The Democrats are in bad shape. They’re getting killed at the ballot boxes when it comes to electing state legislators and governor’s. The party’s base is shrinking and is now mostly confined to big cities, New England, and the west coast. The rest of the country, with a few regrettable exceptions, has resoundingly rejected the party of identity politics, wealth redistribution, and social engineering.
So why not throw a Hail Mary and offer up as a presidential candidate a mayor whose city is one of the most dangerous places on the planet?
The Hill reports, “Democrats looking for new blood to revitalize their party are taking a close look at New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is suddenly being discussed as a dark-horse presidential nominee.”
The Hill describes Landrieu, whose sister spent 16 years as a U.S. Senator and currently works as a DC lobbyist and whose father was HUD Secretary under Jimmy Carter, as a new face from outside Washington claiming that makes him even more intriguing to hard-nosed Democratic strategists.
“I find him to be an incredibly fascinating political figure,” said Jamal Simmons, one of the Washington Democrats turning an eye toward Landrieu. “When you think who are the non-Washington figures in the left that ought to have a say in where we go, I think a lot of people would point to him.”
Why not Landrieu? The party’s most popular figure right now is an avowed socialist whose campaign volunteer just opened fire on Republicans. And the avowed socialist only became a Democrat to run for the party’s 2016 nomination; as soon as he lost, he dropped back out again.
If Democrats do nominate Landrieu he would almost assuredly lose his home state and the south for that matter.
Landrieu has been asked about running for president and claims he’s focused solely on his current job and his upcoming role heading the Conference of Mayors. He is not thinking about a presidential bid, he has repeated countless times. Yeah, right. That’s why he started up a political action committee – to not run for something.
It appears fairly obvious the New Orleans Mayor sacrificed his popularity in Louisiana by tearing down historical monuments in hopes of making a name for himself nationally. It worked. His Gallier Hall speech was all about his run for president.
The Hill reports, “Landrieu’s speech caught the attention of parts of the liberal political intelligentsia. Jonathan Capehart, an editorial writer for The Washington Post, wrote that removing the monuments, “which came after hearings, votes of the City Council and legal challenges to prevent it from happening, put him and anyone else involved in danger.” “But that didn’t stop him from doing it or speaking out,” Capehart said.”
The Mayor’s side kick deputy mayor Ryan Berni, claims the monuments speech was “never intended for a national audience.” Okay, if you say so.
But he said the address, which was written by the mayor himself, stood out “as a way to move forward” on race issues.
“It was genuine, and that’s why it was able to resonate beyond the local audience it was intended for here,” he said, adding “It’s always flattering to have your work recognized.”
Well don’t get too flattered Mr. Mayor. Running for president as the mayor of a city steeped in violence and with a struggling economy is a long shot at best.
But for a Democrat Party with no bench, why not try Landrieu? Who else have they got?
Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. If you have a news tip for Mr. Fagan you can reach him at [email protected] or 504-458-2542.