Monday, May 22, 2006

NOLA mayor election: Will Collier has a good take on the re-election of Mayor Ray Nagin. I don't know quite what I think, except that I saw a debate on MSNBC between the two candidates either Thursday or Friday night and Mitch Landrieu's entire pitch consisted of "Vote for me, I'm connected." Which in the bayou means nothing good, so I'm glad they rejected his cynical, stupid plea.

Nagin was elected as a reformer, a no nonsense business oriented Democrat who spoke the plain truth. I probably would have voted for him the first time, at least if my other option was Marc Morial, the former mayor. But there's a difference between being plain spoken and showing your ass on national tv, when the last thing that was needed was heated tempers. And his ensuing re-election campaign consisted of some pretty undignified race baiting, since he knew he'd need the black vote to have any chance. I think he would have gotten the black vote anyway, being the only black candidate (remember, the first time he won it was against the also-black Morial).

With two bad candidates to choose from, maybe New Orleans took the least bad path. But I don't think it's going to make recovery any easier or more complete, either physically or socially.

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