Politics in Louisiana makes for strange bedfellows, and what our elections lack in rational substance, they sure make up in pure entertainment value. Here in the Bayou State, politics is a spectator sport.
Could anyone forget that Sunday morning in 1991 when we woke up to realize that we had a run-off for governor and we had to choose between the Grand Klaxon of the Klu Klux Klan, David Duke, and the most corrupt governor in recent history, Edwin Edwards. What a disaster, what a choice. No one with any semblance of conscience could vote for Edwin, but the alternative was even worse. Many of us gagged our way to the polls that November morning. I voted that day for Edwin, hoping that the poll would burn to the ground before my vote was counted.
Then, there was the mayoral race in Sunset La, that when all the ballots were tabulated, we discovered that more votes had been cast than the registered voters eligible in the town.
Or, the district judgeship election in Coushatta, where the issue was decided by one vote. One vote. The parole officer there knew that dozens of ineligible parolees had voted. He of course, wisely kept his mouth shut. He didn't want to be the prime witness in a judicial challenge of a judicial race.
Well, the voters of New Orleans have handed us another one.
Ray-Ray (chocolate city) Nagin vs Mitch (my sister the Senator) Landrieu.
Nagin plays on the black vote, and Landrieu ...(wait for it).... plays on the black vote. Sister Mary was beaten by five points outside of Orleans, and New Orleans got out the vote with the school buses that Nagin drowned, to elect Mary to the Senate. Who'd a thunk it? Mary won by 10,000, and 100,000 came from Orleans parish. What a coincidence.
Paul, over at Whizbang, gives us the scoop on the race, from an insider perspective. If you think the pundits in the big daily papers have a clue what is going on, you are dead wrong. Hell, even the Times Picayune is going to have trouble calling this one. For the best idea of what is going on, watch the betting in Las Vegas. They don't have a clue either, but at least small money is riding on the election there. There ain't no small money left in this race. The big boys have come out to play.
Anyway, we now have two caricatures of politics in Louisiana locked in a nine-point mayors race. It's going to be interesting, that is for damned sure. It's going to be a disaster for New Orleans, that is for damned sure.
This race is as screwed up as Hogan's Goat. Nowhere but in Louisiana... at least I don't have to pull a lever.