After having scrapped his final state of the city address twice, once due to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and then due to threatening tropical weather, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu finally delivered the speech last Thursday.
With one eye toward New Orleans’ perilous state when he took office seven years ago, and the…
In a sense, the ultimate timing wasn't ideal, given that it was a shortened holiday week. Rather than serve as a prelude to his big moment in Miami Beach, when he became president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the speech was instead a postscript. Also, Landrieu isn't scheduled to step down until next May, so it feels kind of early to be delivering something of a final word.
In another sense, the scheduling made sense. Last week was perhaps the last time the term-limited mayor will have the city's stage to himself.
Starting Wednesday, candidates will officially sign up for the election to replace him, which takes place in October, with a November runoff if needed. So starting Wednesday, many eyes will be not on Landrieu but on his potential successors, where they hope to take the city, and their assessments of what the current mayor has done right and gotten wrong.
It’s just a few weeks until the field for the 2017 New Orleans mayor’s race will be set, and…
That's what always happens during election season, but this year's quirky calendar will extend the in-between period for longer than usual. The Legislature recently moved municipal elections in the city from winter to the previous fall, but because Landrieu was elected under the old calendar, his lame duck period could stretch more than six months.
But Landrieu isn't exactly one to fade into the background. Indeed, when he won the election to succeed the rapidly fading Ray Nagin, he quickly assumed the leadership mantle. That turned out to be a good thing, given that the BP oil spill happened before he was formally sworn in and the administration had to get right to work.
Back in 2001, when Marc Morial was sworn in as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I…
This isn't 2010, though. Landrieu's already announced his intent to finish strong. And while he has stressed the benefits of continuity between administrations, any newly elected mayor will surely want to rebrand the office and make a quick mark.
Landrieu will surely still have plenty to say right up until the end, but starting this week and stretching for the next 10 months, the context will be different. This could be unlike any period New Orleans politics has seen.