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Breaux's Out, Who's Next

Former Sen. John Breaux's (D-La.) decision not to run for governor of Louisiana this fall leaves Democrats at a considerable disadvantage as they try to hold the seat.

While Breaux would likely have had to contend with residency questions throughout his candidacy, he was clearly the strongest Democratic nominee against Rep. Bobby Jindal (R). Local politics watchers in Louisiana say Breaux was seen as a such a titan in the field that Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) backed out of her planned re-election bid.

With Breaux and Blanco on the sidelines, Democrats are left casting about for a new candidate (or candidates) who might be able to keep Jindal under 50 percent in the Oct. 20 primary -- forcing a Nov. 17 runoff.

Who will step into Breaux's shoes? Here's a look at the possibilities:

* Mitch Landrieu: The brother of U.S. Senator Mary and son of famed New Orleans Mayor Moon, would seem like an obvious choice to run, but Mitch Landrieu announced Monday that he will seek another term as lieutenant governor, taking himself out of contention for the state's top job.

* Foster Campbell: The only Democrat currently in the race, Campbell is a member of the state's Public Service Commission. Campbell was elected to the PSC in 2002 after spending 26 years in the state Senate representing a district in the far northwestern corner of the state. Insiders like Campbell's populist message (he has proposed eliminating the state's income tax) but wonder whether he can raise the money to be competitive with Jindal.

* Richard Ieyoub: A former state Attorney General, Ieyoub is regularly mentioned whenever a statewide office comes open. He ran for governor in 2003, narrowly missing the runoff between Blanco and Jindal. Ieyoub also ran for the Senate in 1996, again placing third behind Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and state Rep. Woody Jenkins (R). Ieyoub, who served as the state's top cop from 1992 to 2004, has said he would consider the race if Breaux decided against running.

* Chris John: John, who served in Congress from 1996 until 2004, has long been a Breaux protege. They hail from the same hometown of Crowley and John clearly modeled his political career on Breaux -- right up until his disastrous Senate campaign in 2004. John has since gone into the public sector and there is little evidence he wants to return to elected life right now.

* John Kennedy: Kennedy, a Democrat currently serving as state Treasurer, has long been rumored as a potential Senate candidate in 2008 as a Republican. It's now possible that Kennedy will stay in the Democratic party and decide to run for governor this November, though he had previously ruled out such a run. If a poll shows him with a chance at pushing Jindal to a run-off would he reconsider?

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 16, 2007; 3:28 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Next: Clinton Aims to Win the "Clyburn Primary"


This is very sweet! With Blanco, Breaux and M. Lieuntrue out and Jindal in makes this an easier than expected pick-up for Jindal and Republicans. Plus, we have popular US senator Dave Vitter helping the effort, Jindal is a sure thing now! With Barbour safe in Mississippi and La's. seat a pretty safe pick-up for Jindal, the Republican's will have more money to put to saving the Kentucky governor's seat. Which, no question, will be important to McConnell's relection quest in 08'. They need to start spending now to ensure that Northup defeats Fletcher for the Republican nomination. Then the Republican's really have a fighting chance, if not the advantage. It will still be a tough race, but with La. and Miss. secured, R's have more money to donate to that contest.

Posted by: reason | April 18, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

If anybody here thinks that you can actaully have an intelligent discourse with William, his 7:34 pm post proves that you can't.

People, just because he can write one-half of the equation one + one, doesn't mean that he arrives an the answer of two.

This kid has problems, and you just serve to satisfy his craving for attention, and engaging him in discourse just reinforces his belief that his world is the real world.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

' love all of these irrelevant posts on here that have zero to do with the Louisiana governor's race. Blah, blah, blah, Bush is a warmonger, Bush is worse than Hitler, WMD this and that. I'm also trying to figure out what the Virginia Tech shootings have to do with the Louisiana Governor's race. Take your posts over to the lunatic page where they belong. Or how about the "People With No Life" page.'

Go f*ck yourself, Nancy.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2007 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Romney is nothing but a big ol' giant +urd, and the campaign contributions are the fiber. Come primary season, he will be flushed away.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse


The math is pretty simple. The more guns there are in the possession of average people - about whom no great claims of brilliance and / or exemplary judgment can plausibly be made - the more innocent people get shot, whether on purpose or by accident.

