Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Kingfishery and Kingcakery: Grace on Blanco - Stephanie Grace of the New Orleans Times-Picayune weighs in on the Blanco victory for the Louisiana Governorship. Some relevant pieces of her column:

Consider the similarities [between the 2002 Landrieu and 2003 Blanco campaigns]: Like 2002, Louisiana was the last state to go to the polls in a year marked by a string of Republican triumphs. Like 2002, the Republican candidate seemed to have a corner on the momentum for much of the race. Like 2002, the Democrat struggled when she talked conservative, but thrived when she switched gears and played up differences with her opponent and her opponent's party. [Emphasis added.]

Last year, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu was the one facing a tough battle, and she started her primary campaign against three well-known Republicans by emphasizing her centrism and frequent support for President Bush. The tactic didn't get her the majority she needed to avoid a runoff, so Landrieu, who presumably figured out that voters looking for a Republican were going to just vote for the Republican, started emphasizing issues that would motivate her own base. [Emphasis added.]


Blanco and her backers also stepped up their portrayal of Jindal as extreme on social issues such as abortion and gay rights, a strategy aimed at getting the moderates and liberals who were drawn to his energy and resume to reconsider. [Emphasis added.]Jindal's well-oiled campaign finally faltered and didn't do enough to counter the barrage.
As I mentioned before, Democrats should always remember that winning Democratic candidates in this State emphasize their liberal credentials and work to motivate the base. Shifting rightward is a sure-fire strategy for failure in this State. The Democratic Candidate for the Presidency next Fall should remember this. ... And I predict and guarantee that WHEN Hillary Clinton runs for President in future elections on the Democratic ticket, she will handily win Louisiana's electoral votes.

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