…against Bill Cassidy. So much so that we’d like to thank, in advance, John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana Democrat Party and its probable new chairman Ted James, Perkins and his benefactor George Soros (no, we can’t prove that, but it’s what everybody thinks), not to mention the Shreveport police department, for allowing this glorious beatdown to come.
Typically, at least to date, the two parties have taken turns conceding the field to each other in lots of major races. Particularly with the Democrats, who other than John Bel Edwards have flat-out refused to mount challenges not just in statewide races (and no, Gwen Collins-Greenup and Derrick Edwards are not “challenges”) but in federal races as well. None of the five incumbent Republican congressmen have faced a serious Democrat challenger since Jamie Mayo, who was just routed out of his longtime job as Monroe’s mayor, challenged Ralph Abraham in 2014 and former governor and federal inmate Edwin Edwards that same year ran against Garrett Graves. That pattern appears to continue this week, though perhaps someone notable will yet surface before close of business Friday.
Republicans have steered clear of serious challenges in likely Democrat seats as well. Cedric Richmond’s congressional district isn’t fertile ground for a GOP challenger and none ever surface. No Republican has run for mayor of New Orleans in a long time. So far it’s not quite certain that any serious Republican challengers will materialize against Lambert Boissiere or Foster Campbell for the Public Service Commission, though hopefully something will happen this week on that score.
So Perkins, who has been touted as a rising star for the Democrats by various legacy media outfits since he won election over hapless Ollie Tyler for mayor in Shreveport in 2018, has jumped into the race against Cassidy, and we’ll finally have an actual red-vs-blue contest in Louisiana.
I’m running for the United States Senate because our country and Louisiana are at a crossroads. Washington’s political games are making us sick. My experience is different than most politicians, and it’s time to take a new road. I hope you will join me, we can get there together.
Perfect. Let’s roll.
We could use a good, honest ideological fight around here. We had one, sort of, in 2019 between Edwards and Eddie Rispone, though there were problems in the structure of the governor’s race last year which attenuated the ideological dispute between the two. Rispone’s campaign was run by a bunch of charlatans from outside Louisiana and its message was consistently tone-deaf, and worse, Rispone trashed Abraham, who ran a close third in the jungle primary, which suppressed a lot of Republican vote in North Louisiana in the runoff. That, plus Edwards flat-out lied and called himself a centrist and the state’s legacy media let him get away with it.
That was how the Democrats managed to hold onto the governor’s mansion in an election cycle which saw them reduced to a rump party in the state legislature, so much so that there isn’t a Senate Democrat delegation anymore – there’s a Black Caucus, and then there are two white guys in the Senate calling themselves Democrats who maybe get sent out for sandwiches when the Black Caucus meets.
But with Perkins, there is no pretense of centrism. Sure, he’s going to do the same thing Edwards did when he ran for governor in 2015 – blather on and on about a military record and use that in an attempt to show that he isn’t one of those crazy leftists who hates America. Here’s the problem with that – the only thing most Louisiana voters know about Perkins is that he’s the clown who refused to allow the Shreveport police to supplement law enforcement when President Trump came to Bossier City last year for a campaign stop to support Rispone. That breach of protocol in pursuit of partisan hackery told voters everything they need to know about Perkins. It said loudly that he’s a virtue-signaling leftist hack who cares a lot more about making headlines in Slate or Vox than protecting the people of northwest Louisiana.
And they know the type.
Perkins has reportedly been pulled over repeatedly for drunk driving in Shreveport, but given a ride home instead of to jail since he’s the mayor. That’ll look great on a resume for the Senate.
Then there’s his management of Shreveport’s finances, including doing bad brother-in-law insurance deals and experimenting with universal basic income in a city which badly needs jobs and economic development rather than freebies for loafers and layabouts.
It isn’t yet a true negative, but Perkins was also the father of Louisiana’s mask mandate – it was his mask mandate in Shreveport getting blown up in a local district court which prompted Edwards to switch his position from declining to impose one statewide while endorsing the local versions. We’re not convinced, yet, that the mask mandate is an electoral loser despite its dubious constitutionality. But when Perkins touts his background as a Harvard-trained lawyer one is entitled to ask how such a profound legal mind could have gotten so quickly thrashed in court with so overbroad an order.
What is unquestionably a negative is that not even two years into his first political job Perkins is running for the U.S. Senate. Voters, particularly in Louisiana, get pretty turned off by candidates who seek to hop from one job to the next, and this is an even more aggressive move than you see from even the worst of them. The two current Republicans in Louisiana politics who have had to fend off those complaints are John Kennedy and Jeff Landry, but both of them have always at least completed a term in office before seeking anything else.
Cassidy’s team didn’t miss that fact. Ty Bofferding, his communications director, let fly with this…
“Not even done with his first term and Mayor Perkins is already abandoning his post as COVID-19 cases in Shreveport rise. Meanwhile, Dr. Cassidy is working with medical experts on efforts to beat the Coronavirus. Louisiana needs leaders who look for solutions, not exit strategies.”
This looks more like Bobby Jindal’s career path than that of Kennedy or Landry. If they start calling Perkins the Black Bobby Jindal, this race might just turn into the greatest thing ever.