Getting Unstuck On Stupid

The GOP's great white hope -- isn't white

By Robert A. George
|  Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 7:15 PM EDT
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Just Your Average Joe-Bama

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Lt. General Russel Honore (C) listens during the Hurricane Katrina Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony on August 29, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two years later, there is talk of Honore entering politics. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Amid all the commemorations for the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina suddenly returns one of the few people to emerge from that awful period with a certain amount of intact honor. 

Or, more accurately, Honore.  

Army Lt. Gen. (ret.) Russel Honore, who swept into New Orleans when it was clear that FEMA and local authorities had left the place in a FUBAR state, retired several years ago.  But now, he's back in his home state -- and a few Web sites are positing that he could be running for office.  What makes this particularly salient is the possibility that he could challenge incumbent Sen. David Vitter in a Republican primary

Notably, when asked about the reports, Honore just dismissed them as "rumors and speculation." When a politician says something like that -- instead of, "Are you completely nuts? There's absolutely no way I would entertain that. Never, ever!" -- it means that the issue is under consideration. 

Honore would be manna from heaven for Republicans for multiple reasons.  

First, having a respected military man running for office has worked for the GOP before (yeah, cleaning up after a hurricane isn't exactly the same as leading the Allied Command into the the beaches of Normandy, but still...).

Second, the party would love to have a "great white hope" who was actually an African American Creole -- joining the state's Indian-American governor and Vietnamese-American congressman (all Republicans).

And finally, the dual hooker frequenting Vitter is something of a national joke that a party beset with figures like John Ensign and Mark Sanford would undoubtedly love to see fall by the wayside. The fact that Honore describes himself as "pro-life" and "pro-family" could be enough to get some socially conservative groups behind his candidacy. 

Aside from displaying clear military competence that contrasted with the bureaucratic mess orchestrated by FEMA's Michael "Heckuva job, Brownie" Brown, Honore became an immediate pop culture figure with his admonition to a reporter to not "get stuck on stupid."

A man with that talent for the soundbite can -- and should -- be going places. 

New York writer Robert A. George blogs at Ragged Thots. Follow him on Twitter

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