Fri, 21 Apr 2006 05:12:11

I missed the Mayoral candidates debate on WWL two weeks ago because of the District B forum that my group co-sponsored. Sir Jeffrey the Librarian wrote a scathing post about the debate and its format. I thought his comments might have been OTT but they were spot on. WWL used the same muddled format last night and it was a fricking mess.

Rule number one of dealing with candidates is to place strict time limits on them and then whap their knuckles with a ruler if they go over. That never happened tonight. Moderator/anchorman Dennis Woltering was like a lion tamer without a whip. One should always carry a whip when dealing with candidates; especially where Peggy Wilson Rob Couhig and Tom Watson are concerned.

WWL’s formless format led to the candidates acting like 3rd graders on espresso. Even C Ray was a bit more animated tonight; he had to be just to get a word in edgewise. C Ray did however look depressed at times. I almost felt sorry for him until he said that the city was “ready to rock and roll.” If he says that one more time I swear that I’ll accost him and slap a clown wig on his shiny bald pate. Don’t make me do it C Ray…

Slight digression: I watch WWL news all the time but since Lucy Bustamante replaced Karen Swensen I tune into WDSU at 10. Norman Robinson may be cranky but he knows what he’s talking about. Lucy is to be blunt a twit. And tonight the twit was on the panel of reporters questioning the candidates. In the future they should keep Lucy away from the grownups table; she should stick to swimming in the shallow end of the news pool. Jeez talk about mixed metaphors…

The ridiculously incoherent format makes a coherent analysis impossible so it’s time for the:


1. Mitch Landrieu: Calm articulate and bald. That’s Mitch in a nutshell. The frontrunner played it safe but looked good in contrast to some of the nutbars and wannabes running against him.

2. Rob Couhig:  Fiery articulate and bald. That’s the NOLA Bug Man in a nutshell. He recycled some soundbites but looked in command of the facts even if he’s not. Style is everything on the tube and Rob Couhig has something going on. His supporters are claiming that he’ll make the run-off. I’m dubious but I expect him to do better than expected; especially if Forman continues to falter.

3. Gorilla Ron Forman: I still don’t like him BUT it was his best performance in the series. He looked in charge and gave several good answers. He seemed to have used less Vitalis on his hair than at the last debate. Hair matters on the boob tube; especially when your opponents have so little…

4. Virginia Boulet:
She’s not wearing well with me. She keeps proposing things that the Mayor has no power over. I’d love to see everyone in Debrisville have health insurance BUT we’d need the legislature to pass it and they’re not giving us anything that the people in Ruston don’t get. Ditto with her idea about moving UNO downtown: UNO is a state school the Mayor has no power over them. Virginia alarmed me with her proposal for upscale condos on the lakefront. Just what we need is more housing for yuppies….

5. Tom Watson: He was tamer than in the ABC-26 debate that I missed because I was at NONPACC with Stacy Head and  Renee Gill-Pratfall. I wish that he’d called C Ray a liar tonight; it would have livened things up. I *still* think that he’ll do better at the ballot box than the public polls indicate.

6. C Ray Nagin: He looked depressed for much of the debate but never seemed to be on the verge of fallng asleep. That’s an improvement over Monday. His closing statement was surprisingly crisp concise and coherent. He still seems to be sleepwalking his way through the campaign. I’m one of the few people who thinks that he may NOT make the run-off but then again who the hell knows?

7. Peggy Wilson: She still looked shrill and crazy but the format diluted her. Yay dilution.  It’s funny I’ve run into Peggy more than a few times over the years and she never looks crazy when she’s looking at the deli section at Langenstein’s. On TV she looks madder than Syd Barrett. I think wild eyed is the term that I’m groping for. I do have some good news for her: after getting a royal bollocking on Saturday she’ll have more time to spend with her grandchildren.


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