If you didn’t see the 60 Minutes segment in which Rep. Steve Scalise was interviewed by Norah O’Donnell, we have it below. One of the more uplifting stories in American politics in the past month, if not more, has been the victorious return to the stage by the House Majority Whip, who hails from suburban New Orleans – so victorious, in fact, that there has been speculation as to his future beyond just being the No. 3 man in the House leadership.
I offered a bit of a take on one direction that could go in my American Spectator column this morning…
Back home in Louisiana there is a growing desire on the part of Republican activists to recruit Scalise to run for governor. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that (1) Democrat governor John Bel Edwards is strangling the state’s private sector economy, which was the nation’s worst-performing in terms of median income growth (or reduction, in Louisiana’s case) last year, and (2) so far Edwards isn’t paying a price for it in his approval rating, which hovers in the high 50s.
That’s probably going to change, as the number one factor in Louisiana politics at present is voter fatigue. As 2019, the next statewide election cycle, gets closer that’s expected to change — and Edwards has a host of negatives brewing which will drag that approval number down.
But while the Louisiana GOP has a reasonably deep bench at present, there is no Republican in the state whose entry into that race would provide more assurance of a GOP takeover than Scalise. If he ran — which he could do without endangering his seat or his job as Whip in the event he lost — he would be nearly impossible to beat, and the state’s Republicans know it.
There has been a faint rumor of potential interest on Scalise’s part, but nothing that would credibly indicate he’s considering it. Now that he’s returned to the House it’s probably less likely Steve would consider a gubernatorial run.
It’s a dream lots of Republicans have, though. Scalise would give you all of David Vitter’s conservatism and all of his passion for policy reform with none of the political baggage. On the contrary, with Scalise you’d have the closest thing in modern American history to a political saint. How John Bel Edwards could possibly beat that is a good question – nobody is going to buy a revival of Lamar White’s David Duke slime as a disqualifier.
Particularly when people see this…