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Chet Traylor: Vitter has not been an "effective" senator

By Felicia Sonmez

Sen. David Vitter's (R-La.) eleventh-hour primary challenger said today that he entered the race because voters "want another viable alternative" to the incumbent senator.

"People are concerned, and that's why I'm in the race," former Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor (R) said today in an interview on the Washington Post/ABC News "Top Line" program. "You know, quite frankly, if he weren't in trouble and didn't have problems, I wouldn't be in the race," Traylor added of Vitter.

Traylor filed to run late last week. He entered the race as Vitter has been swatting away controversy related to a former staffer who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend; Vitter also has to contend with his 2007 prostitution scandal.

Though Vitter has his vulnerabilities, the incumbent senator is also sitting on a $5.5 million war chest, putting Traylor at a significant disadvantage with only six weeks remaining until the August 28 primary.

Asked whether he'll make an issue of Vitter's past, Traylor said today that the media has "already made that an issue."

"I'm not real sure that I need to, but of course, that remains to be seen," Traylor added, pointing to the recent controversy over Vitter's aide as an issue "to be considered."

Traylor said that he'd give Vitter a "pretty low" grade for the job he's done as senator.

"I don't think he's been an effective senator, and that's what I keep hearing all over. You can talk about the personal issues all you want, but that's the other side of the coin, is you can point to no real legislation that has been produced," Traylor said.

Traylor also drew a distinction between himself and Vitter on the issue of a liability cap regarding the BP oil spill. Vitter has argued in favor of limits on the amount for which BP can be held liable; Traylor said that he would not support such a cap. "I certainly don't think BP should be capped on the amount of money that they're gonna need to spend to put Louisiana whole again," he said.

Asked about the involvement of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), Traylor said that he didn't expect the governor to play an active role in the primary and noted that he had not spoken directly with Jindal. The governor has not taken sides in the race.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Charlie Melancon is vying for the seat in the fall.

The Cook Political Report -- a respected political handicapping shop and a Fix alma mater -- moved the race from "likely Democrat" to "Lean Democrat" earlier today, reflecting their belief that recent developments have made Vitter more vulnerable.

By The Fix  |  July 15, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Can Joseph Cao win?


If you actual visit the site,, you will find that the race has been moved to the category of "Lean R" as of yesterday the 19th of July. This is a move from its former spot in the "Likely R" category. This race has never been placed in the democrat category. Presenting the facts accurately would be a plus when you are a well respected source. Keep the facts, and numbers straight.

Posted by: fieldms | July 20, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Vitter has, by his own behavior, made himself irrelevant when it comes to criticizing anyone. What a meat ball! These guys think they actually are the voice of the people. In his case, we're talking about the radical fringe, at best.
Please just shut up!

Posted by: roanns | July 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

This is race is likely Democrat? News to me! Vitter leads in every poll. Of course, no primary poll has been introduced. Vitter has lead Melancon in every poll with over 50% of the vote, which puts him in a really strong position. His closest competition, however, was a hypothetical poll on 03/04/2009 in a Republican primary against Sec. of state Jay Dardeen, in which Vitter lead only 43%-32%. This does show some vulnerability, and Traylor could take advantage of that. Traylor could win social conservatives in this race, as fiscal conservatives will clearly line up behind Vitter. Traylor must match Vitter on foreign policy to get those votes, and then attack him on his personal past to win socially conservative voters. There is a path to victory here for Traylor. The trouble for Traylor is that the primary is 08/28. That gives Traylor a little over 1 month to compete and beat out Vitter in a primary. Vitter has a huge cash edge and name recognition. Vitter seems to have recovered from his personal issues as he's leading in all of the polls. Traylor will have to raise lots of money quickly and run hard for the next month. Traylor has a shot, but an extremely short period of time to capitalize.

Posted by: reason5 | July 16, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

You are not going to get banned brigade in fact there needs to be a lot more conservatives like you who enjoy the political banter and generally stay away from juvenile name calling.
I watch CNBC every am before work and was really p.o. with one of their regular guest Sen Corker. Corker has been on often to gush how his friend Sen Dodd was treating him with respect and using his input to craft Fin Reg. So Corker gets maybe twenty five percent of his ideas included in Fin Reg th bill en votes against it. What a jerk. I am in campaign mode now doing what I hope other Ds are now doing working in campaign offices rather than wasting too much time here.

