Tuesday, April 18, 2006

America's Craziest Mayoral Election

Last night I tuned in to the national broadcast of the New Orleans Mayoral debates. I only watched for a few moments (it reminded me of being in high school), and it told me exactly what I already knew: Ray Nagin is in waay over his head, but he might still win this one. Why? Because George W. Bush won the Presidency. Twice. (Almost as a tribute to this fact, Mayor Nagin has a Bush – Nagin photo-op on his Website, and White House quotes as to his effectiveness – heckuvajob, guys.) You can almost see this by sizing up his opponents, and keeping in mind that not a single media outlet has endorsed him to keep his job. Besides the infamous ‘Chocolate City’ backlash, last night, when asked if he wanted the ‘pimps and murderers and criminals’ to come back to New Orleans, His Incumbency declared “Well, I want everyone to come back to New Orleans!” I’d put some gamblin’ money on the table that says his communication director went home to whiskey last night.

Landrieu apparently has a “I invented the internet”-esqe statement on his record re: tourism in New Orleans. He is also very ambitious, and will undoubtedly use the national stage that is New Orleans to vy for higher political office eventually (Governor or President? Perhaps a brother-sister team in the Senate? I can only imagine what Thanksgiving at that house looks like over the Turducken).

Forman looks French like Kerry, though he has stayed away from the Oompa Loompa tan fiasco, from what I can tell. (I also can’t get the “Abe Froman” scene from Farris Bueller’s Day Off outta my head when I think about this guy.) That may not affect him at all, being as this is New Orleans.

Checked out Crescent City Cyberspace for some additional insight:
The BATTURE endorses Forman, TAG endorses Landrieu over at GulfSails, and The Third Battle of New Orleans has a short roundup of MSM endorsements, which are overwhelmingly for Landrieu (they also recommend the League of Women Voters of New Orleans' handy who’s-who election guide).

I’ve even got family involved as my Uncle’s brother Greg Rigamer’s consulting company released some pretty interesting numbers regarding the election. From an interview with the Pulitzer winning Times-Picayune (on the web through NOLA.com):
“Rigamer's company found that about 80 percent of the city's 297,053 registered voters either have not filed a change of address form or have listed a new address within the metro New Orleans area…The actual percentage of voters living locally is not that high -- not everyone who has moved informed the post office -- but the data strongly indicates that a majority of voters remain nearby, Rigamer said.”
In addressing other controversial concerns: “Further, the data shows the proportion of white voters to black voters living in the metro area -- although not necessarily in Orleans Parish -- remains almost the same as before the flood, about 32 percent white and 62 percent black.”

(If you want to see some of the controversy caused by these findings, Google or Technorati "Greg Rigamer" & "New Orleans")

So, I look into the crystal ball of the future and I forsee a runoff between Forman vs Nagin in an Uptown vs Downtown election. Landrieu misses the cut by less than 1000 votes. Nagin wins the general. Upset possibility if I'm totally wrong: Landrieu wins convincingly, no runoff necessary, becomes Democratic Presidential Dark Horse for 2012.


Dante said...

I don't know. Forman looks a bit British to me. I could just see him spouting out some Cockney-ridden English that's so bad it needs subtitles.

You think Mitch Landrieu even has a chance? The only other person I can think of named Mitch is the guy who's not Val Kilmer in Real Genius. Isn't Mitch short for Mitchum? Isn't Mitchum a deoderant? Those kinds of things will make and break a mayoral campaign.

Nagin, as incompetent as he is, has this campaign in the bag.

petallic said...

Yes, but Mitchum is "so strong you can skip a day," or so the deodorant claims. I never found this to be true, despite many efforts during my collegiate bohemian years.

petallic said...

Whoever is responsible for writing 37,000 as "37 thousand" on Nagin's website needs to be smartly rapped upside the head.

I think Nagin will win this one, merely out of survivor loyalty.

ruby booth said...

As to the pimps and murders etc. quote, Nagin may not be as dumb as all that. I am sad to say that little moment of Q&A would probably guarantee the man reelection, running in Memphis. After all you may not actually like ‘em, but them criminals is family ‘round here.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Well, looks like I was wrong.

Nagin vs Landrieu in the runoff. But Nagin only got 38% of the vote, anti incumbent candidates got the other 62% (Landrieu got 29%, Forman 17%, the Republican 10%).

I wonder if Forman & the Republican's votes will combine to add to Landrieu's totals (pushing him to 56%), or if those voters will stay home.

Voter turnout was also low. I wonder if the Rev. Jessie Jackson will spend his time and his own money tracking down and rallying the exile voters he says he's worried about instead of asking the government to do it (you know, that government that's trying to get the levees back up for the summer....).

IF people wanted to vote and couldn't, we have a huge problem. If people didn't make any real effort to vote, and want to blame someone else, I have little sympathy.

I wonder if the Democratic Party of New Orleans, who will win the Mayor's race either way at this point, will let Rev. Jackson use their podium to decry the election of a Democrat to mayor after the runoff, should a Democrat Rev. Jackson doesn't like (because of the content of his character, of course) wins.

I can only imagine how much that will help the cause heading into a mid-Term election year with Congress up for grabs.