See Gov Edwards Best Path to Victory
By Kenneth Cooper
In about a month, Louisianans will be faced with a rare opportunity to embarrass themselves on a national scale. Wait, you may say, Louisianans have done that numerous times over the years already – like when they sent the good ole boy act, John Kennedy, to represent them in the Senate, or when they foisted Duck Dynasty and Swamp People onto the world. But consider those minor league achievements, collective decisions recognized by only a niche of America. Come November 16th, though, a major league opportunity will await. On that day, there will be a governor’s election, a clear choice between a successful incumbent with high approval ratings and a Trump supporter who has no detailed plan for the future. That the president has thrust himself into the race delivers the attention of the national media.
Here’s how Governor Edwards can persuade voters of the state to not make an absolute fool of themselves.
Embrace the new math. 1 + 2 = 0. Weird, yes, but it adds up when you think about it. If candidate 1 wants to beat candidate 2, then candidate 1 should mention President Trump 0 times. There’s an old cliché – all politics is local. Well governor Edwards (candidate 1) sure better hope so. Because if he lets Eddie Rispone (candidate 2) make this election mainly about President Trump, then Edwards is going to lose. Locally speaking Rispone, is shockingly unprepared to be governor. He has offered no relevant platform, no relevant ideas. He’s just an opportunist using the president’s name to swindle votes from a gullible public.
Still, it’s a bad matchup for Edwards. Despite being an incumbent with high approval ratings, Edwards is in a race that’ll probably be decided on a partisan level. So if he touts his liberal qualifications, then he could turn off conservative voters. And if he boasts about his conservative record, then he could turn off liberal voters. It’s a conundrum.
What’s a poor incumbent to do in this situation? Unfortunately, he can’t make a reasonable case to voters based on truth, facts, and information. Again if he does so then, he’s most likely going to lose.
In Louisiana, one should never ever overestimate the intelligence of the people. Eddie Rispone seeks to capitalize upon people’s lack of information. His campaign revolves around emotion not facts. His stated plan includes ridding the Louisiana of imaginary sanctuary cities, reincarcerating the hundreds of non-existent rapists and murderers he claims Edwards let out of jail, and apparently setting a record for ending every sentence with the word Trump. Oh, and he’ll periodically throw an awe shucks in there, just to let you know that he’s a stand-up guy, not a career politician.
To win, Edwards should dispose of his inner rationality and base his candidacy around one easily understandable concept – fear. Phony Eddie Rispone wants to take your healthcare away and close down a bunch of hospitals. Phony Eddie Rispone wants to cut taxes for his rich friends and bring us back to the Jindal days of layoffs, massive budget deficits, and higher tuition for schools.
Remember that episode from Good Times when Alderman Davis was being challenged by a young up and comer named Jimmy Pearson? Pearson held the voters in high regard and was too proud to get down and dirty and play the dozens with Davis. Pearson promptly lost, and the lesson he learned was that voters are moved by more than just facts and figures. They’re moved by all sorts of other things like lies, charisma, a good story, hope, optimism, fear. Hopefully, not winning re-election in the primary has taught Edwards that lesson too.
He has a rare opportunity to save the state from national embarrassment. All eyes are watching to see exactly what he’ll do.