James Carville is saying that Col. Rob Maness, the conservative challenger to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), may be the Louisiana Senate race’s Chris McDaniel, the conservative State Senator in Mississippi who ran against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
Listing four reasons to keep your eye on the Louisiana Senate race, Carville said the Louisiana race could end up looking a lot like the Mississippi Senate race, where McDaniel certainly gave Cochran a run for his money, even though he had half the name recognition Cochran had throughout the state.
Republicans could be faced with a Chris McDaniel type of situation. Although the news has yet to penetrate the Beltway, where it is believed that United States Congressman Bill Cassidy (R) will surely face Landrieu in the Louisiana runoff, a former Air Force colonel, Rob Maness, has started to stir the pot. Maness, who has the coveted endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), is using his “Contract with Louisiana” as the foundation for his platform. And although Maness is currently running in third, I know of no reason that Louisiana Republicans are any less prone to hard-right messaging than Mississippi Republicans were with McDaniel in his contentious race against the incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.
The first reason Carville cites is the fact that the Senate election is an open primary, with the first two winners running against each other in December if Landrieu does not get above 50 percent in November. Carville noted that back in 2002, Landrieu was forced into a runoff with Suzanne Terrell because she did not reach the 50 percent needed.
Also, Carville says that Landrieu’s brother, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, is very popular in the Big Easy and is, among politicos in the state, seen as the only candidate that could beat Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) in the Louisiana gubernatorial election.
The ramifications of the Senate election on the 2015 governor’s race are utterly breathtaking. Landrieu’s brother, Mitch Landrieu, is the, currently very popular, mayor of New Orleans — if the former lieutenant governor decides to run, he would be a formidable candidate. The political brains in this state all unanimously agree that the only Democrat who can defeat Sen. David Vitter (R) in his bid for the governor’s mansion in 2015 would be a Landrieu. As rabbis have been saying for 5,000 years, go figure.
Lastly, Carville says that what makes the Louisiana Senate race more than interesting, is the suspision that Gov. Bobby Jindal and Vitter “hate each other.” Carville said that while Jindal is running for president, Vitter and the Duck Dynasty family are out backing Cassidy as major public supporters.
Carville is a financial contributor and fundraiser for Sen. Landrieu as well as her brother, Mayor Landrieu, and says that he “admires” them both.