It just seems stupid.
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) July 28, 2014
Tony Perkins’ endorsement isn’t going to change the Senate race. The Family Research Council isn’t in a position to change the Maness’ campaign’s strategic situation, because Perkins’ endorsement isn’t going to carry with it the Louisiana Family Forum – which does influence a large bloc of voters in Louisiana. LFF’s president Gene Mills isn’t going to get involved in the Senate race, and he’s definitely not going to come in on Maness’ side when Maness is below 10 percent and has all of $300,000 in the bank compared to Bill Cassidy’s $5.8 million and Mary Landrieu’s $6.2 million.
If you’re in Louisiana and your TV has been on in the last couple of days, you’ll know that Cassidy and Landrieu are both dumping campaign spots out onto the airwaves. Maness isn’t, because Maness doesn’t have any money to put on TV. And we all know that you’re not going to win a Senate race unless you can spend money on TV.
Tony Perkins has to know this. So for Perkins to endorse Maness that would mean he’s got to hate him some Bill Cassidy.
We already know he doesn’t like Cassidy; he’s trashed him in the past.
You’d think that dislike comes out of principle. Cassidy has to have a lousy record on social issues that the FRC would measure on its scorecard.
After all, Cassidy’s record with FRC this year is a dismal…100 percent.
Oh, OK. Well, that’s all right – his record with FRC in 2012 was an atrocious…66 percent. He was with them on four of six votes and didn’t cast a vote on the other two.
And in 2011, Cassidy was an awful…90 percent with FRC.
One supposes you could play the purity card here, but of the 36 votes FRC has scored since Cassidy went to Congress in 2009 he’s voted with Perkins on 31 of them. Three times he’s voted against them and twice he’s not voted one way or another. Because five times in six years he hasn’t been with you, you’re going to back the guy who has no chance to win against Cassidy?
Seems like incredibly dumb politics to me.
The smart play, if Perkins really doesn’t like Cassidy, would have been to withhold an endorsement so you’re not on record backing the trailing horse in the race. Either that or to have endorsed Maness right out of the gate, or at least to have endorsed him at the first point where there was reasonably certainty that nobody else would be in the field so as to give the campaign the air of building momentum.
This doesn’t look like building momentum. What it looks like is petty politics on Perkins’ part. And the fact that it just squirts out on Twitter after Jeremy Alford already leaked it means Maness doesn’t even get much of a bump out of the endorsement – at this point the actual announcement, via Twitter, is like old news.
That just presents Perkins as a bit player in Louisiana politics, which makes future endorsements have less value.
None of this makes much sense. It’s truly mystifying.