Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And then there were... fewer than before

Leslie Jacobs has abandoned her campaign for Mayor.

"I'll be going on a mini-vacation," she said. "I want to read a book of no intellectual value and watch the waves for a few days."

This was not unexpected. It had been widely rumored that Mitch Landrieu's last minute entry in the race would ultimately force Jacobs to yield.

In an interview, Jacobs said she made her decision after reviewing results from a poll she commissioned last week.

"Those numbers confirmed what I thought: Once Mitch entered the race, I could not win," she said. "I am a Democrat, he's a Democrat. And I think it's safe to say our bases overlap -- very much so."

Jacobs, a wealthy businesswoman who had been waging an aggressive television campaign, confirmed earlier reports that she consulted with Landrieu before announcing her candidacy on Nov. 18, about three weeks before qualifying opened.

At the time of their meeting, Jacobs said Landrieu told her "there was a possibility, not a probability" that he would run after announcing in July that he would not.

"He said the odds were low," Jacobs said, "but that he would leave that door open. So I took a calculated risk on my part. Mitch had the luxury of name recognition so he could decide at the last minute. I didn't have that luxury."

What does this mean for other candidates?

On the face of it, it would appear that Mitch Landrieu is the most direct beneficiary of Jacobs' decision to sit out. The two were essentially competing for the same pool of voters. I'm sure Jacobs' poll showed Landrieu way out ahead of the field. That he no longer has a well-heeled challenger biting at his heels, he has less work to do.

John Georges is also probably pretty happy that he has one less WMA (White Mitch Alternative) with whom he'll have to compete. Jacobs was going to be the only candidate capable of buying TV commercial time to the extent Georges can. He'll be able to dominate the airwaves.

James Perry might also squeeze a few votes out of the situation. Jacobs was definitely hoping to win over some of the post-Katrina young transplants that Perry has courted aggressively.


Sr said...

I actually felt that long-term Jacobs could have played "on" her being the possible first female mayor and "off" negative sentiment against the Landrieus. Even though Georges has money, I think he definitely turns off liberal whites and probably most blacks. I could actually see her convincing enough young transplants to register and vote and young locals to register and possibly get their parents to vote "for our future" or some such. These votes would have nullified Perry. Also, as far as the other gender candidateI don't see Ramsey having staying power because of money issues. (But I was impressed by her quote about Plimsoll and race at todays forum.)

So I was thinking Jacobs v Landrieu with Jacobs maybe taking Landrieu at the wire to end up with Henry v Jacobs.

Now I'm back to Henry v Landrieu. Which I think will be less interesting. I thought it would be nice to see Henry and Jacobs get in a pissing contest about Business Experience, Governmental Experience, Race AND Gender.

mominem said...

I'm not so sure Mitch has legs.

I've been wondering about another dynamic. Sapir and Fielkow. Without Sapir I would have felt Feilkow was a shoe-in. Now I'm not so sure.

jeffrey said...

Henry v Landrieu would work very much the same way Nagin v Landrieu did in that you'd have a similar coalition of race-based black vote with money-based white vote lining up behind Henry.

Frankly I think anyone who gets into the runoff vs Mitch has it made.

Jeffrey said...

I don't know that the money-based white vote would line up nearly so strongly for Henry or against Landrieu as they did in '06--I think both the buyer's remorse that has happened since then with Nagin and the changes in the lines of thinking in Uptown that Oyster has written about will tilt the scales in favor of Landrieu.

I have no idea if there is any merit to the rumors, but Landrieu could also benefit if Jacobs throws her weight behind him, especially if they work out an arrangement to make her his CAO.

Henry doesn't benefit at all from either his 'businessman' reputation (because of how much that aligns with Nagin) or the fact that he has been so cozy with this administration. Am I the only one who initially thought Henry did really well at the debate, only to later feel that his "I am the only one" schpiel made him look like he has been really feeding off of the public gravy train?

jeffrey said...


If you're right about that Mayor Mitch and CAO Leslie speculation, I hope to God there's a better candidate than Henry left in the runoff to vote for.

jeffrey said...

Of course, there's bound to be bad blood there. Leslie is out a million bucks now on account of Mitch.

Anonymous said...

Keep an eye on a very real trend emerging in this Mayor's race. As crazy as it sounds people are actually talkiing about voting for Mannyy Chevrolet Bruno as a protest vote. I'm hearing more and more people both white & black say they are disenchanted with Jacobs leaving the race and that they refuse to support any of the current crop.

Thus Bruno they think reflects someone who they know is a goofball but at least he won't steal from the city. I would be shocked if this guy doesn't garner 2 to 5% of the total vote in the runoff. I think the media really needs to keep an eye on this backlash sentiment now that Jacobs has withdrawn from the race.

If he is invited to another Mayoral forum and he lights up the closing comments again we might just be watching a Kinky Friedmanesque type protest vote with legs.