To trust everyone who wishes to own a gun with the decision of whether or not to shoot in any given situation - and the ability to hit what he / she aims at - is a recipe for disaster. For proof, I would refer you to your earlier comments about answering the door with gun in hand. This is a good way to completely undermine freedom, happiness, trust, you name it.

Guns belong in the hands of the police and the military, with permits for single-shot hunting rifles available for those who pass a safety course. And please don't drag out that old tired $h1t again about "the right to form a militia" and "freedom from tyranny" etc.

First of all, the "right to form a militia" - understood in the 18th century context - is only included in order to make sure that when the country needed soldiers, some would be available. In this day and age, we have a large standing professional army. Problem solved!

Also, even if your whole hunting lodge / gun club / wacko militia stands with you, you will lose, and lose quickly and decisively. Owning a weapon - even a fully automatic rifle or pistol - will not, I repeat NOT enable you to take on the best-equipped army in the world. Anyone who tells you anything different either has a motive for doing so or is far out of touch with reality.

Finally, are you really claiming that you trust every single adult in the U.S. with the decision whether or not to shoot you? Because given the opportunity, many will, and not necessarily in self-defense either. When you support these "rights," you support them for everyone, and I can't believe that you trust everyone that much. I certainly don't.

Posted by: eddie the eagle | April 17, 2007 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Yo Nancy -

lighten up.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I am a democrat, but I will NEVER vote for Jindal. I would vote for Baker, McCrery or Alexander wayyyyy before I would vote for Jindal.

He has no spine. Maybe he is being honest, but a man who denies his heritage by changing his name from Piyush to "Bobby" because he liked that character on the brady bunch and converting to catholocism since he was born Hindu just stinks of someone who is ashamed of who he is.

While he's been in the House he has been a lapdog of the Rep party. Baker stood up to the party with solid ideas for a housing program and he got smacked down with his committee assignment (tragic shame). Bobby waited in the back of the room the night CAFTA was voted on and held off on voting against a bil that would ruin his state until Delay told him he had enough votes so Bobby could save face. Don't believe me? Ask Bobby in person sometime if you run into him on the campaign trail. I would love to hear his denial of this.

Bobby is arrogant and runs the risk of developing an administration like that of our beloved Gov. Roemer. Roemer is a brilliant guy that came into office with fire in his stomach and preaching of change. Too bad he had to go through a legislature full of good ol boys to get that reform. Roemer went on to be mostly ineffective and suffer a nervous breakdown if you believe some reports.

When Bobby was secretary of DHH he told everyone that had been there for more than 10 years that he would not listen to any of their ideas b/c they were rutted in the "old ways" Don'tbelieve me? Ask him in front of a camera...there's enough people still around from that meeting that would come forward if he denied that on camera.

Bobby also can't finish a job. He left DHH after just a few years. He was president of the Louisiana University System and botched that so bad that one of our universities was about to lose accreditation until he left and Sally Clausen took over the reins. I can't actually prove this one, but I heard it from reliable people. When the hurricanes hit in 2005, Bobby went on tours all over the state asking people what they needed. His district was one of the hardest hit. Other congressional districts had their own reps that were doing just fine. He abandoned his district to run for Governor in their biggest time of need. It is well known by people who hang around Bobby that he wants to run for President. So, if he gets a shot at Pres, is he going to leave LA and tour the country while we need him the most?

If you REALLY want to vote Republican then consider Walter Boasso. If you want to vote Dem I guess you've got Foster (who is a really nice guy by the way) and whoever else enters the race.

Posted by: you know who | April 17, 2007 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I love all of these irrelevant posts on here that have zero to do with the Louisiana governor's race. Blah, blah, blah, Bush is a warmonger, Bush is worse than Hitler, WMD this and that. I'm also trying to figure out what the Virginia Tech shootings have to do with the Louisiana Governor's race. Take your posts over to the lunatic page where they belong. Or how about the "People With No Life" page.

Posted by: Nancy | April 17, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

If weapons were allowed on campus there would be a Va Tech every other day.

Posted by: ssa | April 16, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

William--"If Concealed Carry was allowed on campus, this tragedy would have ended sooner and much differently."

What does concealing have to do with it? I would think that a non-concealed weapon would have been a much bigger deterrent.

