Gov. Edwards looks ahead after reaching political milestone

Gov. Edwards looks ahead after reaching political milestone

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The governor admitted that his first 100 days in office were not how he pictured them, but he did release a long list of things he has gotten done and things he would like to do at a press conference Tuesday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards also had a message for his critics on his 100th day in office, saying he is working hard whether they like it or not.

"I hope they thought I would tell the truth, and I have. I hope they thought I would be at work and I have," he said. "I hope they thought I would try to fix the problems. That's exactly what I'm trying to do. Quite often it's the person who cleans up the mess that gets blamed for creating it but the people of Louisiana know better than that."

Politicians are often measured by their first 100 days in office. Edwards said his have been tough, inheriting a mass budget challenge passed on from the Jindal administration.

"I inherited the largest budget deficit in the history of our state," Edwards said. "A budget deficit the threatens the ability to fund institutions across the state of Louisiana that afford people the opportunity for a better life here."

Political observers said Edwards has a tough and long road ahead of him. Analyst Jim Engster said Edwards, a Democrat, was able to win a statewide election mainly because he was running against an extremely unpopular Republican, David Vitter. Engster said that will probably not be the case if Edwards chooses to run again.

"It's going to be difficult for him to remain popular enough to be re-elected but I think he knows that," Engster said. "It's not going to be easy but chances are he will run and of course being incumbent has all of those advantages that are inherent and he'll be viable."

Edwards has said that he has more pressing items to worry about, namely a second special session that will be needed to close a massive budget gap.

"This is kind of a mixed bag for him, it could be a lot worse but on the other hand I think he probably wishes it was better than it is," Engster said. "He's got tough decisions to make and each cut has a constituency."

Political observers agreed that 100 days may not be enough to give Edwards a thorough enough grade, especially with another special session looming off in the horizon.

At the end of Tuesday's news conference, the governor had a light-hearted moment when he confirmed that he installed a chicken coop, which he paid for himself, at the Governor's Mansion.

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