I have not taken to any candidate yet, as many others in the Kerry community have not. But John Edwards does have my attention for the amount of time that he spends campaigning in Louisiana. For a state with only eight Electoral College votes, Edwards has spent more time here than any other candidate. He even launched his campaign in New Orleans. Some might wonder as to why he spends so much time here. A couple of things come to mind when I think about it. The first thing that comes to mind, is something I reprinted with permission from award-winning Freelance journalist, Jeremy Alford. In August of 2006, Alford wrote:
Louisiana is in an unprecedented position to woo presidential candidates. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita thrust the state onto a national platform and voters — as well as displaced citizens — are keeping tabs.
Joshua P. Stockley, president of the Louisiana Political Science Association and professor of government at Nicholls State University, said there are a number of factors that will force candidates’ hands when it comes to dealing with Louisiana — directly, on the state level, and indirectly, on the national level.
“They are going to be forced as candidates to craft a message to and about Louisiana, and they are going to be forced as candidates to come to Louisiana if they want the votes,” he said.
During the spring regular session, lawmakers voted to move the state’s presidential primary up on the calendar, a switch that is expected to lead to more attention from the candidates and increased money from political business.
Another thing that comes to mind, is the fact that the state has gone with the winner for so many elections. I can’t remember the number of times, but I think it is over ten. Need to find something on that one though. Don’t quote me one that one. Maybe Edwards just cares about us. The state Dems sure liked him, and he drew cheers from them.
Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards received a warm welcome from a meeting of Louisiana Democrats on Saturday, as he continued drumming up support for his campaign for the presidential nomination.
Edwards gave a half-hour speech at state Democrats’ annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, winning standing ovations when he ridiculed President Bush and praised labor unions. If elected president to replace Bush, Edwards said he would bring all troops home from Iraq within a year.
The crowd was studded with Louisiana Democratic elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom and Attorney General Charles Foti. Absent was Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who is attending a conference of governors in Michigan.
Edwards blamed the White House for the slow hurricane recovery in New Orleans. If elected, he said he would set up a post in the White House focused on Gulf Coast recovery.
Whatever the reason may be, he has spent a lot of time here and has engaged the state. More than any other candidate.
Cross Posted from The Katrinacrat Blog