…and here’s the proof of it.
Now he’s going to do it today.
Interestingly, the vibe I’m getting from the Vitter camp is they actually think this helps them. They think the backlash – which even so far, as best I can tell looking around social media last night and this morning, is very sizable – will rally a lot of reticent voters behind the Republican banner.
And among the insider crowd I talked to, everybody seems to think that Dardenne extracted the Commissioner of Administration job as a concession from Edwards. Dardenne operatives, or perhaps Edwards operatives, as there were lots of each among the people attaching themselves to it, actually put up a Facebook page to campaign for Dardenne as Edwards’ Commissioner of Administration – and then it magically was taken down earlier this week.
There is even word, as Joe Cunningham noted on RedState this morning, that Dardenne shook Vitter down for the Commissioner of Administration job when the two met Monday. Vitter refused.
This from a guy who said publicly that he wouldn’t endorse in the runoff.
It’s a waste of time speculating what effect his Ephialtes impersonation will have on the election results at this point. Endorsements don’t usually mean a whole lot.
Besides, yesterday Vitter got Mike Foster’s endorsement, and the former governor is still a more popular figure than Dardenne is. Not to mention the fact that what Foster said was a pretty strong statement…
“I’m strongly supporting David Vitter for governor in this election as the clear conservative choice. Over the years both as governor and as a private citizen, whenever I’ve called on David, he’s always responded quickly. He’s always followed up on important matters of concern. And David’s consistently led with clear, strong conservative Louisiana principles.
“I won’t demean John Bel Edwards. But I’m very concerned about the Democratic Party he’s beholden to. It’s either trying to give away hard-earned money of working people or trying to turn race against race, rich against poor, one group against the other. The Democratic Party gaining control of Louisiana scares me.”
Here’s something we don’t really have to speculate much about, though, and it’s that Jay Dardenne’s faction within the state Republican Party is dissolved as of this morning.
Dardenne’s crowd within the GOP was always the smallest of the three – the other two being the David Vitter-Steve Scalise-Bill Cassidy faction and the Bobby Jindal-Scott Angelle faction. It was made up of a number of nice folks in expensive Baton Rouge neighborhoods, plus their counterparts on the Northshore and in Metairie and Lakeview, with a spattering of Republicans in Uptown New Orleans, and a few folks here and there in Lafayette and Lake Charles. They’re the ones who join do-gooder organizations with an eye toward reforming them away from the Hard Left, and they like working across the aisle.
Dardenne’s idea of working across the aisle, as expressed in today’s announcement, isn’t what a lot of those folks had in mind. So that faction is likely going to splinter – some of them are done in Republican politics, others will filter over to Vitter’s camp or even to Angelle’s camp, and others just won’t be around for a while. And Dardenne doesn’t really have a successor to lead that faction, which means it’s likely gone along with any influence he’ll ever have within the party again.
Not that he’ll care. If Edwards wins, he gets to be a big wheel in the administration and Republicans who need something will have to supplicate themselves to him because Lord knows they’re not getting anywhere with Edwards – who the word on the street says is actually calling elected officials who have expressed support for Vitter and threatening them with retribution. You might hear more about that in the next few days.
Either way, Dardenne is no longer in a position to bitch and whine about anybody else’s credibility or integrity. His own statements show he’s a liar.