Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Indecipherable John Georges

I don't know about most observers of the New Orleans mayoral race, but I am finding John Georges to be increasingly unintelligible and off-his-rocker in this campaign. We all know that Georges went on a tirade against the very popular and very effective US Attorney Jim Letten, apparently only because Letten is a Republican. Hell, even I support Jim Letten, because he's done a great job of prosecuting corrupt politicos of whatever partisan stripe. But after his rant got Georges into some hot water, the man just did an unbelievable 180 degree about face and said that he was just joking about Letten and actually supported his continuation as US Attorney. And this is coming from a man who only recently joined the Democratic Party after a much longer stint as an Independent/Republican.

The latest vexing thing to come out of Georges's mouth is this choice bit responding to a question on how the mayoral aspirants in the current race voted in the last, 2006 Mayoral race pitting Landrieu against Nagin:

"Believe it or not, I supported Mitch," he said. "But I voted for Ray because at the end of that campaign, I wasn't satisfied with Mitch. At the very end of the campaign, of course, I listened to Rob [Couhig]. Rob's a smart guy. And he said go with Ray. So I voted for Ray."
Try to wrap your mind around that statement. He supported Mitch but didn't support Mitch. And what changed his mind was that the Republican candidate in that race (and who is currently running again in this race!!!) told him to vote for Nagin. And he did!!! Without question!!! Makes one wonder who, really, would be running New Orleans City Hall in a John Georges administration. Would Rob Couhig be running the show as shadow mayor? Sure seems possible, doesn't it? Regardless, it shows an incredible absence of leadership, independence, and principled conviction in the Georges campaign. The man is such the cynical chameleon, it seems, that knowing what he really envisions for New Orleans and what principles are guiding his candidacy is nigh impossible. I'm not even sure the man has any convictions or guiding principles. Tangentially, it makes me wonder what influence his media contact and communications director, Helena Moreno, has in shaping his message and in getting it out there. Maybe that's the task of a campaign manager; but Ms. Moreno has aligned herself with a candidate whose communication skills leave a lot to be desired, and that just can't be good for Moreno.

Meanwhile, with a slew of important endorsements behind him, it sure looks like Mitch Landrieu is running away with the race, and may even win in the first round out of a crowded field, which would be something indeed. I'm still leaning towards Mitch, but I am not ready to make a solid endorsement as of yet. The thing is, James Perry continues to impress me, and I just can't and won't throw in the towel on Perry. Although it's still a long shot and requires some extra convincing of me on the experience front. Not only does Mitch have good presence and a wonderful communication ability, but his extensive experience and knowledge of the workings of government is almost an insurmountable advantage in my book. But James Perry could still could get my vote and my endorsement if he can translate more convincingly his non-governmental leadership experience to an effective governing leadership capacity. Perry certainly has the charm, the disposition, the attitudes, and the values I want in a candidate (but so does Mitch); but he's got to push that little extra bit to challenge Mitch on the experience and knowledge front.


Anonymous said...

So true about Georges – his whole purpose seems self-serving and without any thought or intellect apparent in his statements. For instance, who would run an election commercial proposing that as soon as he’s in office he’d reduce property taxes when he lives in one of the most expensive properties in New Orleans and pays reportedly $45,000 a year in property tax? That’s just plain dumb politically and smacks of self interest! Besides which he had no proposal for where the budget shortfall would be compensated from! He’s a loser!


oyster said...

Couldn't agree more, Huck, about everything you said. Great post.