BREAUX SAVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. A political operative with insider connections to Louisiana politics tells me that John Breaux�s decision not to run for governor this year was motivated in part by the former senator�s rather comfortable retirement lifestyle, including a nice home in Maryland that Republicans said disqualified him as a non-resident ineligible to run. So Breaux took matters to the state�s attorney general, which gave a �non-definitive� ruling. At which point, Breaux balked. But the interesting twist here is that Breaux apparently wanted the AG�s office to either give a negative or no-opinion ruling precisely so he would have an excuse to get out.

Why? The strong rumor relayed to me is that Breaux, despite being one of the state�s most legendary and popular politicians, took one look at the $5 million so far raised by Republican candidate Bobby Jindal and, coupled with the post-Katrina devastation and out-of-state relocation of tens of thousands of New Orleans-area Democrats, feared he might embarrass himself by running and losing to Rep. Jindal. To get him off the hook, Breaux wanted anything but a green light from the Louisiana AG�s office -- because if he got the go-ahead and then dropped out everyone would know Breaux was too scared of losing.

--Tom Schaller

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