Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Written by Walter Pierce
Louisiana’s interim lieutenant governor could talk me into anything.
[Note to readers: I have since been informed by about a dozen of you that Angelle's actual quote near the bottom of this column was "when all else fails, incarcerate," not "incorporate." It was loud in the Cajundome and the audience was beginning to register its applause at that line, hence my "misinterpretation." But that doesn't change the point of my column: Scott Angelle is a hell of a public speaker.]
A word of caution to event planners: Don’t hire Scott Angelle as your master of ceremonies when the event centers around people giving speeches. He makes the other speakers sound like stammering, monotone tweens.
I witnessed the interim lieutenant governor’s oratorical skills last week at the Rally for Economic Survival-vival-vival in the Cajundome-dome-dome. He brought his A game.
“Never, never have so many people and so many friends and so many American workers gathered here at this location, at one spot, to support one effort and one goal today. We come here clearly to send a message, not only from the ball field to the cane field, but from Abbeville to Capitol Hill, and from the banks of the historic Vermilion River to the powerful banks of the Potomac River!”
I had seen Angelle interviewed on television before, but last Wednesday was the first time I heard him speak. He’s old school, a throwback to those silver-tongued Louisiana politicians of a bygone era, to the Hueys and Earls whose rhetorical flourishes pantomimed the pulpits of Deep South evangelism — alliterative, figurative, repetitive, every pause building to a pitch-perfect denouement.
“Each and every day in this 18th great state of our union, in our Louisiana, we put on our hard hats and our steel-toe boots, we kiss our families goodbye, and we begin the hard work of exploring, producing, processing, storing, refining and transporting the fuel that energizes the great United States of America. And while we do support the use of renewable and alternative energies, let’s keep the conversation real: America is not yet ready to get all its fuel from the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees!”
That one brought the crowd to its feet. It isn’t nearly as inspiring laying there on a page as it was echoing in the Cajundome. I suspect Scott Angelle could raise an army reading the periodic table.
Granted, it was easy whipping this crowd into a frenzy. It was tilted so far right the Cajundome yawed on its foundation. But where the other speakers, Gov. Bobby Jindal included, grabbed at the low hanging fruit and channelled Reagan with lines like “Mr. President, lift this moratorium!” and “Mr. President, let us work!” — pleasing to the crowd, to be sure — Angelle mostly steered clear of the pablum and gave a lesson in holding 11,000 people in the palm of your hand.
“Mr. President, Mr. President, I’ll forget the fact that you don’t like oil and gas companies. But this moratorium is not hurting the stockholders of BP or Exxon or Chevron. This moratorium is hurting the Cheramies and Callaises and the Dupuises and the Robins and the Boudreauxes and the Thibodeauxes!”
He could have called the audience to the stage to be saved, and I would’ve floated dreamily up for my come-to-Jesus moment.
“You tell the American people, in the oil and gas business, you help to educate, levitate, rehabilitate, and when all else fails, incorporate!”
I’m not sure exactly what that means — “and when all else fails, incorporate” — but when you lay the rhyme on me, I’m putty.
I’m disinclined to discuss my opinion on the federal moratorium on deepwater drilling — journalists are supposed to be neutral, stop laughing — but not a minute after the former St. Martin Parish president got his motor running, I was itching to jump up, slip on penny loafers, do a cartwheel, slap a liberal, punch an Arab, top off a GMC Suburban and yell, “Drill, baby drill!”
Scott Angelle is that good.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.