Assessing Mitch Landrieu's legacy_lowres

Mitch Landrieu, in an interview at the Gambit offices in 2018.

One night after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address — during which many of the seats were filled with declared and likely 2020 presidential candidates — former Mayor Mitch Landrieu appeared on CNN’s “New Day” morning show and said “I don’t think so” when asked if he was likely to jump into the race for the nation’s highest office.

“The field is getting filled up. I think the Democrats have a lot of great candidates. I feel very comfortable that there are people who are going to get into this race," Landrieu said, adding, "Each and every one of them, by the way, are better than what President [Donald] Trump is offering for the country right now.”

Since leaving office last year, Landrieu has continued to promote his memoir “In the Shadow of Statues” and his nonprofit The E Pluribus Unum Fund, the mission statement of which is to “bring people together across the American South around the issues of race, equity, economic opportunity and violence.” His nationally acclaimed speech about the removal of Confederate monuments drew the attention of pundits speculating about the 2020 presidential race, and the publication of his memoir in his last weeks as mayor was taken by some as a rite of passage toward running for higher office. He currently is serving as a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics  through spring 2019.

But Landrieu, who is known to keep his options open, told “New Day” that he would “never say never” when it came to running for president; New Orleanians will remember the 2010 mayoral race, in which Landrieu entered at the last minute, upending the field and eventually winning in his third bid for the office.

As for Trump’s State of the Union address, Landrieu was dismissive: “Nobody believes anything that he said. You can’t kick your dog all day and then at night pat him on the head and tell him that you love him and expect him to believe it,” he told CNN.

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