21 May 2006

The City of New Orleans Runoff Election: Some Thoughts

Despite the Tulane poll earlier in the week that stated Mitch Landrieu held a 10 point lead over Nagin, I had a feeling C. Ray was going to pull it off in a close one--I figured by less than five points. Tis exactly what happened last night, but the first hour and a half of election returns on WWL and on WDSU (during the WWL commercials) was all Mitch all of the time. Landrieu had an eight point lead for nearly the first hour after the polls closed which was chipped at bit by bit with Nagin eventually catching up and passing Landrieu's total for good at about 10pm. The total difference: 5,400 votes. I am disappointed with the result of Landrieu losing, but I think I convinced myself this would be the probable outcome about mid-week. My wife can verify my mood concerning the election shifted on Wednesday or so.

On Thursday evening before the election while the last Nagin/Landrieu debate (on WWL) took place, I noticed Virginia Boulet in a booth at my neighborhood sushi joint Hana. Watching the debate on one of the restaurant's televisions (not the new Katrina/jacuzzi effect flat panel wall-mounted one), she was giddy as can be laughing and giggling at Mayor Nagin's wit on display. I was there getting "pick up" and I actually considered confronting her about her endorsement of Nagin but opted not to. At that moment, I couldn't think of what to say which would not be interpreted as abrasive or disrespectful. After I left Hana, it dawned on me what I should have asked her. The turning point in my opinion of Ms. Boulet was in that first MSNBC debate when Nagin asked her about her "UNO to Downtown" idea. She completely botched the answer and sounded way too clueless for someone seriously running for Mayor. Nagin downright embarrassed her--and in my opinion, and many others, was the defining moment of her not being a legitimate contender. With this, she goes and endorses him? Then, yesterday on election day, I see Ms. Boulet jumping up and down on the St. Charles Avenue neutral ground for the Nagin campaign looking as if she was jacked up on ten gallons of coffee. (Thank you sir. Can I have another?) Now Couhig and Boulet are to be placed onto what Nagin is calling his "First 100-Day" commission . . . Oh, and look for Couhig to be the hand-chosen GOP candidate in the fish-in-a-barrel 1st Congressional District when Jindal makes his Governor redux run in 2008--along with Mitch, perhaps.

Ernie the Attorney has an excellent postmortem on the election and Mitch Landrieu. Its a very good post and gives me hope. The reality is Nagin continues to be the Mayor of the City of New Orleans for the next four years--until 2010. I didn't vote for him this time around, but I want him to be the man. I want him to be successful. I want New Orleans to be successful. Before the storm, I started to have concerns about Nagin as Mayor for several reasons. The main concern was the many resignations of his inner circle, high end staff. His administration has had more turn-over than a Burger King . . . Another issue brought up by others is that he doesn't seem to listen to anyone. Perhaps this has something to do with the high volume of resignations/strange departures of upper staff throughout his tenure . . .

Ray, do the right thing. And listen to experts, please. Our city depends on it. Oh, and I agree with Adrastos--Nagin's victory speech was leftfield-ish--as usual.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. That's me laughing hysterically. Looking at the primary results, there was no way in hell Shelly Midura was going to beat Jay Batt. I was just hoping she'd come within 10 points, but instead she actually pulled it off and got the win. This race was about as ugly as it gets--and I'd say the ugliness was instigated by the incumbent's camp. Today a friend was telling me of similar activities against then-incumbent Scott Shea four years ago. Ya, Jay--Ms. Midura wants public housing projects in "the heart" of Lakeview. I'd say Harrison at Lakeview Harbor would be an excellent place for a St. Thomas-like housing project. Oh, and she "wants" Entergy rates to go up 300%. Just pathetic--especially the race-baiting stuff. Batt losing actually made last night tolerable. I walked over to Batt's campaign headquarters on Oak Street after the results were final to get in with some of their fun, but unlike the primary the "victory" party was apparently Downtown and not on Oak. The place was abandoned and locked up tight. I took one of the bogus grassroots effort "We Love Batt" signs (nice work Batt campaign consultants) off of the Carrollton neutral ground to relish the defeat for years to come.

I voted for Arnie Fielkow, but I have no issues with Ms. Clarkson. I admire Fielkow for sticking around New Orleans. The day he departed his vice president position with Mr. Benson and his San Antinio Saints he could have gotten far away from New Orleans and its long-term issues. I am sure numerous business opportunities were there for his taking elsewhere. Instead, he decided to stay because he and his family want to be in New Orleans. Too bad the Nevilles (minus Art) don't have this attitude. I figured Mr. Fielkow had a decent chance to beat Clarkson, but whoa, he cleaned her clock winning by over 14,000 votes and 12 points. I look forward to seeing him in action as a New Orleans City Council member. I doubt Clarkson will completely go away as she will be involved in the recovery of New Orleans in some fashion.

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Election, Nagin, Landrieu, Jay Batt


At May 22, 2006 9:48 AM, Blogger Roux said...

I was in town yesterday. The wife went to the jewelry show and I got a few beers down on Magazine after driving around a bit.

Most of the locals there thought Landrieu would win but didn't seem all that upset about Nagin. They did seem to be pleased with some of the changes on the city council.


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