Louisiana Election

Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy waves to supporters at his election watch party, after being elected to the senate seat vacated by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., in Baton Rouge on Dec. 10. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Maybe, as a Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards is for once expressing the deepest feelings of hardcore partisans in the Louisiana Republican Party: "For Sen. Kennedy, this was never about the people of Louisiana. This was about focusing the spotlight on himself.”

Perhaps that’s a bit ungracious from the winner of the pseudo-contest about who’s running next year for governor. But for GOP party animals, there is the reality that John N. Kennedy’s position as a potential frontrunner made others’ fundraising or spadework for 2019 campaigns much more difficult.

Only one really announced candidate, the self-funding Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone, had laid the groundwork for a challenge to Edwards. That’s because he’s writing a big first check to himself.

While U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, ran in his re-election campaign this fall television ads (biographical spots from Lionel Rainey, the Baton Rouge consultant) far outside his North Louisiana district, it was hardly possible to announce a full-fledged campaign with Kennedy in the wings.

Many GOP donors were naturally frozen by Kennedy’s indecision, whether Edwards believes it was insincere or not.

Admit it or not publicly, the party would have been far better off without Senator Hamlet musing so long in the U.S. Capitol.