Mike Hoss: We talk a lot about that first term and the corruption crackdown. He touted the crime cameras, which in turn came back to bite him somewhat in the second term. When I was looking through his bio in the second term, what kind of sticks out are he did ignore the professional planners on rebuilding and where the city would rebuild. You think of Martin Luther King Day, which we’re about to come up upon again, in 2006, the Chocolate City remarks. It’s almost the anniversary – seven years. Ed Blakely, who he hired as the Recovery Director who came up with the 17 zones. The NOAH Housing Program exposed by WWL. In a second term where he basically couldn’t run again could do whatever he wanted to do. He had carte blanche to do it and really did very little.
Clancy DuBos: “His first term was really not that successful. You mention the Brass; the Brass went bankrupt. He was sold to New Orleans, and I confess, my paper (The Gambit) endorsed him in 2002. He presented himself and sold himself as a business man. He was never a business man. He was a midlevel manager for a government regulated monopoly, Cox Cable. But he presented himself as a business guy and people were hungry for that kind of candidate in 2002. His first term was really kind of a caretaker term. As long as things didn’t go seriously wrong, his defects as a leader didn’t really show. But when it came time for him to really step up and lead, he was not capable. Instead of leading, he largely according to this indictment or according to all the other scandals – flying to Jamaica 82 days after the storm on the dime of a city contractor who is now in jail while people were still trying to get back in their hopes, while cops were still finding bodies in cars and attics – the second term was a complete abdication of his duty and a squandering of an opportunity for him to lead. And frankly it probably postponed this city’s recovery for three or four years.”
Eric Paulsen: “You can see a marked difference in Ray Nagin pre- and- post-Katrina?
DuBos: “Oh yeah. A lot of people speculated that had lost it. I personally witnessed him at arm’s length, literally two or three weeks away up in Baton Rouge, two weeks after the storm. He just collapsed onto the ground and leaned up against the wall and said, ‘I did not sign up for this (expletive).’ And he said it again. ‘I did not sign up for this stuff.’ And I’m thinking, wait a minute, you’re the mayor. You absolutely signed up for whatever comes. But that was his attitude. It was all about him. I frequently call him a narcissist because that’s what he is. He was all about himself. He was all about, ‘I didn’t sign up this.’ Well, you know, when you’re the mayor or the governor or the president, you sign up for whatever comes and it’s your job to lead. That’s what he failed to do. And according to the Feds, he not only failed to lead, but he took very good care of himself and not very good care of the city.’