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Stephanie Grace: Bobby Jindal can't do a thing about same-sex marriage possibly becoming law; that's the way it should be

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks to a crowd, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Baton Rouge, La. Gov. Jindal continued to court Christian conservatives for a possible presidential campaign with a headlining appearance at an all-day prayer rally hosted by the American Family Association. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

If the U.S. Supreme Court wraps up this year’s session by declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right — a scenario far more probable than not, most knowledgeable observers predict — tourism officials in New Orleans will be ready. According to a recent Gambit story, the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: The bigger Bobby Jindal tries to go, the smaller he looks in quest to get attention he craves

Gov. Bobby Jindal may have billed his European swing as an economic development mission on behalf of Louisiana, but his primary agenda has been obvious to anyone who’s turned on a television set, logged onto the Internet or followed his PR operation via email or social media. Far more than state business, Jindal’s trip was all… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Here's the gameplan Jay Dardenne, Scott Angelle, John Bel Edwards might use against David Vitter in race for Louisiana governor

When U.S. Sen. David Vitter used the opening forum of the 2015 gubernatorial campaign season to tout his leadership on a bipartisan congressional highway bill and vow to press ahead on a follow-up, one of his rivals seized on the opening. “This is precisely why we want to you stay,” Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne quipped,… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Even if Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal performs well in Iowa, here's the downside

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La. speaks in New York. The presidential contest that's starting to take shape is exposing divisions among likely Republican candidates on the nation's role in global affairs. Among those outlining foreign policy this week: Bush, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal, as well as the party's 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s putting together all the pieces of a presidential campaign. He’s got a national consulting team, a think tank and a policy record that’s been carefully curated to appeal to Republican primary voters. He’s a regular on the political talk show circuit, and he’s about to check off another box when he heads to… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: How U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise's relationship-building talents got him into David Duke-led white nationalist event mess, but might save him too

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., arrives for a meeting of the House Republican Conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise cultivates relationships. That’s not news to people here in Louisiana, who’ve watched the gregarious former state representative rise to one of Congress’ top posts in remarkably short order, although the rest of the country seems to be just figuring it out. It’s an instinct that’s helped him become such a successful politician.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Scalise’s pitch to Duke supporters seems plausible

This is what I remember about the first time I met Steve Scalise nearly 20 years ago: He told me he was like David Duke without the baggage. I was a new reporter covering Jefferson Parish, and Scalise, now the majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, was just starting out in the Louisiana Legislature (I’m… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace's predictions for 2015: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will finally admit he's running for president; St. George breakaway attempt will lose luster

Politics is an unpredictable business, and even the seemingly safest bets can look foolhardy in retrospect. Case in point: As 2014 dawned, I confidently predicted that Louisiana’s U.S. Senate contest would be a nail-biter. Not exactly. Mary “Landslide” Landrieu finally got that elusive rout, but she found herself on the wrong end of it.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Sneering press release, bragging about 'retiring' Mary Landrieu proof Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal out of line

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana addresses activists from America's political right at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington in this Feb. 11, 2012, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Although he says he’s still praying over whether to seek the 2016 Republican nomination, clearly Gov. Bobby Jindal envisions himself as a potential president. So let’s say, for argument’s sake, that he runs and wins (bear with me here). And let’s say that one of his cabinet secretaries plans a trip to some state run… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: The Pledge against common sense

It’s known, in shorthand, as the pledge, and it sounds straightforward enough. “I, ____________, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of ____________, that I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.” That’s the entirety of the “taxpayer protection pledge,” promulgated by the Washington, D.C., group Americans for Tax Reform.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: How fiercely ambitious U.S. Sen. David Vitter has gone from maverick to establishment

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., left, listens as Chuck Adams, with Tempo Insulation. voices his concerns regarding the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in West Monroe, La. Vitter spoke about health care and minimum wage and took questions and concerns from West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber members during his talk at the West Monroe Convention Center. (AP Photo/The News-Star, Dacia Idom) NO SALES ORG XMIT: LAMON101

An important seat was up for grabs in Washington, D.C., and back in Louisiana, senior Republicans didn’t want to take any chances. So rather than risk an open-primary free-for all, they set out to winnow the field, identify a consensus candidate and present voters with a united front. The year was 1999. The office was the… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Why the phrase 'all politics is local' seems to be fading after Bill Cassidy vs. Mary Landrieu, other elections

You’ve surely heard the one about how all politics is local, the rule of thumb popularized by the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill. After watching this year’s endless elections, I’m wondering whether the saying has outlived its usefulness. Consider the U.S. Senate election.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: With Cassidy’s election, La. belongs to the GOP south

Congratulations, Louisiana voters. You’ve elected yourselves a Republican U.S. senator. If that sounds like a shallow assessment of U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy’s decisive win over three-term incumbent Mary Landrieu, chalk it up to the fact that Cassidy pursued a one-dimensional strategy of relentlessly linking Landrieu to unpopular President Barack Obama and his policies, with the Affordable… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Deja vu all over again at NOPD

Former New Orleans Police Superintendent Richard Pennington’s rough welcome to town 20 years ago is the stuff of legend. Recruited by newly elected Mayor Marc Morial to take over a deeply dysfunctional force, Pennington soon learned that things were even worse than he’d thought. An FBI drug sting, it turned out, had unearthed evidence against a dozen… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: It's easy for Louisiana GOP to be unified now, but just wait until next year

The Republican bigwigs who converged at Huey’s Bar in Baton Rouge on Monday billed the lunchtime gathering as a unity rally. And indeed, Republican leaders are unified around the common cause of ending Democrat Mary Landrieu’s 18-year U.S. Senate tenure next month and completing a remarkable clean sweep of statewide offices. They should enjoy it… Continue reading →