Six weeks ago the ink was flowing about what a serious challenge retired State Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor would be to incumbent U. S. Senator David Vitter. This morning the political pundits awoke from their wet dream to the reality that Vitter won the GOP primary with 88% of the vote.
Some of the more fanciful predictions from six weeks ago:
Chet Traylor’s decision to qualify for the Aug. 28 Republican primary election gave Louisiana Republicans a viable alternative to U.S. Sen. David Vitter. Scarred by his own indiscretions and those of a trusted aide, Vitter is vulnerable in the eyes of some Republicans, including some well-heeled businessmen.
Bradley Beychok, campaign manager for Melancon, said he was pleasantly surprised there was a “viable challenger at the last minute” in the Louisiana Senate Republican primary. “We look forward to our primary on Aug. 28, and certainly Sen. Vitter has a very competitive primary with a very respected Republican on the same day,” Beychok said.
Talk about Republican Sen. David Vitter’s worst political nightmare — a surprise challenger with all the right conservative credentials and none of the baggage of the incumbent’s prostitution scandal.
One pundit who got it right was DC based Stu Rothenberg who actually went to the trouble to do some real research before opining.
Reporters like to write about Vitter because it gives them the opportunity each time to detail his juicy past problems, but until there is evidence that Traylor is making headway in his uphill bid, the Republican primary isn’t much of a story.
Lincoln Parish News Online readers will recall our small part in this story. We were interviewed by now-disgraced political reporter Shira Toeplitz of Politico.com. What she didn’t report was the graveyard of skeletons in Traylor’s closet – skeleton’s that she knew about but chose not to report.
Walter Abbott is the publisher of Lincoln Parish News Online, where this piece was originally posted.