Here’s a little something from the left-leaning Axios site which paints a picture of effects from the stolen election trickling all the way down to Louisiana…
Republicans’ likely hold on the Senate is forcing Joe Biden’s transition team to consider limiting its prospective Cabinet nominees to those who Mitch McConnell can live with, according to people familiar with the matter.
Why it matters: The new Senate political math could dash the ambitions of some Democrats, including those who have clashed with Republicans.
- It could push Biden to go with more centrist options, like Lael Brainard for Treasury or Tony Blinken for State, sources tell Axios.
- Susan Rice and Stacey Abrams could be early casualties, depending on McConnell’s posture.
- But it could also open paths for others, like Sen. Chris Coons, who could benefit from a tradition of senatorial courtesy for quick confirmations of nominees within its ranks.
A source close to McConnell tells Axios a Republican Senate would work with Biden on centrist nominees but no “radical progressives” or ones who are controversial with conservatives.
- The Biden agenda would be severely restricted by GOP control, the source added: “It’s going to be armed camps.”
The state of play: The process is in its early stages as Biden officials await final numbers on the size of the majority, and any potential signals from McConnell about whether he’ll fight every nominee or focus on one or two examples.
- Traditionally, an incoming president is given wide berth to pick his desired team.
The big picture: This political reality could result in Biden having a more centrist Cabinet.
Do yourself a favor and suspend disbelief on a couple of thinks likely to pop into your head here. First, no – quoting this is not some recognition of Biden’s ability to steal the election. It isn’t stolen yet and there’s a long way to go before Joe Biden becomes your president.
It’s just a hypothetical at this point.
Assuming the hypothetical happens, though, and assuming a Biden administration is attempting to form up with people who can actually be confirmed for high-level positions through a Senate which will be in positively zero mood to give a usurper president any slack whatsoever, who do you think would shortly find himself on a list of potential appointments to a “centrist” Cabinet?
If you guessed John Bel Edwards, you guessed correctly.
In fact, word we hear is that Edwards’ camp is already packing for Washington. He addressed a meeting of Louisiana lobbyists yesterday, for example, and made mention of the fact that normally he would be talking about his agenda for next spring’s legislative session – but instead he wanted to talk to them about COVID-19. He didn’t even want to crow about the fact that Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry wasn’t able to get a preliminary injunction mandating the end of his COVID emergency yesterday.
Why would he not do that? Because he isn’t thinking about any of these things.
And John Bel Edwards could get confirmed in the Senate. Not because anybody up there thinks he’s a moderate or a centrist. He isn’t, and they all know that, regardless of the branding Edwards has applied to himself.
No. The Republicans in the Senate will confirm Edwards for a cabinet position because if he takes a cabinet job, it means Louisiana’s governor’s mansion flips from D to R.
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser would be your new occupant of the Fourth Floor. Thanks to a failed presidential election.
Now – Joe Biden’s number one guy in Louisiana is Cedric Richmond. And Cedric Richmond is no friend of John Bel Edwards. Richmond refused to back Edwards’ choice for the Senate, Adrian Perkins, and instead went for Derrick Edwards. That was a direct attack on the governor, and it led to a disastrous performance by Democrats as Bill Cassidy walked away with 59 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
The buzz is that Cedric Richmond would not be happy if John Bel Edwards got a cabinet nomination.
But on the other hand, if the Axios report has any validity, there might not be much of a choice for the Biden people. The Hard Left people can’t get confirmed, and Edwards can. So maybe Biden extends Richmond some other courtesy to make up for JBE’s nomination.
Would Edwards accept something from Biden? Ohh, you bet he would.
Let’s recognize that Louisiana is absolutely flat on its back right now, and it’s only going to get a lot worse. The state’s economy is utterly destroyed by Edwards’ COVID shutdowns, and getting hit by no less than five named storms doesn’t help. Furthermore, Biden’s Green New Deal efforts have no chance at passing through the Senate but we’ve already begun to see what the administrative state will do to Louisiana’s oil and gas and petrochemical sectors; if Biden adds to that with a national economic shutdown in a doomed effort to beat COVID, then attempts to lard up unions and failed blue local governments with an aid package that McConnell refuses to move through the Senate (because it’s no longer an election year), there will be zero help for the state.
And that means by the spring Louisiana’s budget will be an absolute disaster for the ages. The mother of all fiscal cliffs. No tax increase will fix what’s coming; for the first time there will have to be real, substantial, transformative cuts to state government, and the Legislature will be pretty unlikely to bail Edwards out.
Given all that, if you’re John Bel Edwards if they make you Secretary of Housecats you’ll take it.
And Nungesser might ascend to the governor’s mansion, after being the most Edwards-friendly Republican this side of Jay Dardenne, with headaches so big that it’s practically a foregone conclusion he won’t be able to run for re-election in 2023.
But all this is just a hypothetical, at least right now. If it happens, though, we’re in for interesting times.