Reading Michael's post about Buddy Roemer made me a bit nostalgic for the failed Gret Stet Governor. Buddy was many things as Governor but he was never dull. In 1987, Buddy's campaign slogan was "Roemer Revolution." The only head that got cut off, in the end, was Roemer's. He finished third in the 1991 open primary behind Edwin Edwards and Gret Stet Fuhrer wannabe, David Dukke. Roemer has never won an election, to paraphrase George Wallace, since running behind that pointy headed (hatted?) anti-intellectual.
Roemer entered the Governor's mansion as a white hot "conservative reformer" who pledged to "brick up the top 3 floors of the state education building" and to "scrub the budget." He did neither; instead floundering because of his poor interpersonal skills, mendacity and refusal to be a pro-life purist. The latter, of course, weighs in his favor but when he attempted a comeback in 1995: he ran as a full tilt right winger. It was unconvincing so he lost again.
The only odd thing about Roemer's Quixotic campaign for President is that it took so long: he's had Potomac fever as far back as the mid-1980's. In 1991, he told his political consultant Ray Strother that either he or Bill Clinton would be President some day. He was, obviously, half-right. In that election from hell, Roemer frustrated his staff by showing more interest in watching and wagering on NFL games and playing poker than in campaigning. By all accounts, Buddy was a much better gambler than candidate.
I have a political consultant friend who knew Roemer quite well in the '80's. He compared Roemer to his predecessor/successor as Governor, Edwin Edwards, as follows: "Edwin would steal you blind but never lie to you. Buddy wouldn't steal BUT he was a consumate liar. The kind of guy who would lie just for the hell of it to see if he could get away with it." I'm not sure if he's still like that but it's the reason he failed in dealing with the lege: politicians don't care if you lie to the people but lie to their faces and you're dead meat.
Finally, the post title: while Governor, Roemer briefly swallowed whole some new age touchy feely crapola. During a state of the state address, he astonished the lege by describing how he wore a rubber band on his wrist, which he snapped to banish negative thoughts. Gret Stet voters don't mind their pols being eccentric but that was downright weird and was one of many reasons he hasn't won an election since 1987.
So, Buddy's not going anywhere with the campaign finance reform thing he borrowed from Jerry Brown but it was nice to take a stroll down memory lane and even nicer to close with the Spinners:
Hmm, maybe Buddy would be a better candidate if he wore one of those puffy blue suits sported by the Spinners in the video. Nah, it would be a reminder than he used to be a Democrat, just like Rick Perry...