Fri, 02 Jun 2006 17:16:01
As promised (threatened?) I watched the streaming video of Dollar Bill’s speech. It was unremarkable in content; mostly liberal boilerplate about helping poor evacuees return home: yadda yadda yadda. Not that he really cares but he must be seen to care. Btw, Dollar Bill looks terrible: he looks like a man besieged. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.
The most interesting thing about Dollar Bill’s prominent presence at Naginfest is the way the Picayune swallowed the Nagin spin agin:
“Though Nagin said he had little to do with planning Thursday’s event he said afterward that he had no anxiety about Jefferson’s participation or the national firestorm that has resulted from a recent federal raid of Jefferson’s congressional office in Washington.
“Not at all ” Nagin said. “He’s still our congressman. He is having some struggles but he has not been indicted yet.”
In fact he said that although some observers may see Nagin and Jefferson sharing a stage as ironic the reality is another example of “the balance” of New Orleans politics that is frequently misunderstood by outsiders.
“The beauty of New Orleans is the wildness and the elegance ” Nagin said. “That’s what drives people nuts.”
No, C Ray what drives me nuts is the double standard that the local press applies to you. If either Marc Morial or Mitch Landrieu had been inaugurated yesterday and had invited Dollar Bill to speak the Picayune would be excoriating them. But when C Ray the self proclaimed reformer does so it’s quaint and/or ironic at worst. What’s disturbing is that C Ray should be judged by a *higher* standard because he keeps telling us how damn honest he is: yadda yadda yadda.
It will be interesting to see if any of the Picayune’s columnists takes a different line but they seem to have fallen back in love with C Ray too. Charm and bullshit can take you a long way but they can’t solve problems. Speaking of which I think that no one outside Debrisville is likely to buy Nagin campaign guru Jim Carvin’s super-provincial spin:
“It’s more of a local thing. It has nothing to do with New Orleans’ international image. It may be interpreted that he shouldn’t do it. But he’s Nagin.”
That’s the problem: by re-electing the human punch line we’ve made it much harder for the city to recover. I hate being this pessimistic but the national press and most Americans view Nagin as a joke and not a charming eccentric. C Ray somehow thinks that his kissing Bush’s ass makes them friends and allies. I suspect that he’s in for a rude awakening…