Edwards is playing out the string as the state’s chief executive, reduced to reacting against progress when the Republican-controlled Legislature gets up the gumption to force an issue, and unable to forward successfully anything but the most marginal agenda items or purely symbolic gestures such as promoting policies based on climate alarmism. The rest of the time he tries to behave as a one-man Chamber of Commerce to beg the private sector to boost the state’s economic development that has performed dismally under his watch.
While he already has demurred from attempting any future elective office, he has not discouraged speculation about appointive positions. Given the current milieu generated by national Democrats, however, and particularly with his third-rail violation of not opposing measures that have the effect of reducing abortion on demand, he’s found the Democrat Pres. Joe Biden Administration disinterested in his services, even where that background or his prior military service might deliver at least a symbolic advantage for his assuming this kind of post.
Yet perhaps he would change his mind on elective office if handed to him on a silver platter: the vice presidency, then presidency. Christian Whiton at Super Macro notes a plan many Democrats insiders and activists have harbored since before the election: get a mentally-eroding Biden to resign just after 2023 to position Democrat Vice Pres. Kamala Harris to run in 2024, giving her nearly two years to build credentials.
However, with Biden’s approval ratings in the tank and Harris’ below its bottom, the strategy must shift, he argues, to her removal first so her replacement can become to chess piece to execute the strategy. Regardless that convincing the flighty Harris to leave would be even more difficult than pushing the craven Biden out the door, Whiton nominates for the swap “Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) or a moderate Democrat governor like Jared Polis (Colorado) or John Bel Edwards (Louisiana).”
Again, an enormous suspension of disbelief must occur even to arrive at this point, but let’s say somehow the plan comes to fruition – after a disastrous 2022 election cycle, Harris resigns and Biden reverses course and promises to follow just after a new VP’s inauguration. It still won’t work for Edwards.
He has an electoral problem in that he’s hardly more “moderate” than Biden, having revealed through statements and actions over the past year his fealty to the far left on social issues that has gripped Democrat national officeholders, powerbrokers, and activists. Further, his botched approach to address the Wuhan coronavirus virus pandemic smacks of the same dynamic that took down Democrats in center-left Virginia elections this year. That this makes him unlikely to win a 2024 contest in the center-right country against an articulate demonstrated conservative, especially since he can’t come off as a blank slate as he did to maneuver into the Governor’s Office in 2015 in a state a bit more to the right than the country as a whole.
Democrats won’t admit that policy failures and positions abjured by a majority of the public have driven down all of Biden’s, Harris’, and their party’s approval, so most of his issue preferences wouldn’t disqualify him on either ideological or practical grounds. But they would focus on his few apostasies, especially with their abortion litmus test. Despite his true feelings about the issue not entirely clear (especially with his infamous 2006 concession that abortion is “the freedom of choice”), they never would confirm him as a replacement vice president for his failure to champion abortion on demand in every instance.
The scenario is all a flight of fancy, much like Louisiana Democrats’ delusion that they can wrest out of reapportionment two congressional districts that would favor them – fun to analyze, but hopelessly unrealistic in manifestation.