Earlier today I said that we would be able to tell which candidate in the Louisiana governor’s race thinks he’s behind when we see the first negative ad. It’s up–and the ad is for the Democrats. The first half of the radio ad reads as follows: “We have to choose a new governor for Louisiana and it is very important that we look past the tv commercials, and into the lives and characters of the candidates. The closer you examine the records, the better Kathleen Babineaux Blanco looks. She understands real people because she is one of us. She had a full life before she ever ran for public office–teaching school, raising six children, and starting her own small business. She understands struggle and that the problems that the governor must deal with all have human faces. She knows that people aren’t statistics or numbers, and you don’t crunch people, you help them.” This is an attempt to convert Bobby Jindal’s strengths into weaknesses: Okay, so he knows more facts than me and has accomplished an awful lot for someone so young. But that just means he’s not like us and doesn’t understand our problems. (I’m mediocre–just like you.) He may have saved the health department from bankruptcy, but he did so by not caring for people.
The ad continues: “Now Kathleen is in the fight of her political life against the hand-picked candidate of the right-wing Republicans, backed by Mike Foster, the Republican White House, and their millions of dollars. They are confident they will win, because they hope that we won’t vote. So let’s show that they are wrong, and get organized to win. Kathleen Blanco needs our help, because her fight is our fight too. Paid for by Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.” Did I mention that these ads are mainly on black radio?
Republicans may be tempted to attack the “real people” line as an attack on Jindal’s ethnicity. The Jindal campaign itself won’t take the bait, but its allies might. The last thing Bobby Jindal needs is to make the campaign a referendum on race.
The election is November 15.