As you well know by now New Orleans elected Mr. “Chocolate City” himself, Ray Nagin, as Mayor.
Mayor Ray Nagin, the self-styled maverick with a quick and sometimes gaffe-prone tongue, immediately began trying to mend ties with political opponents and crucial leaders as he won another four years to oversee reconstruction of this major American city.
“It’s time for a real partnership. It’s time for us to get together and rebuild this city,” Nagin said in an exuberant speech after defeating Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu on Saturday. “My hand is out, reaching out in partnership.”
Nagin thanked President Bush for helping to secure billions of dollars in aid, and Gov. Kathleen Blanco “for what she’s getting ready to do,” referring to a massive state-run program to offer buyouts to New Orleans homeowners.
Nagin, who beat Landrieu 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent, begins a second term May 31, a day before the start of hurricane season. Still staggering after Hurricane Katrina, many neighborhoods remain uninhabitable, debris-filled ghost towns nine months after the storm ravaged the Gulf Coast.
The interesting thing is that it appears Howard Dean wanted Landrieu to win and did everything he could to help make that outcome a reality:
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the reelection efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean made the decision himself to back mayoral candidate and sitting Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu (D-LA), sources reveal.
Dean came to the decision to back the white challenger, over the African-American incumbent Nagin, despite concerns amongst senior black officials in the Party that the DNC should stay neutral.
The DNC teams actively worked to defeat Nagin under the auspice of the committee’s voting rights program.
The party’s field efforts also coincided with a national effort by Democrat contributors to support Landrieu.
Landrieu had outraised Nagin by a wide margin – $3.3 million to $541,980.
Preliminary campaign finance reports indicate many of Landrieu’s contributions came from out of state white Democrat leaders and financiers, including a $1,000 contribution from Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) PAC.
The defeat of Mitch Landrieu is the latest setback for Dean’s often criticized field operation.
In his victory speech late Saturday night, Nagin praised President Bush.
“You and I have probably been the most vilified politicians in the country. But I want to thank you for moving that promise that you made in Jackson Square forward,” Nagin said.
So it actually appears not only did they re-elect the least dangerous politician, Nagin, but it may well have cost the Democrats dearly. Paul at Wizbang believes he knows how:
In case you still don’t get it: It is basically a given that the Dems lost a house in the Senate last night.
This has taught the Democrats who voted for Nagin a lesson they probably wont forget come 2006 and 2008.
Last night might very well be good news for the Republicans, and the city. Since out of the two candidates Landrieu was the worst of the worst. Remember New Orleans is not so much ruled by partisanship but by old school money, of which the Landrieus are one of the biggies.
Nagin is an outsider who came in to reform, did a horrible job during Katrina and got his name smeared about. Admittedly some of it was his own doing and his stupid remarks. But he is much more right then given credit for, recall that he supported Jindal in the past and even contributed to Bush’s campaign in 2000, and I think when it comes down to it, this win will be bad news for the left.
This is a telling comment from someone at FR:
I’ll put my conservative credentials up against any one here. Not only did I vote for C. Ray yesterday, I worked for him. I walked from the Quarter to uptown to vote wearing a Nagin t-shirt and urging everyone to vote for the man.
I was at the victory party last night. It was the conservative whites that put him over the top thanks to the Couhig endorsement. We had a great time and watching a black audience cheer President Bush and hiss Blank-o was a sight to behold.
Nagin will get the aid in the hands of the people that need it and conservatives now have a place in city government thanks to Couhig.
This Dean story is icing on the cake.