Remember when Duck Dynasty was still a thing? Remember how you couldn’t go into any gas station without seeing their merchandise? Well, here in Louisiana, they’re still kinda sorta a thing – especially if you’re a Republican gubernatorial candidate who is struggling in the polls against a Democrat you’ve repeatedly linked to President Obama.
A few months ago, Senator David Vitter looked like he would easily win the governor’s election, but he just barely escaped the “jungle primary” by about 4 percentage points over Scott Angelle. The ads that his campaign and Super PAC launched against Scott Angelle and Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne were vicious, and definitely broke the GOP’s 11th Commandment which states “Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican.”
While these withering attacks on his Republican opponents may have convinced enough of his supporters to vote in the jungle primary, the supporters of Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne will likely find it hard to vote for the candidate who took Louisiana politics to a pretty nasty place.
Currently, Democrat John Bel Edwards has a surprising 20+ point lead over Vitter in recent polls after the nasty race up to the primary. So naturally, David Vitter had to head up to NE Louisiana and get the folks from Duck Dynasty to say nice things about him on video for advertising.
The ad showed the two men dressed in camouflage, presumably after a day spent hunting “out in the woods,” as Robertson said in the video.
“I know he’s made some mistakes, but who hasn’t?” Robertson said in the 30-second spot. “The whole story of the Bible is about redemption. I’m concerned about our state.”
Vitter then repeated the message of his last TV ad: “What defines us in life is how we get up and earn redemption. Where we are as a state is needing to get up based on strong, conservative principles.” (Source)
“Strong, conservative principles” is what got Louisiana into the position it is in right now. Bobby Jindal and his “conservative principles” have been a nightmare for the past 8 years, and the guy thinks he can be president. David Vitter would certainly govern a lot like Bobby Jindal, but unlike Jindal, he probably won’t be running around the country courting right-wing evangelicals. That means he’ll spend his time in Baton Rouge continuing Jindal’s fight for big business interests, and against Medicaid expansion in Louisiana.
Even though Louisiana is extremely religious and very conservative, Vitter’s all-out attacks on his fellow Republicans to win the primary has turned off many supporters of his rivals who now have to decide whether to hold their nose and vote for Vitter anyhow, vote for Edwards, or just stay home.
Granted, John Bel Edwards is a conservative Democrat. In most other states outside of the Bible Belt he’d likely be a Republican, but this is Louisiana where the lines between political parties are often blurry and religious beliefs can lead a person to being a Democrat instead of a Republican.
David Vitter is in deep, deep trouble politically and if he fails to win the governor’s race, there is a chance he could also lose his re-election bid for the US Senate as well. That’s why he’s trying to use the fading popularity of a reality TV show to make a comeback, because if David Vitter doesn’t win the race, his career in politics could very well soon be over.
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