Monday, May 12, 2014


At the outset of the recent mayoral election, Stephanie Grace characterized Michael Bagneris's candidacy as  "a campaign about nothing."  In a way she was right. Bagneris's campaign was so nonchalantly run and often tone deaf that it might as well not have been.

On the other hand, had it not been such a terrible campaign, it could have been about something. Grace pointed us to what the campaign about nothing could have been about in her weekend column about Landrieu's inauguration. 
In fact, the speech contained numerous echoes of Landrieu’s chief challenger’s campaign — not the personal conflicts and interagency grievances, but the emphasis on crime and opportunity for all in a city where spotty prosperity coexists with chronic unemployment among African-American men.

Landrieu had acknowledged these ongoing challenges during his campaign against retired Judge Michael Bagneris, of course, but he also painted a more positive overall picture. His speech Monday suggested that, personal animosity aside, the two weren’t really so far apart in assessing the city’s most daunting problems.

Bagneris halfheartedly fumbled around these themes but never really seemed to grasp them.Which probably means he cared more about, "the personal conflicts and interagency grievances" than, "the city's more daunting problems." So Grace is correct. The two men really weren't very far apart.

Anyway, I could have saved myself a whole lot of typing last week by just linking to Mitch's speech and pointing out these two statements.

There's this.
After years of trial by fire, we as a people have changed – New Orleans, we as a people have now found a new way.

The old way of ‘divide and conquer’ is gone, replaced with a new unity of purpose.

Old mistrust between business and government gives way to the mutual benefits of cooperation
 And then later there is this.
Our mission is to create a City of peace where everyone can thrive and no one is left behind.

Four years from now may seem a long way away, but time flies.

Those 1460 days will pass in a second. And what will we accomplish in our short time together?

What will we have done to open the circle of opportunity and prosperity to all?
This whole bloated thing was basically a long way of saying that if you truly buy into that first statement, you'll never be all that committed to the second.

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