It was indeed a Louisiana Saturday Night! There would be another LSU football victory, this time over Ole Miss then there would be election night and deep red Louisiana would send a Democrat back to the Governors Mansion. Let's talk politics first. Louisiana re-elected John Bel Edwards as Governor over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. It ended up close, 51 to 49% and will be spun according to the spin that fits one's narrative. For JBE and his supporters it was a rejection of President Trump who thrice campaigned in Louisiana to defeat JBE. For the crazed, champagne sipping supporters at the victory party it was the only thing Democrats could cheer on in the Pelican state. And for those supporters, and all who voted for JBE, most of whom are probably way more left than JBE himself, it was time to forget that their man is very moderate, extremely Pro-Life, against Planned Parenthood and a vocal supporter of the 2nd amendment. The Governor would be, back in the day, one of those blue dog Democrats, Believe me, the folks crowding on to that stage last night to make sure their mug was seen are not of the blue dog variety, As far as Eddie Rispone, let's be honest, 8-10 months ago who knew Eddie Rispone? The fact that he made a runoff, tallied 49% of the vote against a popular moderate incumbent is pretty amazing. But Rispone was not a strong candidate; his strategy was simple, stay shy on details and invoke the name of Trump. While some will surely say this is a personal defeat for Trump, honestly, without Trump, Rispone would have struggled to garner 40%. Without Trump, there never would have been a run-off after the October primary.
So here is the gumbo, the flavor that is Louisiana politics: the Democrats get there watershed victory, but got little less. How can a party that dominated Louisiana politics for over a hundred years find themselves in the following dilemma: sure, the Governor is a D, but there is a R behind the name of every other statewide elected office holder; every other one. And perhaps most shocking and equally unheard of the Republicans completely trounced the Democrats in the state's House and Senate. In fact the Republicans came just 3 or 4 races short of getting something called a super majority, which would make JBE's legislative priorities dead on arrival. Louisiana is also home to parishes, not counties; 64 of them to be exact. Today, Republicans have the largest % of parish Presidents and Sheriffs ever. Ah, Louisiana, you are an eclectic, interesting state. How did voters arrive at the conclusion that they would sweep Republicans into office all over the state, yet keep JBE as Governor? Beyond what I have wrote, I'll wait to the political junkies explain it all to us.
And what would Saturday night be without LSU football and the incredible 2019 season this has become. LSU was on the road in much hated Oxford where Ole Miss hangs out. It ended up another big victory, the 10th in 10 tries, where LSU scores 58 points. By the way, thank God they scored 58 because they incredibly gave up 37. Ouch! LSU had incredible defensive woes last night and will be chided by football experts for such poor defense given that LSU is ranked #1. But LSU QB Joe Burrow and that magical offense is really what carries the #1 Tigers. Unfortunately, LSU needs to fix the defensive problems if they are to win out and we wait until Tuesday night to see if LSU gets punished in the football computer/rankings. We hope not, but I am concerned that LSU might be moved to #2, we have to wait and see.
So there you have it; Louisiana Saturday night, not altogether unlike this: