New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been putting his name as a presidential candidate for 2020. Landrieu has been trying to appeal to both the centrist and the “social justice” wings of the Democratic Party.
However, not all Democrats are climbing on board the “Mitch for president” bandwagon. Michael Stein has published an op-ed in The New Republic denouncing Mitch Landrieu as just another bland centrist.
Here are some delicious quotes, presented without additional commentary:
Little about Landrieu is new or exciting. He’s your run-of-the-mill centrist Democrat, one who appeals to the left with illusory calls for progress even as he ingratiates himself with center-right supporters by straddling the ideological line. He’s a beneficiary of his family’s political dynasty and of the current vacuum in Democratic leadership that leaves pundits and party loyalists desperately grasping for any semblance of a fresh “new face.”
[…] Readers of the op-ed, titled “Why I’m Taking Down My City’s Confederate Monuments,” could be forgiven for thinking that Landrieu had been a visionary and a workhorse, pushing hard over his seven years as mayor to topple shrines to white supremacy. But Malcolm Suber, co-founder of Take ’Em Down Nola, the grassroots organization that led the charge to remove the Confederate monuments, remembers it differently.
“This was a continuation of struggles in the black community for decades to rid the city of these white supremacy monuments,” he told me. “There was no real aggressive stance by the Landrieu administration.”
[…]After two years of dormancy, Landrieu reappeared once the removal of the four monuments was inevitable. In his triumphant speech, shared endlessly on Facebook, he quoted MLK and Nelson Mandela and served up some ungainly gumbo-as-diversity metaphors. One thing he didn’t mention: the tireless work of the citizen activists that made the victory possible.
“To have him make that long speech as if he was a champion and a real believer in freedom and equality was just insulting to us,” said Suber, who has been lobbying the government to remove the monuments since the early 1990s. “Anybody can claim anything verbally, but when rubber meets road what has he done?”
[…]“His legacy on climate change is one of talking and plan making that addresses the impacts, but nothing that addresses the root causes,” said Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental health and justice organization. “Yeah, he can stand up there and grandstand, but when it comes to doing something real, that would involve really taking on the fossil fuel industry, and he won’t do it.”
He isn’t just afraid to stand up to the fossil fuel industry; he’s a strident supporter. “We need fossil fuels, and we need to make sure we keep drilling,” he said on MSNBC. But hey, New Orleans is only a coastal city lying below sea level in a state that loses a football field of land to the encroaching Gulf of Mexico every 100 minutes, so no need for urgency.
Ouch. These comments from the communist Malcolm Suber and the hard left Anne Rolfes are just brutal. Poor Mitch, the people who he thought were his friends don’t like him.
The Democrat primary voter is going to look for someone who is a committed progressive in the primaries next year. Mitch’s problem is that he’s more of a centrist compared to a Liz Warren or Kamala Harris. We imagine that we will see more progressives come out and attack Mitch Landrieu before 2020.
Mitch’s problem is compounded by the fact that he doesn’t really have a record to run on. Crime is still out of control in New Orleans, the drainage situation is terrible, the infrastructure is poor, and economic development is non-existent. Soon, the whole country will know that the emperor has no clothes.
Mitch Landrieu is finding out that his friends don’t really like him. If nothing else, it will be an entertaining next few years.