Sen. David Vitter took to YouTube to announce his intention to run for governor of Louisiana after Gov. Bobby Jindal is termed out in 2015. Can he win? Depends.
"As much thought, prayer, and discussion with Wendy and our children, I've decided to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015," he says in the statement, which can be seen above.
What would make Vitter give up the pampered confines of the U.S. Senate? He explains that he'd like to focus on issues closer to home. "I believe that as our next governor, I can have a bigger impact in addressing the unique challenges and opportunities that we face in Louisiana." His statement focuses on education, job growth, tax reform, and fighting political corruption. "I'll have so many more tools as governor to do things right," he said.
Vitter clearly loves switching job titles. He started in the Louisiana House, entered the U.S. House in 1999, and jumped to the Senate in 2005. He won reelection in 2010 only after overcoming his involvement in a Washington, D.C. prostitution scandal, when his phone number was found on the phone list of the "D.C. Madam."
So: Can he win? A poll taken last month put him slightly ahead of other possible candidates, including the state's other senator, Democrat Mary Landrieu. Having already won statewide office multiple times clearly gives both him and Landrieu an advantage. Hardly known for tree-hugging, Vitter has been a staunch advocate for the state's fossil fuel industry — precisely the sort of conservative position that's made Landrieu's reelection to the Senate next year questionable.
As Vitter notes, the election is still a long way off. One can expect a lot of changes over the course of 20 months.