Q: I read where Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is running for David Vitter’s U.S. Senate seat. Don’t they have another Democrat with a snowball’s chance in hell already in the race? Why the hell is Campbell running? And don’t try to tell me Gov. John Bel Edwards proves a Democrat can win a statewide race. That only works against Vitter, and he’s not running.
A: Foster Campbell is the Democratic version of state Treasurer John Kennedy.
Foster Campbell and John Kennedy have a lot in common. They were both Democrats before 2007. They’re both populists who speak their mind in a twangy Southern drawl. And they both have lots of unrequited ambition for higher office.
Both of them are also declared candidates for Vitter’s open Senate seat, which means at least one of them — if not both — will suffer yet another defeat in a long, loss-filled political career. Between the two of them, they’ve already lost seven races: a 1991 bid for state attorney general and two previous unsuccessful U.S. Senate races for Kennedy, while Campbell has to his name three failed congressional bids and a 2007 gubernatorial defeat.
At least one of them — if not both — will suffer yet another defeat in a long, loss-filled political career.
Both currently serve important, less-than-glamorous roles in serving the people of Louisiana and protecting their interests. Kennedy is a dogged crusader of fiscal responsibility in government. Campbell is unafraid to protect consumers by taking on big corporations and special interests.
Yet, despite being re-elected a combined eight times to their current, respective offices, and despite being thrashed at the polls whenever they’ve run for more powerful positions, neither one is content to remain in his present role.
Plus, this election cycle has been dominated by anger, as embodied by presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Perhaps Foster Campbell, who has a reputation as a firebrand, believes the mood of the electorate is just right for a guy who looks pissed off all the time.