Wanted: Louisiana registered Democrat with statewide name recognition and a personal fortune they don't mind putting on the line for a shot at the state's top office. That's the ideal candidate for the state Democratic Party as it searches for a fitting opponent to Gov. Bobby Jindal in next fall's state elections.
Sunday's Times Picayune ventured an early forecast of the race, with several observers noting that with Jindal's huge fundraising lead (his last report showed $7 million in the bank) and the Republican-leaning political landscape, any Democrat faces an uphill challenge. State Democratic Party Executive Director Renee Lapeyrolerie would not name any potential candidates but said she does know some interested Democrats who will be talking the idea over with their families over the holidays.
The TP lists Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard and New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard, the runner-up in this year's lieutenant governor election, as likely being the Dems best options. Retired Gen. Russell Honore and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell are also mentioned as potential candidates.
While many believe much of the race will hinge on how Jindal handles the upcoming legislative session, and a looming $1.6 billion budget deficit, others feel Jindal may be as close to teflon as a governor can be. "Bobby Jindal is the best politician that Louisiana's ever seen," state Sen. Joe McPherson told the Picayune. "And that's not a compliment."