Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Quirky Mayor

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin isn't doing anything to mitigate his quirky image. And that's a very moderate way to put it. First the totally botched evacuation of his city, then his profanity-laced street-talk interviews, followed by his aborted order to evacuate the city by force, and finally his surprise announcement that he is re-opening parts of the city for up to 180,000 people to return immediately.

After Mayor Nagin made his surprise announcement, obviously without coordinating it with anyone, Vice Admiral Thad Allen, the head of federal relief efforts, spoke up and said that it's a bad idea--electricity problems, sewage problems, water problems, food problems, transportation problems, levees still weak, no evacuation plan in place, etc. VADM Allen may be worrying about another problem like the city had at the Superdome and the Convention Center.

Seems like the quirky mayor is miffed again. I just heard Mayor Nagin responding on Fox News to VADM Allen's comments. He said, "Maybe he's the new federally-crowned mayor of New Orleans, I don't know."

Remember, this is the same Mayor Nagin who was raving and cursing about the lack of federal presence. Now he's got it, but it seems he doesn't care about it.

Sounds like New Orleans could use some adult leadership.


Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Tom, another apt observation. This man is a little more than quirky. He also does not seem to work well with others.

It points up the importance of your previous post. Are we spending money with any confidence that it will be used well? Are we spending money that may end up endangering human lives?

Hurricane season isn't over, the municipal services aren't there, and I am very worried that anyone who moves back into the lower areas of the city may be endangered. Perhaps this needs to be done more carefully.

At this point I don't feel confident that this man has the lives of the citizens of New Orleans as his first priority.

7:57 AM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Chris said...

I heard on the drive home that N.O.'s mayor had reconsidered his repopulation plan after he was warned that Hurricane Rita could cause damage to the already weakened levees.

I heard the Nagin was elected because he was the only candidate without experience. The rest of the "experienced" candidates were corrupt.

I've also heard that local people are complaining about his leadership skills. It's also interesting that the evacuees in Houston weren't blaming Bush, even after leading questions by the press.

All of the Bush-blame works in Bush's favor. It's always easier to look good if people have low expectations. The Katrina relief, if done properly, might build a new middle class society out of the evacuees as school children are enrolled in better schools and people are given opportunities in different parts of the country.

It's too bad we can't take the relief money the government is going to spend and give it directly to the evacuees to buy houses, go to school, build businesses, and invest. It would go a long way to build an ownership society.


8:54 PM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Gindy said...

"Sounds like New Orleans could use some adult leadership."

This guy seems to be a threat to the lives of the residents. I heard on the radio that people are "confused" and don't know what to do because of the conflicting statements.

3:09 PM, September 20, 2005  
Blogger me said...

Wow...and bush isn't quirky?
Is stupidity a prerequisite for voting republican?

10:49 AM, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous JJR said...

The New York Times (so take it with whatever size grain of salt you want) has an interesting article today on Nagin. I read it in the paper version so I'm not sure where it is on-line.

According to the, reaction among New Orleans residents is still fairly ppositive on Nagin. They (or a majority of the ones NYT talked to) see his "quirkiness") as a sign of his political naivete, not as incompetence. Apparently, they also accept that particularly the LA governor is to blame, with the feds a close second.

To sum up my impression, it seems like they think that he may be an idiot, but that he's trying hard and in the end he's THEIR idiot.

1:35 PM, September 21, 2005  

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