Alford: Sizing up JBE 2.0

    What if Gov. John Bel Edwards seizes re-election from the hands of his enemies, as he has already promised?

    For starters, writes Jeremy Alford in his new column, the victory would be historic. Edwards would become the first Democrat in 44 years to be re-elected governor in Louisiana, and only the fifth overall to do so since 1967.

    Re-election would also serve as a filter for the Edwards brand, expanding his platform.

    While Edwards would still be Edwards, his extended governorship would undoubtedly attract more attention from national Democratic circles and maybe even position the administration for potential and significant policy gains.

    Then there’s the usual trappings of a second term, which vary from one governor to the next. For former Gov. Mike Foster, there was an unleashing of sorts, especially since another office was out of the question; he was free to pursue revenue increases, ride his motorcycles and shoot ducks without apologies. By comparison, the politics during former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s final four years became amplified as he launched a dark horse bid for president.

    Yet no matter how a politician stirs his or her own roux, another bowl of executive leadership typically leads to all kinds of challenges.

    You can refer to such instances as part of a campaign curse, or call them Capitol coincidences if you like, but the trend is unmistakable. Read the full column about the misfortunes of second-term governors in Louisiana.

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

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