Thursday, March 09, 2006

Partial impressions of Tuedsay night's debate (video link in election guide, no separate link or online transcript):

It would have been hard enough for a 90 minute forum with nine candidates to be very meaningful, trying to get away from a rigid format only made things worse.

Two candidates came close to getting outright F's:

James Arey--If Adm. James Stockdale is the F standard in grading debates, I guess we have to give poor James a D. Being a radio host, he's used to being in front of the microphone. He was five time jeopardy champion, so he supposed to be a smart guy and somewhat used to being in front of a camera. I think he I know where he was trying to go on that vanilla tangent, but he didn't get there. I would have expected a lot more. Maybe he just needs to practice with a stopwatch, but longshots don't usually get a second chance.

Peggy Wilson--gave the best opening statement, all downhill from there. Well, the opening was a platitude disguised as a sales pitch. However, it's a timely platitude--gets to why I disagree with the mayor, even when I agree with him. For the rest of the debate, I would have given her an F until her welfare queens comment. After that, I thought her appearance could only be explained in terms of performance art or conspiracy theories.

Rob Couhig--Are he and Peggy still emailing around copies of that internet hate piece about how the welfare state led to the scenes at the superdome and the convention center? I'm sure everyone saw the one about how generations of dependency on government welfare programs created an underclass full of helpless people who couldn't get themselves to safety. I thought the Gretna police shot that theory full of holes.

Mitch Landrieu-- good job overall, wise not to get sucked into an insult match with Couhig. But I think we're going to hear more about that negative business rating, he needs an answer in his literature and on his website. Should be easy enough considering the kinds of things LABI rates legislators on.

Ron Forman--Was he there?

C. Ray Nagin-- hate to say it, good impression overall. But since reportersand other people like to take one little statement totally out of context, the mayor put in context for us --he was speaking to the NAACP. You see, he made a statement that what was aimed at the members of one ethic group, because he was speaking to an audience composed of members of that ethnic. I don't think it's unfair to hold incumbents to a higher standard (up to a point) than challengers on wedge issues. Which leads to:

The Reverend Thomas Watson: Really solid overall. Made a couple of mildly objectionable statements. Total cheap shot to imply that Landrieu wanted to bring back segregation, because he wanted New Orleans to be as big as it was in 1960. He was right that most of the other candidates were only in the race because of Katrina, but, as Virginia Boulet pointed out, Katrina didn't just affect the city's racial composition, it made Nagin seem inept. Still, if it doesn't go too far,it's more or less harmless coming from a challenger. Inexcusable statement: "I would have ordered an evacuation on Friday." If he repeats it, he better explain it.

I can't see any of the rest even affecting who makes the runoff. Though I was impressed with Boulet.

BTW that wasn't meant as a knock on Forman. If your opponents are shooting at each other (Couhig, Landrieu, Nagin) or themselves (Wilson), stay out of it.

Dave, I appreciate your recap of the debate, since I missed it. Maybe I'll download it and listen to it. Sad that the black candidates are playing racial politics and that they know they can get away with it. I went to your other links about the schools. UNO laying off? It's time to finally put UNO and SUNO if they need to save money. That other link about Lusher I didn't quite understand. I don't know their admission policy now. A related note however is that one of my neighbors told me that Landrieu's son is going there now. I don't think he was going there before the storm, but maybe.
I meant to say UNO and SUNO together. I'm still looking for somebody to vote for in the election as of now.
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