candidate that they could otherwise coalesce around. McCain may not be able to beat a qualified pro-life, anti-gay marriage protestant conservative for the nomination (for example, I doubt he’d be able to beat

  11. If I was a LA resident, at this point I’d feel as though I had to choose between the lesser of two evils.

    Hmmmm … if only we had a resident LA resident … ;-)

    Not so much, Sriram. Breaux is beloved in these parts by blacks and whites, rich and poor alike, and has family all around this area. He’s a shoe-in if he runs. The only question in these parts is if he wants to give up his cushy million-dollar consulting job in DC and move back here to run this mess.

    Jindal may have been responsible and responsive after the hurricane and flood, but ultimately, his loyalty falls in this order: 1) party-religion; 2) Louisiana; 3) New Orleans

    As someone who purposely refrained from casting a vote in the Blanco-Jindal election, it is with glee that I will vote for Breaux this time around.

  12. haven’t been to the site in awhile. But Patton Boggs has roots in Louisiana. Any one that lives in New Orleans knows that several Federal buildings are named after Hale Boggs Sr., who was House Majority Leader. His son runs the lobbying firm. His sister is none other than Cokie Roberts. We need Breaux, for the federal dollars. You don’t get to be Head of the House Finance Committee with having some pull.

  13. Dave: the suffix is “abad,” not “bad.” Anyway, there are “abad” suffixed cities in India as well, such as Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Hyderabad and Moradabad. Based on Wikipedia’s lists, Pakistan’s -abad towns outnumber India’s by around 3.

    Bobby Jindal, while campaigning in 2004 and playing up his experience with healthcare, visited hospitals for photo-ops. His advance team made certain that no Muslim physicians would be anywhere around, so Muslim doctors had to leave the area of the photo-op. Muslim doctors (Indian, Pakistani and Arab) didn’t like that.

  14. Roddy, Let’s factor your “abad” vs. “bad” distinction into a statistical analysis of the likelihood “jindalisbad” has a chance similarity to to words like “islamabad”.

    Your points that Jindal may himself have engaged in discriminatory behavior regarding brown muslims doesn’t make the concern any less relevant about using browness, muslimness, desiness pejoratively in political campaigns. I don’t think it’s good strategy for desis to overlook it, or explain it away just because it’s used against a desi that themselves may have used it as a weapon against others.

    I think brown folks want to avoid tragedies of the commons & races to the bottom. For example, I think it’s short-sighted for latinos to try to capitalize off of anti-arab sentiment in America.

  15. Dave, I agree with you regarding the principle.

    Jindal’s own behavior makes less relevant, in his particular case, the concern regarding discrimination against brown folks. It’s like a tagger’s own house getting vandalized. In principle, vandalism is wrong. But when it happens to a perpetrator it’s not quite an outrage. It doesn’t change the principle but it does affect the application.

    I see the point about the suffix as a stretch. “Jindal is bad” is a good subject-verb-predicate, active-voice sentence, perfect for speech or broadcast. The best thing about it is that it’s easy to remember as a URL.

  16. After what they’ve been doing to Barrack Obama, is it really necessary to empirically prove dirty race baiting in politics?

    Stupidity and ignorance doesn’t need scientific examination, it just needs to be eliminated through education and “sunshine.”