One of the continuing mysteries of American politics is how William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson managed to keep holding on to his Congressional seat in Louisiana’s second district. After investigators located tens of thousands of dollars, neatly wrapped in tin foil, taking the place of burgers and steaks in his freezer, one might think Bill would have been shown the door. The Democrats took away some of his committee seats, but he remained in the lower chamber. Well, yesterday it seems that the good voters of his district decided that enough was enough.
(CNN) — Nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, who has been battling scandals and a federal indictment for the past three years, lost his bid for re-election on Saturday.
Republican challenger Anh “Joseph” Cao, an attorney and community organizer, defeated Jefferson in the 2nd Congressional district race. He will become the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cao had almost 50 percent of the vote to Jefferson’s 47 percent.
Perhaps we truly are living in a post-racial, post partisan age. Jefferson’s district is heavily African-American and leans Democratic by a significant margin. Still, they chose to oust the embarrassing Dollar Bill and bring in a Vietnamese-American Republican and give that a try. Well done, Louisiana. You have closed the book on a nasty chapter of your history and chosen to move forward with a hopefully increased amount of integrity and pride.
Here’s a brief look at what some other pundits have to say on the subject.
Strangely enough, Patrick Ruffini sees this as a sign that Republicans can be competitive in all 435 districts.
Ed Driscoll doesn’t seem terribly interested in a post-racial society, but will take a win in the GOP column any day of the week.
So electing a Republican who mercifully escaped Vietnam after American liberals of the 1970s left the nation to be slaughtered by the Vietcong and who ousted one of the most infamously corrupt Democrats of recent years counts as a “more progressive New Orleans”?
Hey, fine with me! It’s rare that the Times sees a move to the right as progress, but I’ll take it.
Down With Tyranny provides the Democratic take.
Democrats are getting a good lesson from Anh Cao, a Republican attorney. In light turnout the overwhelmingly Democratic district– with a PVI of D+28– is telling Democrats that forced to pick between an honest moderate Republican and a crooked moderate Democrat, they’re going for the Republican. Things could change but right now, with 391 precincts reporting (out of 492), Jefferson is having his head handed to him. Cao is an anti-choice fanatic.