Bill Cassidy Wants to Leave the Senate and Become Governor of Louisiana – Opinion

Bill Cassidy is rumored to be running for Louisiana Governor in 2023. I hadn’t really paid much attention to the chatter before last week, because Cassidy’s chances are approximately zero.

However, Cassidy did announce Monday that he wasn’t going to vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court – an announcement that surprised a lot of analysts. John Kennedy also announced he wasn’t voting for her, but that was pretty much expected.

The announcements are quite different, however. Here’s Cassidy.

“I appreciate Judge Jackson meeting (with me),” Cassidy said. “She is gracious, intelligent and accomplished.

“But when the political left opposed Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett, not because they were not qualified but because of their presumed jurisprudence, they established the criteria by which future nominees should be judged.

“President Biden chose Judge Jackson precisely because she is not a strict constructionist and because she had the strong support of those who prefer an activist judge. It is for these reasons that I will vote no.”

And here’s Kennedy.

“I found Judge Jackson to be smart, well versed in the law and extraordinarily artful in her ability to speak at length without saying anything of substance on critical questions, especially the limits of judicial power and the importance of judicial restraint,” Kennedy said.

Cassidy’s statement really doesn’t say much of anything, and that’s on purpose. He name-drops Trump (a man he voted to impeach and continued to double down on it), talks about jurisprudence without getting specific, and labels her an activist judge without saying why. Without needing to go into detail, he hits all of the key points.

He’s appealing to the very conservatives in the state who have abandoned him.

Kennedy, meanwhile, gives specifics. Kennedy, meanwhile, gives specifics about limits to judicial power. He also discusses judicial restraint. These are similar questions he answered during his confirmation hearings.

Cassidy is trying to tell Republicans he’s with them and has been all along, but doesn’t want to really dig into the specifics. You would only do that if you’re running for office again. He originally promised that he was only running for two terms, and when he won his second term, he started voting like he didn’t actually represent his base – for impeachment, for the infrastructure bill, etc. Whether you agree with the impeachment vote or not, if you’re from a deeply conservative state, you don’t make that vote if you plan on appearing in front of the voters on a ballot again.

This makes it seem that this run for gubernatorial office was not planned. He started voting like he wasn’t going to be up for re-election, but something made him decide to prepare to hop in. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but it’s definitely a miscalculation.

There’s frankly no chance in hell that he’s the frontrunner – he’s not even a top contender. In a related post, I also mentioned it.

Kennedy isn’t running. It isn’t totally clear why his name was included in the poll, but there’s a high probability that his inclusion kept the Landry numbers down. That, plus the 29 percent who are undecided (because we’re over a year out), would likely not bode well for Cassidy. You can bet most of Kennedy’s 22 percent goes to Landry (with some, but not much, going to Schroder). Cassidy and Nungesser are going to split the “common sense” vote, keeping both from contention. And Democrats will rally around one candidate to make it a Landry vs.

Cassidy simply doesn’t stand a chance, and a smart team would acknowledge this. But Cassidy is suffering from a “holier-than-thou” ego that renders him oblivious to the obvious. Louisianans aren’t looking for a “sensible” Republican. They’re looking for someone who can bring some fighting to Baton Rouge. That’s why they elected a lot of conservatives in 2019 to counter Edwards (and his very pro-tax agenda) in the governor’s mansion. That’s why Republicans hold a supermajority in the state Senate and a near-supermajority in the House.

To be absolutely fair, this does take a measure of something That’s well over a year away. There’s plenty of time for the lay of the land to change, but given his record, I’m not entirely sure the landscape will change that much. Cassidy pretty much has no shot, and he’s been roasted in every corner of the state for his recent positions.

So kudos to him for making the right choice on Judge Jackson, but there’s really no reason to believe he’s doing it for any reason other than to shore up support ahead of 2023.

According to the JMC Analytics poll linked about, he is in fourth. He might think that all the support for John Kennedy will transfer to him, since Kennedy is unlikely to run. After all, they’re both Senators! Why wouldn’t that support carry over?

Except… yeah, we know that support is largely going to go to Jeff Landry, the state’s Attorney General who has made it a point to spearhead or join in every multi-state lawsuit against the Biden administration. Cassidy, on the other hand, is voting against Jeff Landry, the state’s Attorney General who almost never gets the ball rolling in one direction or another.

It’s hard to really draw any other conclusion at this point. Cassidy seems determined to run. Which I suppose makes sense considering a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach are leaving the House after this year, and Cassidy understands the environment in Washington isn’t one that’s welcoming to his kind of politics.

You can say, “Good luck!” He’ll need it.

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