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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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Obama's Whistle-Stop Tour of New Orleans

Today Obama will be making an extremely short stop in New Orleans. Or what my favorite NOLA blogger calls a "tinkle-stop tour." In New Orleans, he'll be visiting a charter school and participating in a town hall meeting in the Lower 9th Ward.

In contrast, his next stop will be San Francisco, where he'll be spending four times as much time--16 hours. This has caused HuffPo's Harry Shearer to say,

Quote:
Total elapsed time in SF: sixteen hours. They must have experienced a hell of a federal disaster there. Four times worse, you figure?
But the four hours Obama is spending in New Orleans means he won't:

*Be seeing any of the rest of of New Orleans' devastated areas--more of that city was damaged by the Federal Flood than merely the Lower 9th;

*Be checking out the work on New Orleans' levees--considered vitally important by New Orleanians and anyone else concerned about New Orleans' safety from future flooding. This is something he should keep abreast of as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers;

*Be flying over Louisiana's disappearing coast, which has been washing away at a rate of a football field every half hour;

*Be visiting Alabama, Mississippi and the Louisiana areas still struggling to recover from Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike--an omission which has been one of the most controversial things about the briefness of Obama's visit. Stan Tiner even goes so far as to ask,

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Is the Mississippi Coast invisible?
Indeed, Obama's whistle-stop tour is being compared to Bush's "fly-over" trip when he couldn't be bothered with visiting the disaster zone.

Some may blow what I have to say off by saying Obama as a Senator and a candidate made five visits to New Orleans--but nothing can match the prestige of a meaningful presidential visit with its symbolism of a presidential commitment to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. As long as such a tour is backed up by concrete action regarding the issues above.

It is a shame that while Bush of that first fly-over and his empty promises managed to visit Louisiana and Mississippi 13 times and made it to all three 8/29 anniversaries in both states, Obama is just making this whistle-stop tour after not having made it to the anniversary of Katrina and the federal flood. And the fact that Teddy Kennedy's funeral happened to take place on that day is immaterial--the point is that even had it not taken place, Obama had made no plans at all to visit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, instead planning to stay at Martha's Vineyard where he was on vacation.

So, he owes New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Region one--and it's time for him to get some skin in the game and live up to his promises there.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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4 hours? That's it? What on earth is the point of that, Katrina or no Katrina, it seems pretty pointless. By now I'm sure Nawlins realized the federal government doesn't really care what happens to them. They were sold out by Dems and Repubs alike.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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I guess NOLA is not as important to Obama than SFO is.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by highway80west
I guess NOLA is not as important to Obama than SFO is.




Yup...SF is where the big liberal money is too. It's not hard to figure out.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lisa
Yup...SF is where the big liberal money is too. It's not hard to figure out.


New Orleans is one of my favorite cities to visit, especially in the French Quarter. I wonder if any of the people who own an establishment (like one of the many restaurants) there would have enticed Obama to spend more time after he tours the other areas like the 9th Ward?
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highway80west
I guess NOLA is not as important to Obama than SFO is.


Organizing for America | San Francisco for Obama
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highway80west
New Orleans is one of my favorite cities to visit, especially in the French Quarter. I wonder if any of the people who own an establishment (like one of the many restaurants) there would have enticed Obama to spend more time after he tours the other areas like the 9th Ward?


I went years ago before Katrina and the debauchery really turned me off. I think I would like to go back and explore the real culture of the music and food. I suppose in Obama's defense since he has been there several times recently he may feel he has already spent a good amount of time with the local proprietors.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa
I went years ago before Katrina and the debauchery really turned me off. I think I would like to go back and explore the real culture of the music and food. I suppose in Obama's defense since he has been there several times recently he may feel he has already spent a good amount of time with the local proprietors.


I visited only two restaurants: Brennan's and Chef K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. I didn't go to any of the bars there.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #9
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I visited only two restaurants: Brennan's and Chef K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. I didn't go to any of the bars there.


The whole crawfish thing kind of freaks me out too. Do they eat the heads? I think they do. That just makes me kind of not hungry. Also that weird sausage gumbo...you can put pretty much anything into sausage. Even crawfish heads No thanks.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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The whole crawfish thing kind of freaks me out too. Do they eat the heads? I think they do. That just makes me kind of not hungry. Also that weird sausage gumbo...you can put pretty much anything into sausage. Even crawfish heads No thanks.




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