Let the Good Times Roll

By Campo-Flores, Arian | Newsweek, September 6, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Let the Good Times Roll


Campo-Flores, Arian, Newsweek


Byline: Arian Campo-Flores

Will high-flying hopes succumb to the swamp of the 'Big Sleazy'? Not if the latest Crescent City crusader can help it.

Throughout New Orleans's seedy, scandal-ridden history, many a crusading mayor has swept into office promising to clean house. In the 1940s and '50s, DeLesseps Morrison tried to dismantle the patronage system, cutting sinecures from the municipal payroll and cracking down on waste and fraud in city departments. In the end, though, he assembled his own machine and tolerated some organized-crime activity, according to historian Edward Haas. "I am afraid that in the process of politics you may have lost your soul," a disenchanted friend wrote Morrison. In the 1990s came Marc Morial, who pledged to "clean out City Hall with a shovel, not a broom." His administration wound up subject to a federal corruption probe (though he himself wasn't a target). And most recently, there was Ray Nagin, who dubbed his administration "the Antichrist of politics in this city." He finished his second term this year amid an influence-peddling scandal centered on his technology department.

So why should anyone believe that the latest Crescent City crusader--Mayor Mitch Landrieu--will be any different? Son of the city's last white mayor, Moon Landrieu, and brother of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, he hails from an impressive political lineage. He's wonky, charismatic, and driven. And like so many of his predecessors, he's promising a lot. He vows to repair a dysfunctional city government, reform a corrupt police force, bring down an intolerable murder rate, and close a gaping budget deficit--on top of tackling the blight and brutalized infrastructure left behind by Hurricane Katrina, whose fifth anniversary just passed. "I don't know that previous mayors have tried to do what it is I'm trying to do right now," he told me in an interview at his office. (Modesty, perhaps, isn't his strong suit.)

New Orleanians are jaded folks, and they've heard these assurances before--which makes their enthusiasm for Landrieu all the more remarkable. He was elected in a landslide in February, garnering 66 percent of the vote and support across racial and class lines--no small feat in a city riven by factionalism. "We have the right man at the right time at the right place," says Joseph Canizaro, a prominent developer who has served on various rebuilding commissions. So are these high-flying hopes justified? Or will they succumb to the swamp of the "Big Sleazy," as has happened so many times before?

Landrieu, 50, grew up in the working-class, racially mixed Broadmoor neighborhood. One of nine siblings, he was known as restless and occasionally headstrong. His early passion was acting, and you can see traces of theatrical flair in his poise and delivery today. As the son of the first mayor to appoint blacks to prominent positions at City Hall, in the 1970s, Landrieu has benefited from a legacy of support among African-Americans. He has leveraged all this into a successful political career, first as a state representative--who earned a reputation for consensus-building--and later as Louisiana's lieutenant governor. But it was the mayoralty he always coveted.

Saner people might wonder why. When he assumed office in May, the budget deficit was $67 million--more than twice the figure he'd been led to expect.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Let the Good Times Roll
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.