Is The Laundromat Going Prime-Time?

At the Daily Kingfish this morning is a post suggesting the Democrats might finally have their candidate to challenge Gov. Bobby Jindal this fall…

According to well-placed Democratic sources, Caroline Fayard is seriously contemplating a run for Governor of the state of Louisiana.

Fayard earned 43 percent of the vote in a runoff election last November, losing to Republican Jay Dardenne in a special election for Lieutenant Governor. During and after that race, campaign finance disclosures indicated that Fayard’s father, wealthy trial attorney and national Democrat fundraiser Calvin Fayard, Jr. was violating Louisiana law by funneling donations to his daughter’s campaign through the Louisiana Democrat Party. To date no case has been made against the Fayards; one imagines should Caroline pursue a run for governor that would change immediately.

The Kingfishers assess Fayard’s chances in an optimistic, if grudgingly realistic fashion:

Fayard’s entry would cause an immediate sensation and draw serious national attention to an otherwise forgettable steamroll of a Jindal reelection campaign. It can’t be said enough: as a candidate, and as a storyline, Caroline Fayard is very attractive. Nationally, Democrats are hunting for young, bankable political stars, and Fayard has the money, juice, presentation and, yes, looks to be just that. A potential governor’s race between Fayard and Jindal would immediately take to the national political stage, vaulting Fayard onto the political pages of every major publication. Appearances on Meet the Press and major Sunday shows wouldn’t be far behind. And the National Democratic Party could not find a better sign of renewal than a competitive race in a southern gubernatorial race against a former GOP rising star.

Yes, it would be hard to see her winning no matter what she says or does in a race against Jindal. Given the strongly Republican lean that the State has taken in recent years, the numbers just might not be there. But it can be assured that Jindal would need every one of those 9 million dollars to beat Fayard. With the right message, Jindal is vulnerable and Fayard might represent the breakthrough-type of messenger to sell it. Furthermore, Fayard would renew the Democratic message in Louisiana, easily breaking free from bad memories of the past. She embodies the promise of a young generation of Louisianians returning home to push their birth-state forward. Her lack of connections with in-state Democrats, including the ghosts of Blanco and Edwards, would be advantageous in this environment. An endorsement from Bill Clinton wouldn’t hurt. Winning the future, indeed.

Exposure of the Fayard laundry operation on a larger scale would likely dim the lights on some of this purported bankability. Her history as an employee of Goldman Sachs won’t likely help a populist message she might craft as well.

The word had been that Fayard was considering a run for Secretary of State, though the rumored potential entry of Department of Natural Resources head Scott Angelle into that race would make for an extremely difficult climb for her there. As a gubernatorial candidate she might be the best the Democrats have available, but one wonders if another loss in a statewide race, particularly if she takes a few heavy hits during the campaign and ultimately doesn’t fare better against Jindal than she did against Dardenne, wouldn’t finish Fayard as a viable candidate.



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