Posted by: roo | April 16, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Do you own a gun, or guns? If so, where do you live? I want to stay at least a time zone away.

Posted by: larry | April 16, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

this is even better william, IED's! YES, BRILLIANT! IED's placed about campus, then no need to worry about poor shots!I'm a genius!

Posted by: miked | April 16, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

William, if we "conceal" the guns the nuts won't know if anyone is "packin" I say UNCONCEALED! Better yet issue each student an AK-47 when they arrive and make it mandatory they carry them at all times! LOCK AND LOAD!! Free bullets with your cell phone! WE NEED MORE GUNS not fewer! MORE KEVLAR! HELMETS ANYONE? DAMN SISSY LIBERALS.

Posted by: mikeD | April 16, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

The last posts by William and Jane are a good reminder that the GUN arguement will never get anywhere. No matter what one side has, the other has a good rebutal. MikeB, your 06:22 PM makes sense as usual.

Posted by: lylepink | April 16, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Today, bush opened his statement of 'grief' over the slain VA students by saying, according to his spokesmouth, that he beleived that every American had the right to own a gun.'

What a bizarre and inhuman insult to the families of these victims. What a sick politicization of tragedy. What a vile and cheap attempt to advance an agenda.

If you can defend this, you are really, really sick. You have lost any shred of humanity.

Posted by: Jane | April 16, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

According to WaPo archives, Vitter defeated Chris John in 2004 51-29%, avoiding a runoff.

The other Democrat running, Chris Kennedy, received 15%.

Considering that LA is something like 32% black, virtually all of whom are Democrats, that would seem to indicate that Vitter received over 5/6 of the white vote.

Chris John probably received most of the remaining 1/6.

Vitter's margin of victory was surprising, considering that John was a quite conservative Democrat from rural Northern LA.

But just as Jindal's defeat had to do with racial voting, perhaps John's did as well. He is of Lebanese ancestry.

On the other hand, John represented one of the states most conservative districts for 8 or 10 years. His district consists mainly of white Protestants.

So if he could get elected to Congress there, his Lebanese ancestry probably didn't hurt him.

Interestingly enough, John's open seat was captured by Republican Charles Boustany, another Lebanese American.

Richard Ieyoub is also Lebanese-American.

Most likely, John was defeated simply because LA is trending Red. It took a long time for the South to stop voting Democrat, and start voting for the GOP, the party which made war against the South long ago.

But they have realized that the Dems no longer represent their interests.

It will be difficult for any Democrat to beat Jindal.

The one who could have done it easily was Breaux, who is popular in LA.

But as Chris C. pointed out, Chris John now works for a lobbying firm (though presumably his residency is still in LA unlike Breaux.)

I don't think Ieyoub has the name recognition to beat Jindal.

I know very little about Chris Kennedy, but he doesn't seem to have the name recognition or fundraising ability necessary either.

And why would either man want to risk a difficult race they are likely to lose.

Another name I have heard tossed about is Jim Bernhard, CEO of the Shaw Group.

I don't think Foster Campbell is a strong candidate.

Mitch Landrieu wouldn't be that strong either. He is seen as too liberal by many rural voters, and his dad's legacy as NOLA mayor was integrating the schools, which many rural people still look down on.

If Landrieu isn't running, with Breaux and Melancon out, it will be very difficult to beat Jindal.


Re: Virginia Tech

If Concealed Carry was allowed on campus, this tragedy would have ended sooner and much differently.

If only ONE of the students in the vicinity had a concealed weapon, they could have taken the shooter out.

But don't expect that to sway the minds of retarded, out of touch liberals.

To them, guns, and not people, are responsible for crimes.

Rather than be un-PC and allow Concealed Carry on campus, demented, twisted leftists would prefer the entire student body to be massacred.

I'll bet those sick masochistic pukes at the Brady Campaign are frothing at the mouth over this in eagerness.

How sick it is, to work for an organization that looks forward to people being shot to death so they can get donations and score political points.

Posted by: William | April 16, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The rich paying more than a simple pro rata share of taxes is an excellent method of preventing revolutions.

Consider it the rich paying insurance, because in revolutions the rich lose more proportionately.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

It's not hard to see why a sane man or woman wouldn't be enamored with becoming Louisiana's Governor about now.

Stuck between federal and local rebuilding agendas and presiding over what's sure to be a Katrina-induced recession, that's what I'd call a career killer.

