Blanco Abandons Re-Election Effort, Blames GOP
Famously incompetent Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will not be seeking reelection after seeing poll numbers that would even make President Bush blanch:
Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, politically battered by a shaky post-Hurricane Katrina performance, announced Tuesday that she would not seek election to a second term this fall.
The Democratic governor’s announcement ends months of speculation in Louisiana political circles, fueled by dismal poll ratings that showed her capturing barely a third of the vote against a Republican challenger, Bobby Jindal, a congressman from the New Orleans suburbs.
In a brief televised statement from the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge, Ms. Blanco said: “While so many still suffer, I am choosing to do what I believe is best for my state. I will focus my time and my energy for the next nine months on the people’s work, not on politics. After much thought and prayer, I have decided I will not seek re-election as your governor.”
Ms. Blanco never recovered from the widespread sense that developed in the hurricane’s immediate aftermath: that she was overwhelmed by the catastrophe, and flustered by it. Louisianians placed blame for a slow recovery partly on her and on policies that produced meager results. Most recently, her Road Home aid program, which has helped only a tiny fraction of ruined homeowners, has come in for particular criticism.
With Ms. Blanco, 64, out of the race, the attention of Democrats is now likely to be focused on former Senator John B. Breaux, who remains popular in the state and who has hinted for weeks that he would run if the incumbent did not. His entry would complicate matters for Mr. Jindal, who had been considered a near shoo-in against Ms. Blanco.
Since her announcement, she sat down with some Louisiana newspaper editors and decided to blame the Republican Party for the fact she sucks out loud:
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who dropped out of the governor’s race Tuesday amid widespread dissatisfaction with her job performance, told a group of Louisiana newspapers today her biggest failure was not switching to the Republican Party after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the state.
“When I look back at the storms, if I had had the knowledge that I would be treated as a pariah by the national Republicans in office, I would have joined the Republican Party to save my state,” Blanco said in an interview with a reporter for Gannett newspapers around the state, including The Times in Shreveport.
“Then I would have been hugged and kissed and lifted, and I would have been declared the best governor in this whole country,” Blanco said. “I wish I had realized that earlier. I think that was the fatal error.”
Somehow I doubt that the Republicans would have been in much of a hurry to embrace Gov. Blanco after a party switch. Heck, I doubt any other party would have either.