Here's Advocate columnist Stephanie Grace's "Quick Take" on President Barack Obama's visit to New Orleans:
1) President Barack Obama and Mayor Mitch Landrieu seem to have quite the mutual admiration society. Landrieu thanked the president profusely and said Obama loves New Orleans and it loves him back. Obama returned the accolades. To the crowd, he said: "You are an example of what is possible when in the face of tragedy...hardship....good people come together to lend a hand," which is why he came back today. "Plus, Mitch Landrieu asked me to."
Two names that were not uttered: George W. Bush, Ray Nagin.
2) I think Obama likes it here. He waxed on about the fried chicken at Willie Mae's (today), the fried shrimp po-boys at Parkway (the fifth anniversary), and many local musicians: Irma Thomas (who was in the 2nd row), Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, the Marsalis family. He said after he leaves office, maybe he'll get to the Maple Leaf on a Tuesday night to see Rebirth. Now when he comes, he says, he only goes to meetings. All this after he greeted the crowd with a "Where y'at?"
Only one local cultural reference fail: He mispronounced Plaquemines Parish.
3) This was a pretty partisan speech in a pretty partisan atmosphere. Obama linked the New Orleans recovery to the national economic recovery. He took a shot at the GOP Congress for once again threatening to shut down the government over the budget. "You know, eventually we're going to do it, so let's just do it without a lot of drama," he said.
The president also called out the presidential field. "One of the things about America is we're never satisfied...but it's important we remember what's right and what's good and what's hopeful about this country," he said.
That said, he warmly greeted Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, who defeated Mary Landrieu last fall by basically running against the president. But Landrieu got a much bigger hand from this very New Orleans crowd.
4) Those looking for a strong message on coastal restoration probably left disappointed. Obama made only a passing reference to one area where many locals think he's not sufficiently focused.
Those looking to attack him for linking the rise of major storms to climate change didn't get much ammunition, either. Again, only a quick mention and reminder that he planned to talk about it more next week in Alaska. That's probably enough for Gov. Bobby Jindal, who yesterday accused Obama of politicizing Katrina by talking about climate change.