Is James David Cain Dreaming or Preening?

From Bayoubuzz, we learned this afternoon that James David Cain is considering jumping into the U.S. Senate race against David Vitter, either as a Republican or as an Independent.  Let’s list the reasons that this won’t happen.

  1. David Vitter just raised $1 million in the first quarter of the year and has over $5 million in the bank.  Melancon hasn’t released his first quarter totals yet, probably because they aren’t very good, but he still had $2 million in the bank at the end of the year.  When Cain ran for state insurance commissioner in 2006, he raised about $1 million under the much easier rules for state races.  There is no way that Cain could raise the money to be competitive.
  2. Outside of central and southwest Louisiana, Cain is not well known.  He would have to spend a lot of money introducing himself.
  3. Cain was politically close to EWE back in the day.  Though he’s now a Republican, he’s not an economic conservative — more of a populist.  Cain has a long voting record in the Louisiana Legislature that contains many hard-to-defend votes.
  4. Cain is 71 years old.
  5. David Vitter’s voting record is completely in tune with Louisiana voters.  The only real issue that Cain could use against Vitter is the moral one, and that simply won’t be enough.  If it were, Charlie Melancon would be leading Vitter in the polls.
  6. In his last major race, for Insurance Commissioner in 2006 against Jim Donelon, Cain managed only 39% of the vote and could not force a runoff in a three-way race.  Donelon is a good man, but he isn’t nearly the campaigner that Vitter is.  It’s like a pitcher in AA with a losing record and an 8.35 ERA saying that he could be great in the majors, if only they would call him up.

So is James David Cain really dreaming of being elected, or is he just saying this to get people talking to burnish his ego?  Or, much more ominously, could Democrats be urging him to run in the hope that he’ll hurt Vitter enough to give Melancon a chance?



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