Louisiana politics has moved from colorful to boring, The New York Times reported on its Thursday morning front page.
“Politics is more nationalized now,” the newspaper quoted John Breaux saying.
The article concluded with a 20-something car salesman saying he had heard of Breaux, but didn’t know much about him. Breaux is a retired U.S. senator and one of the last Cajun Democrats who routinely won elections statewide.
Breaux, now a lobbyist in Washington, said Louisiana voters once were concerned about local politics, but not much else happening outside the state. “Now they’re watching Fox News every night. You have an opinion that is national in scope, not Louisiana in scope,” he said.
The Times pointed out that U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy “is running a generic if effective Republican campaign,” in the effort to unseat Democrat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. Cassidy, like GOP candidates in other Southern states, is tying Landrieu to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and “to Washington in general.”
Landrieu, who The Times described as a standard-bearer for an older style of Louisiana politics, nevertheless is relying on national dollars and turning out the vote of African Americans and women, who traditionally cast ballots for Democratic Party candidates.
“They used to say that the biggest sin in Louisiana politics was to be boring,” said R. Michael McHale, a lawyer in Lake Charles. “Now Louisiana’s become more like Washington. To a certain extent, elections aren’t even about Louisiana anymore.”