New on EWM, Don's troubles should have started two years ago:
Slime Us in the Morning

Posted by: The Eyewitness Muse | April 16, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, I understand your thoughts about wanting those with the most wealth to pay the most taxes. That's a common liberal position. However, you can't say that they're not paying their fair share 'by any measure', as you did... only if you believe that the only fair measure is accumulated wealth.

Others believe that the only fair way to tax is based on how much you earn (income tax, perhaps even a flat tax). Or how much you buy/consume (VAT, or national sales tax).

There's no inherently better or worse solution - it all depends on where you fall on the libertarian/socialist spectrum.

Posted by: JD | April 16, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

anon - "The top ten percent of earners pay about 70% of taxes." The problem with your argument is, they also own over 95 percent of the wealth. So, all things being equal, the fact that the top 10% aren't paying 95% or more of taxes means they are not paying their fair share by any measure.

Posted by: MikeB | April 16, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Before posters provide links like the one to American Thinker, they should have to warn others that there is a wing nut at the other end.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) challenges the assertions of the Vice President of the United States Richard Cheney regarding the cooperation of the Saddam regime and al Qaeda. The Senator relies on "intelligence reports" that are in fact political documents created by the Senate, not intelligence products, that the Senator had a strong hand in creating.

I'm, a Democrat, I make up my own facts.

On balance, this research suggests that the prewar judgment remains valid."
Though ignored by Senator Levin, the CIA reaffirmed its prewar intelligence regarding Saddam and his support to Islamic terrorism, specifically al Qaeda.

By far, the informed opinions listed in the report itself, a report purposely limited in scope to exclude for political reasons many sources of new information, support the Vice President's position that Saddam was working with Islamic terrorists to some degree.

Despite the Senator's claim to the contrary, the Vice President has never said that such support made the Saddam regime directly responsible for 9/11. That is indeed, another fiction that Senator Levin has manufactured. The claim made by the Vice President, a view of which there are many supporters, is that the Saddam regimes culpability for terrorism and the stated desire by al Qaeda to obtain WMD made the removal of Saddam imperative. The exact same argument was made by the majority of the Senate when it overwhelmingly passed the legal authorization to remove the Saddam regime from power.

Stop revealing our lies, you republican shills.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The top 10 percent of U.S. taxpayers pay 7 out of every 10 tax dollars, and their share of the burden is rising

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Nearly one-third of all American adults, or 50 million, won't pay any federal income taxes this year. That figure represents a huge jump from the 18 percent of all adults who paid nothing in 1980

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The new religion of global warming comes complete with apocalyptic predictions of floods and famine. (And severe penalties for those who don't toe the global warming line.) So far, an impressive number of Americans have professed 'faith' in this trendy new religion. Their faith can withstand facts, history, common sense and the coldest month in 113 years. No matter what, you can't shake em from the belief that the globe is melting and 'It's All Our Fault!'

As tenured professors assure us that words can mean whatever you want them to mean, rednecks and children know, without having a college degree, that words have meanings. Taxes are taxes, not investments. Oral s*x is s*x and a tramp is a tramp. They know there is virtue in saying what you mean and meaning what you say. They know that just cause something is legal doesn't make it right.
As our elected officials propose legislation that ties 'global warming' to national security, ordinary Americans see this ploy for what it is. An appeal to man's most basic emotions: religion, security, compassion and guilt. All in a naked attempt to impose taxes, gain power and impose a social agenda at odds with traditional mores and current beliefs.

Even the poor, easily led and uneducated masses know that guilt requires true repentance. Buying a 'carbon offset' doesn't quite cut it. They know.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Campbell has the potential to run an interesting race. The PSC is a good position to run from (Gov. Blanco served on it, as did Huey Long). And his populist message could definitely have a wide appeal among actual voters. But as you note, given that message, is the usual crowd of political contributors going to want to give him any money?

Why anyone still discusses Chris John is beyond me. He ran an abysmal statewide campaign, and did terribly at the polls. His time in electoral politics should be over.

Ieyoub is still a force to be reckoned with (he only barely missed the run-offs in the 2 races mentioned), and Kennedy could be an appealing candidate - but does either one want to risk their reputation and future on a race many see as a lost cause for the Democrats?

