La. politics as strange as Russia’s these days

The past 14 days have marked wild and crazy times in the world of Louisiana politics.

For an appetizer, we had a convicted felon decide that he’s going to seek office – just a few years after getting out from behind bars for crimes he committed while serving as Louisiana’s governor.

That would be Edwin Edwards, the multi-term governor whose story speaks for itself.

But as Edwards’ tale has faded a bit, another Louisiana-based story has started to garner mainstream attention. And just like Edwards, this headline could have direct implications on election results within the Pelican State.

Earlier this week, brazen Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a handful of United States political leaders have been banned from his country.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

And U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., was on the list of leaders banned from stepping foot on Russian soil.

The reason for the sanctions was Russia’s reaction following President Obama’s latest round of U.S. sanctions against the country, which included senior Kremlin officials and lawmakers and other businessmen close to Putin.

Landrieu was one of nine high-ranking U.S. officials on the list. She earned her place in part because of her position as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

National politics aside, what a coup this is for Landrieu.

With an election right around the corner, the veteran Louisiana-based politician has just stumbled upon a world of free publicity.

Landrieu now has her face plastered on the news – attached to a topic Americans are interested in. She is now the unlikely beneficiary of a little free advertising at a time when she needs it most.

Landrieu is currently in a hotly contested campaign against Republican challenge, Congressman Bill Cassidy – probably the strongest challenger to Landrieu’s position since she took office in 1997.

Cassidy has a world of support from prominent businesspeople throughout Louisiana and beyond.

But he’s not attached to a story of global interest like Landrieu.

The election is months away, and so much can (and will) happen in the coming weeks to shift people’s opinions before they head to the ballots.

But for now, Landrieu is smiling, as Lady Luck has blessed the incumbent with a ripe national news story that will keep her name in the news for quite some time.

Banned from Russia … psh! Who’d have thunk it?

Only in Louisiana politics, my friends.

Only in Louisiana.

Here, the bizarre events just keep on churning.