Posted by: leichtman1 | July 16, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Hawaii has already provided proof of Obama's birth certificate. Before further lawsuits on this matter are allowed, Vitter has some documentary evidence of his own to supply. He should provide written proof that he did indeed patronize a prostitute. For all we know, his apology is a complete fabrication of a sin he never committed, just so he can score campaign points with those Louisiana good ol' boys who give his philandering high fives. So show us some receipts for hotel rooms or something. Otherwise I shall suspect Vitter is as phony as any transvestite in the business.

Posted by: RC11 | July 15, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

U.S. Senator David Vitter should be thoroughly investigated prior to consideration of his suitableness as a United States Senator for the State of Louisiana. It is unrealistic to view Sen. Vitter's trysts with prostitutes as ONLY his personal business. Anytime a public official is involved in activities of which he or she wants concealed from the public, such activities require COVER–UP. This fact is evident from scores of news story coverage about investigations and findings of former, as well as present politicians' use and potential use of public money to fund unsavory, extra-curricular or illegal activities.

MOREOVER, it is troubling to imagine all the jobs, positions, favors, negotiations, kickbacks and deals associated with HUSH-HUSH & CONCEALMENT. Such factors appear likely causes and effects concerning Vitter's engineering the appointments of federal ‘judge’ Kurt Englehardt and U.S. Atty Jim Letten. I can prove that Englehardt is an unjust judge.

ASIDE from likely hush $$$$$, perks, and career appointments, it is highly probable that the clandestine list of the New Orleans Canal Street Brothel "JOHNS" is the leverage tool for keeping certain people under control, or for forcing people to comply and cooperate with Louisiana’s systemic corruption. (Also, at the least, public exposure of that list of Brothel Johns could embarrass people or ruin lives).

For all such reason –especially in light of the Gulf Coast BP Oil disaster, ongoing revelations about Big Oil conflict of interest / commingling with New Orleans federal judges and various generous political contributors, as well as the SPARSE REGULATORY measures concerning the oil industry– the extent of Vitter's prostitution activities are of indeed a concern for Louisiana citizens. *More @

Posted by: lawgrace | July 15, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

You're looking at it all wrong, brigade, fixated in the echo chamber thing. That isn't what I want. That would bore me inside a week.

The point is to block the repetitive, the dull, the nasty, and the trolls, not to create uniformity. Zouk contributes nothing here, his whole message is hate and derision and after two or three posts you've seen it all. 37th is just stupid and repetitive. On the rare occasions you drop the insults you are worth reading and you might drop them more if you knew people would ignore you.

Yeah some would block me. I can handle that.

As for next week, outright ban can't work. There is registration and there is IP. That's all there us to distinguish. It hadn't worked even with a non-techy burnout like 37, it won't work with someone network savvy like me.

I hope it's Block Poster, I like the idea of zouk posting his hate and nobody seeing it, and him not even knowing it.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 15, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza's tolerance for truly savage and vicious name calling like zouk does every day while banning others for vastly milder offenses is THE reason anarchy prevails here. It could not be more glaring.

And he never answers questions about it, just trots out the same phony talking points. "I don't understand why you keep coming back if you don't like it here.".

Comr on, Cillizza, how do you reconcile allowing this pedophile stuff to go on with any pretense of decorum?

Posted by: Noacoler | July 15, 2010 5:32 PM

Sticks and stones, my boy. Insults, even yours, flow off of me like water off of a duck. I don't know how this compares to other blogs, but I haven't seen anything here so offensive that I'd want anyone banned. You and Moonbat occupy opposite ends of the political spectrum, but I don't want either of you banned. What's the point?

I've contended, as with 37th's posts, if people don't want to read something scroll on. That seems like an easy solution and not one of the most difficult tasks life will ever toss our way. None of the new options sounds particularly appealing.

