Alford: Grumpy elephants and a Teflon donkey

    If you’re willing to look closely, you may find this cycle’s gubernatorial election doesn’t yet have something for everyone to enjoy, but it’s starting to get darn close for political junkies.

    Just consider the following:

    • There are national-level ghosts that are simply haunting this race, like U.S. John Kennedy and U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, both Republicans.
    • The Democratic incumbent, Gov. John Bel Edwards, is deflecting bullets like a Machiavellian Superman, but only because the projectiles are made out of paper-thin attacks that lack a narrative.
    • To the right, there’s a GOP constituency that’s never happy (heavy donors and chronic operatives, we’re looking at you) no matter what anyone does.
    • A pair of Republican challengers, Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, epitomize a dichotomy of fundamentals that literally fuel Louisiana politics and are equally holding them back.

    Like the 2015 gubernatorial cycle, these early months of 2019 have also been peppered with suggestions that candidates other than those announced might jump in. Scalise will remain atop that list until he becomes a contender—his team believes such a scenario is unlikely—or until qualifying concludes.

    Kennedy, meanwhile, is doing what Kennedy does best, which is being Kennedy.

    Read the full column for Alford’s rundown on the state of the upcoming election.

    Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at


    View Comments