Like Cortes, Stephen Waguespack Has Burned His Ships

You know, if you’re reasonably well educated, of the story about Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, who conquered the Aztec Empire by use of a rather extreme motivational trick.

Namely, Cortes scuttled his ships so there was no escape from the mission. He raised the stakes to the point there were only two choices.

Do or die.

Andy Andrews gave a great summation of that story as part of a motivational speech, which you can find here…

Whether Stephen Waguespack has seen that video or not we can’t say. We’re quite certain he knows about the story of Cortes, because he just put it into action in his own life. Waguespack announced he was running for governor yesterday, and just as significantly he resigned as president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry in doing so.

Wags makes – or made – better than half a million dollars a year in that job.

“The stakes are high, time is of the essence and I cannot sit on the sidelines when the future of our state is at stake,” Waguespack wrote in his resignation letter, announcing for governor.  “I am committed to doing everything in my power to help the people of this state have good jobs, quality schools and safe communities. I will work to reduce the inefficiencies that are smothering our small businesses, repair the broken infrastructure putting a choke hold on our economy and restore personal freedoms for families.”

Sounds like a good message. And frankly, as we said yesterday, he’d make a good governor.

But can he win? And if he doesn’t – wow.

A half million dollars a year. There’s a pretty significant Jerry Maguire vibe going on here.

Can he raise money? Probably. Can he raise enough to overcome the $10 million lead that Jeff Landry has already built up? Well, on Wednesday two of the biggest GOP donors in the state, Boysie Bollinger and Joe Canizaro, went public with a full-throated endorsement of Landry – a signal that the money in the state is lining up behind Jeff.


Wags is obviously going to tap into some of that, and there will be the big donors who’ll give to both.

But Landry is starting with a big advantage in name recognition. And Waguespack is going to have to fight through practically every other candidate for whom the top objective will be keeping him down.

Especially on the Democrat side. Shawn Wilson’s camp is, rightly or wrongly, going to see Landry as a more desirable runoff opponent than Waguespack because they consider Landry “extreme.” So they’re going to bash Waguespack as a Bobby Jindal redux owing to his time spent as Jindal’s executive counsel and chief of staff.

It’s already begun…

It’s not that the Democrats’ Twitter machine won’t savage Landry as well, they’ve been doing that. But Landry’s already got a substantial base anyway, and those people aren’t going to be moved by whatever attacks leveled at him by Wilson’s camp. Waguespack is in a different position; he has to build support where there currently isn’t much.

Everybody who knows him likes him, so there is certainly potential. But none of that matters if he can’t get into the runoff and he’s got to top Landry to do it.

Which is going to be hard, and there is going to be a whole lot of resistance on all sides.

And those ships are burning back at LABI headquarters.

The stakes are high.



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