ROBICHEAUX: John Bel’s Not Going Anywhere, And Neither Is Billy

There was an interesting development last week that got lost in the legislatures complete failure to override John Bel’s veto of the transgender athlete bill that will recalibrate some of the whispers going around regarding the 2023 gubernatorial election here in Louisiana.

Ever since Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States rumors had been circulating that our esteemed Governor may receive some sort of appointment to the Biden Administration. The Director of FEMA, Secretary of the Army, and even Ambassador to the Vatican were all options that have been floated. Any appointment would have been monumental, not just for the Governor, but for the unintended consequences it would have had on the upcoming 2023 governor’s race.

Any cabinet appointment of Gov. Edwards would have elevated Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser to the 4th floor and he would be running for Governor in 2023 as a “incumbent” Governor. There would have been no special election to replace the Governor, as the constitution simply allows the Lt. Governor to finish out the current term. As Nungesser has consistently taken Edwards’ side on issue after issue, there is a mode of thought shared by many that he’s just another status-quo player.

So, for the remaining two years of John Bel’s term Louisiana would have, arguably (according to his detractors), been in no better a position under Nungesser than it already is under Edwards, which is why most politicos with half a brain have been hoping any major appointment would never happen. File it under the “devil you know vs. the devil you don’t” mentality.

In small circles though, Nungesser has been admittingly hoping and many times spreading the rumor himself that Edwards would get one of these coveted appointments to give him a leg up on the 2023 race. Lord knows that in order to win the Governor’s race Nungesser will need all the help he can get as his conservative credentials are anything but credible and he stands to be exposed of that, and a lot more, in the 2023 cycle.

Having spent a few months as Governor would have allowed Nungesser the opportunity to make a few moves to help him win over locals and pretend to be an actual conservative (NEWSFLASH Billy: No one will forget you were MIA every time President Trump came to campaign against JBE) all in an effort to win the Governor’s race he otherwise doesn’t stand a chance at winning.

But earlier this month President Biden undercut this hope for ole Billy when he finally made an appointment for Edwards.

That appointment? The Council of Governors.

So Edwards isn’t going anywhere, if anything, this appointment solidifies the fact that Edwards is going to continue to carry the torch as the only blue governor in the deep red south and Nungesser can go back to eating his way through the state, selling staycations, crying about how his fellow Republicans are treating him, and, oh yea… being investigated by the FBI.

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