If it's an outright ban, Chris has already tipped his hand that you're a goner. You say Moonbat (Zouk) should go; maybe me, too. And then there's this talk of letting the bloggers block individual posters; that seems just as weird. So if I, or anyone else, comes here and routinely attacks Broadwayjoe with every racial slur imaginable, his recourse is to block the individual so he personally doesn't have to view the stuff? And what about people who just drop by, or the dozens who come from the occasional Drudge links? They won't know who to block, so they just soldier on and can be called every name in the book?

Of course, the answer is that there would have to be two sources of moderation. The site managers could permanently(?) block someone AND the individual posters could block those they didn't want to read.

I don't come here because I think leichtman1 is a better writer than some of the Pulitzer prize winners who espouse the Democratic viewpoint. I come so I can respond to his posts. If he's going to block me so he can't read my response, then why am I wasting my time? Can't he just scroll up, and then I wouldn't know whether he's reading or not?

The back and forth is the thing, even if it sometimes gets heated. If you guys drive off the few conservatives who post here, all you'll have is an echo chamber, a continual liberal circle jerk. Is that what you want? Maybe you'd rather not see my responses or those of anyone else who disagrees with you. But if that's the case, then I have no reason to hang around---regardless of whether I'm banned.

Posted by: Brigade | July 15, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

I find the sexual slurs against the Tea Party offensive - if you can stop your side from those slurs and the sterotyping, it would help.

thanks !

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 15, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

How about you characters restrain yourselves?

That would work with or without moderation.


Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 15, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza's tolerance for truly savage and vicious name calling like zouk does every day while banning others for vastly milder offenses is THE reason anarchy prevails here. It could not be more glaring.

And he never answers questions about it, just trots out the same phony talking points. "I don't understand why you keep coming back if you don't like it here.".

Comr on, Cillizza, how do you reconcile allowing this pedophile stuff to go on with any pretense of decorum?

Posted by: Noacoler | July 15, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@ Noacoler,
Yep, and meanwhile we have low IQ dopes like "Moonbat" who contribute nothing other than to come on here everyday and claim that my post name means that I'm a pedophile. Seriously, that's really what that idiot is hinting at everytime he rolls out that "peds" crap after I post something on here. It's unbelievable that Cillizza does nothing about it so I can assume that he approves.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 15, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@DrainYou: zouk has been banned six times for personal attacks, 37th banned eight times (known) for spamming, I've been banned three times, for personal attacks consisting of calling out racist posters (not for my profanity)

Posted by: Noacoler | July 15, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Dead Ped walkin'whoopeeeeee

Posted by: Moonbat | July 15, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Only sexually repressed Wingers like yourself could possibly get a sexual reference (DrainYou) out of the title of a Nirvana song. Just like Zouk, you need to get out of parents basement more often.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 15, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Zouk ("present-and-accounted-for") and 37thandOStreet are still trolling on here after being banned twice already, shows exactly how unserious WaPo is about moderating the right wing lunatic fringers that run wild on here everyday.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 15, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Dead Ped walkin'


Posted by: Moonbat | July 15, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Speculations on the promised moderation.

(1) Post pre-approval.  Unlikely, requires paying someone to do the pre-approving, and with the Post's strapped financial condition that would mean high school graduates if not kids on vacation.  Desirable, as it would slow the pace here and encourage more thoughtful posts.  If it's nto going to appear in three seconds you may as well put some thought into it.

(2) Post deletion after appearance.  Undeisrable, also expensive, and absolutely subject to bias.  Minion orders: delete posts critical of Republicans, delete posts putting Democrats in favorable light.  Both (1) and (2) subject to ineptitude and the bias already so noticeable here.  See Pawlenty, Tim, see "Bad News for Democrats."  Does not prevent responses to offending posts containing quotes.

(3) The Invisible Ban: banned posters see their own posts, nobody else sees them, they just get no responses.  Easily detected by logging out and checking to see if one's posts still appear.  Easily circumvented by reregistering.  This is how other blogs here do it, like The Precinct, which has not been saved thereby, being jammed by a few indefatigable free-market zombies.

(4) The Block Poster.  This is the ideal.  Each poster gets to block others he has judged below the salt.  Whatever moniker 37th posts under, everyone blocks, problem solved.  He sees his own posts, logged in or not, nobody else sees them.  Posters weary of Noacoler's larger hammer approach, zouk's creative name-calling, Brigade's lurid prurience, block the ones they don't want to see.

