As the Robert E. Lee monument was being removed last Friday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a victory speech to a select group of supporters at Gallier Hall, ironically, a former slave auction house.
In the last week, the speech received lavish praise from the liberal media, both locally and nationally. Landrieu received glowing tributes throughout the mainstream news media, from the pages of the liberal Times Picayune in New Orleans to the editorial page of the liberal New York Times.
In fact, on Sunday, Landrieu will achieve the ultimate award bestowed to a liberal politician, an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Surely, partisan Democrat host Chuck Todd will shower Landrieu with praise for having the “courage” to dethrone the four nasty, symbols of white supremacy. Unfortunately, he will probably not ask the Mayor about many of the city’s ongoing problems and unanswered questions.
For example, will he ask about the horrible street conditions, the growing homeless problems, or the ever-increasing murder rate? Will he ask why the Police Department is so understaffed and the District Attorney’s office is so underfunded? Will he ask about why the population of the city has started to decrease for the first time since Hurricane Katrina?
Will he ask about the lack of transparency involved in the monument removal process? Will he ask about the true financial cost of this effort for a city struggling to pay for basic operations? Will he ask about the mysterious anonymous donor who gave the city funds for this operation or the Mayor’s shameful misuse of public employees from the Fire Department and the Police Department to remove the monuments?
Will he ask the Mayor to account for his many lies on this issue, on topics ranging from the number of times Robert E. Lee visited New Orleans to the storage of the monuments after their removal? For instance, the Mayor’s office promised to store the monuments in a city owned warehouse after their removal. Instead, Landrieu discarded the monuments in a city owned junkyard, almost tempting vandals to deface or destroy them.
Finally, will the Trump hating host ask the Mayor the obvious question, “Mr. Landrieu, did you remove the monuments to elevate your national standing and set the stage for a presidential campaign?” Of course, the answer to that question is indeed yes, but Landrieu will never answer it truthfully. The entire disgraceful episode has tremendously harmed the Mayor’s standing in New Orleans, but helped his standing nationally.
In the Democrat Party today, a centrist has no chance to capture the presidential nomination. Only a politically correct, radical leftist has a prayer of being the 2020 Democrat Party presidential nominee. By declaring war on the 300-year history of New Orleans, removing four priceless monuments, dividing the city on racial lines and ignoring much more important problems, all to promote his selfish personal ambitions, Landrieu has perfectly set the stage for a presidential campaign.
Democrats are looking for a leader from a younger generation. They need someone who will confront Donald Trump on a variety of issues. Landrieu has already established his desire to attack Donald Trump by opposing the President’s plan to defund sanctuary cities. Landrieu is very proud of the fact that New Orleans is a sanctuary city and he will not abide by whatever Donald Trump or his Justice Department tries to do.
Removing monuments, fighting Trump on sanctuary cities, and garnering national publicity, are all important initial steps in launching a Democrat Party presidential bid. On a more practical level, running for President gives Mr. Landrieu something to do since he is leaving his Mayor’s post next year and he has no job prospects on the horizon.
Why not just continue to campaign and act like a politician? Landrieu is a lifelong politician who has no training, experience or interest in working in the private sector, so a presidential campaign is perfect.
Another important sign of an upcoming presidential campaign is that the Mayor’s good friend, confidante and fundraiser is a guy who knows how to get someone elected to the White House, a “Ragin’ Cajun” named James Carville, who can easily use his connections to line up positive national press for Landrieu. Carville also will surely advise Landrieu to keep denouncing the monuments as he understands that attacking symbols of the Confederacy plays very well in the leftist world of the Democrat Party today.
This strategy will lead to more opportunities for Americans to see New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in the national media, vowing to keep the country safe from Confederate monuments. This weekend, he will continue his crusade on the national stage, restarting the Civil War, reopening old racial wounds, but revealing his political ambition, his only true interest.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]