Posted by: Armand | April 16, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

eliminating income tax isnt populist. what would you replace it with? a highly regressive sales tax? thats not populism, thats insane.

Posted by: will c | April 16, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, a lot of us were pulling for Breaux to come in and save us from Jindal brand of Republican religious politics. Jindal is quite intelligent and has good DC connections, but his right-wing GOP adherents scare most of the thinking people in La.

Ieyroub does not have any swat any longer and Mithch has opted not to run. Right now, that pretty much leaves us with Campbell for which I would have no problem with supporting. At least his populism is real and right now our only chance to keep the state blue. I hope we Demos can get our act together soon so we can stop Jindal from winning in primary.

Also--if you can not spell and do not understand syntax and grammar, perhaps you could pass on posting annoying gibberish.

Posted by: Louis of NOLA | April 16, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

You are an illiterate moron, it is not hard to tell. I miss KOZ. At least he had something interesting to say that wasn't all regurgitated Liberal talking points. seriously, is he the excuse for all the problems in your pitiful life? go somewhere else with your childish antics. you have ruined this blog.

Posted by: JamesL | April 16, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Am I koz or just a totally illiterate moron? hard to tell...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

koz or just a totally illiterate moron? hard to tell...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

foster campbell wussed out of running beforem even against the highly anemic congressman from shreveport mccrery.

chris john recited bush is mah presnit mantra and dem voters refused to vote for his traitor derriere.

we were left with the ninny david vitter, rhodes scholar, harvard, sounds gay, so gay and has repub after his name.

john kennedy was heavily promoted by southern black louisianas who did not trust chris john mantra, but did not get anywhere near significant and came across extreme ninny.

there was no runoff that year, david vitter managed single handedly.

mitch landrieu lost new orleans becoz we preferred corrupt black mayor ray to moronic and corrupt white ass, even after we handed him a runoff free victory for leut gov, becoz we were fed up of the way his sister incessantly tied herself to frist shoelaces and smooched bush butt.

we have 2 viable candidates, jimmy carville and calvin lester from shreveport city council.

of the 2 i prefer calvin becoz he is black and hilarious, but jimmy becoz he is white and mean and he will smack the southern lazy culture into responding to the needs of the state and shame the neighboring corruptocracy in missippi and alabama, and give haley barbour and trent lott a few things to think about.

i told mark morial that, but i dont know if mark has any backbone left.

bye bye

Posted by: minnieb9 | April 16, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

'Watch me find news and paste it here. I am so smart'

It would be better than your boring childish rambling.

Posted by: Jeremy33 | April 16, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Watch me find news and paste it here. I am so smart. I want to be a jernalist when I grow up.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

'So where would the revenue come from? Probably, higher taxes on the Petro-Chemical industry. Meaning higher gas and other prices for us.'

Gas prices are never going down again, no matter what anybody does, becuase the global energy giants control every phase of the operation. They don't compete anymore, they simply merge.

They will charge whatever they want. Go find another boogeymlan.

Posted by: Jane | April 16, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

BAGHDAD -- Suspicious of Iraq's CIA-funded national intelligence agency, members of the Iraqi government have erected a "shadow" secret service that critics say is driven by a Shiite Muslim agenda and has left the country with dueling spy agencies.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"* Foster Campbell: The only Democrat currently in the race, ... Insiders like Campbell's populist message (he has proposed eliminating the state's income tax)"

So where would the revenue come from? Probably, higher taxes on the Petro-Chemical industry. Meaning higher gas and other prices for us.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

And what does that comment have to do with the Governorship of Louisiana? No wonder I never come here...

Posted by: farmasea | April 16, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ret. General John Sheehan: Why I declined to serve, as war czar. "What I found in discussions with current and former members of this administration is that there is no agreed-upon strategic view of the Iraq problem or the region. [...] There has to be linkage between short-term operations and strategic objectives that represent long-term U.S. and regional interests, such as assured access to energy resources and support for stable, Western-oriented countries.

These interests will require a serious dialogue and partnership with countries that live in that increasingly dangerous neighborhood. We cannot 'shorthand' this issue with concepts such as the 'democratization of the region' or the constant refrain by a small but powerful group that we are going to 'win,' even as 'victory' is not defined or is frequently redefined."

Posted by: the truth | April 16, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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