The choice (4) is by far the best, being easy to implement atop the data model, and not subject to the biases so prevalent here.  The other three will certainly reflect the favoritism we've seen, e.g. tolerance of racist and homophobic posts.  Only problem is people quoting posters others don't want to see, but I would think the choices of who to block would be fairly consistent.  Most everyone will block the trolls, but the trolls won't block people they want to harass or enjoy being outraged by.

We shall see.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 15, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

More bad news for the Teabagger goons (the Republican base).

Americans Really Don’t Miss Republican President Bush

"In recent months, not only have conservatives continued to ramp up their anti-Obama rhetoric, but they have also begun invoking nostalgia for the good ol’ days of President Bush. In April, College Republicans at Western Kentucky University created a “W” Day to show support for Bush, and there have been billboards with the question “Miss Me Yet?” and a picture of Bush popping up around the country."

– 71 percent blame the Bush Republicans for the “balky economy,” while 27 percent blame President Obama.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 15, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Sonmez got it wrong. She actually should have Republican following the words leans and likely.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 15, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Vitter tries to walk it back...

'Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is strongly denying that he is a birther, after he was recorded on video approving of birther lawsuits at a Tea Party event this past weekend. And furthermore, he's denying that he ever praised the lawsuits, either -- and blasting the "liberal thought police" for opposing people's right to bring them.

"This attack is ridiculous," Vitter said in statement, Politico reports. "I'm not a birther, and I even said the issue is distracting. But I think people should have appropriate access to the courts. Is even that statement unacceptable now to the liberal thought police?"

Of course, that's not what Vitter said. What he actually said was that "I support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court. I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it." That is, he encouraged the lawsuits as the "most possibly effective" way to bust President Obama for his birth certificate."

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It makes more sense if Somnez actually meant to type that the shift moved from "likely Republican" to "leans Republican."

A few days ago, the Fixateers (Fixlings? Fixterns?) listed Vitter as a Democrat.

Louisiana is a backwards state in many ways, but we can keep our Ds and Rs in order.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 15, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The next time a democrat tries to tell you how great Obama's accomplishment is with the financial reform bil is -

ASK THEM - what they think about the fixes for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Obama's bill.

And wait to see what they say. Because Obama has no fix for Fannie Mae in the bill - and no fix for Freddie Mac in the bill.

Then you can ask them how great the financial regulation bill is.



Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 15, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree with dawd, the scale seems backwards.

But in any case, DiaperBoy is going down and that's pretty funny.

Posted by: drindl | July 15, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what the scale is for Cook, but doesn't "likely Democrat" indicate more trouble for Vitter than "lean Democrat"?

Also, what polls has Cook been getting to think a Democrat has better than 50-50 to win this seat?? In the heads up polls between Vitter and Melancon, Vitter has been crushing. The latest one had Vitter up by 20 points. (Rasmussen, but still high)

Posted by: DDAWD | July 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

IN the financial regulation bill, Section 342 sets up minority hiring quotas for financial firms

Merit is out the window - the color of your skin is now what matters.

Jim Crow is back - different hiring standards for different groups.

This is where Obama has brought the nation.

AND Obama is setting up 20 offices of Minority Hiring Enforcement. We have already seen how Obama is abusing the Justice Department in the Arizona case - we can just wonder what comes out of Section 342.


Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 15, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

More importantly, Obungler is going down in flames:

With his approval numbers hitting new lows it’s no surprise that Barack Obama’s numbers in our monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race are their worst ever this month. He trails Mitt Romney 46-43, Mike Huckabee 47-45, Newt Gingrich 46-45, and is even tied with Sarah Palin at 46. The only person tested he leads is Jan Brewer, who doesn’t have particularly high name recognition on the national level at this point.

It’s not that any of the Republican candidates are particularly well liked. Only Huckabee has positive favorability numbers at 37/28. Romney’s at 32/33, Gingrich at 32/42, Palin at 37/52, and Brewer at 17/20. But with a majority of Americans now disapproving of Obama it’s no surprise that a large chunk of them would replace him as President if they had that choice today.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 15, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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