In terms of popularity among his constituents, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy's about in the middle of the pack, according to a new set of surveys by Morning Consult measuring all 100 senators' popularity among their constituents. Kennedy got a thumbs-up from 49 percent of the Louisianans interviewed, slightly better than colleague Bill Cassidy's 46 percent but way behind the undisputed leader, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who clocked in with a 68 percent approval rating.
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a doctor, has sought to distinguish himself in Congress by focusing …
But Kennedy's doing just great among another constituency: The journalists who cover Congress. While some senators actively duck journalists — we've all seen footage of camera crews rushing to keep up with speed-walking politicians — Kennedy's developed a reputation for slowing down and talking, and for delivering that most sought-after commodity, a good quote.
The highly educated lawyer's homespun quips are showing up in all sorts of publications these days, and he's snagging prominent interviews on cable TV. This week, the Huffington Post came out and crowned him the "Folksiest Man in the U.S. Senate." That was the headline of a long story recounting his ability to "command viral headlines with little more than Southern wisdom and a Pelican State drawl, distilling events of the day into blunt terms regular people can understand."
Example: Kennedy's recent quip that "Our country was founded by geniuses, but it’s being run by idiots . . .I think most Americans are wondering how some folks up here made it through the birth canal.”
Kennedy's got some experience simultaneously being a part of the system and colorfully criticizing it, as Louisianans know. While he's taken a couple of outside-the-box stands in his first year in Washington, on matters like the quality of President Donald Trump's appointees to the federal judiciary, he hasn't really rocked the boat. Kennedy may have been critical of the looming government shutdown, which was the topic of the birth canal quip, but he stayed on the Republican Party line.
Still, he's clearly having a moment, which kind of makes you wonder why he'd even be considering coming back home and running for governor next year. John Bel Edwards may have strong poll numbers, but as he grapples with the state's $1 billion shortfall and the looming fiscal cliff, he doesn't look like he's having nearly as much fun.