Robert Novak

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating ended weeks of considering whether to run for president last Sunday when he appeared at Spartanburg, S.C., at Sen. John McCain's side to support his candidacy.

Keating, currently the life insurance industry's top lobbyist in Washington, had discussed with Republican political consultant Ed Rollins the possibility of making the run. He recently decided against the race, partly because of the difficulty in raising funds.

At Spartanburg, Keating declared that McCain is the "only candidate who is a true-blue, Ronald Reagan conservative." Keating is a prominent Catholic layman and an anti-abortion advocate.


Louisiana Democrats are optimistic that former Sen. John Breaux, now a high-priced Washington lobbyist, will bail them out of their post-Katrina malaise by running for governor this year.

The popular Breaux would be heavily favored against Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal, who was narrowly defeated by Gov. Kathleen Blanco in 2003. Because of her handling of Katrina, Blanco is in deep political trouble. Democrats in Louisiana believe she would step aside if Breaux runs.

A footnote: Breaux resides in the Foggy Bottom section of Washington in a condo whose owner took the tax break reserved for citizens of the District of Columbia. That could raise questions of whether Breaux meets the five-year Louisiana residency requirement for gubernatorial candidates. Breaux declined to comment to this column.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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