It happened in 2013 when former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal became Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association. During his first five years as Governor (2008-2012), Jindal had shown little interest in Louisiana issues and primary interest in his political future. It only became a worse problem while he led the GOP organization in 2013. He used the position to travel the country, raise money for Republican candidates and set the stage for his eventual presidential campaign.
The whole effort was an abysmal failure. Jindal became very unpopular in Louisiana while not becoming a very successful presidential candidate. Eventually, Jindal left the presidential race without winning one primary or one delegate. He was such an inconsequential candidate that he was relegated to the “junior varsity” televised debates with the minor candidates in the afternoon hours. While he campaigned, he harshly criticized President Trump, so it was no surprise that he did not receive an invitation to join the new Republican cabinet. Today, Jindal is an afterthought, a forgotten politician, who still maintains huge political ambitions, but will never achieve those goals because he did not achieve any real accomplishments as Louisiana Governor and was a laughingstock as a presidential candidate.
Today, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is following in the footsteps of Bobby Jindal. As the new President of the National Conference of Mayors, Landrieu will be in the media spotlight across the country. He will use this position to elevate his profile, but it will translate into few benefits for his constituents back home in New Orleans, a city reeling from an out of control crime problem.
Like Jindal, Landrieu has presidential ambitions. He removed four Confederate monuments in a bid for national attention. It was controversial in New Orleans, but popular among liberal leaders in the media and the Democrat Party. So, for Landrieu, this was mission accomplished, even though he has no plan on where to put the old monuments or what to do with the demolished sites of the former monuments. Such details are for the little people, not presidential candidates like Mitch Landrieu!
Unfortunately for the potential presidential candidate, his city is on edge with crime increasing at a dizzying pace. In recent days, video footage has surfaced of innocent tourists being accosted by criminals on the streets of New Orleans. One horrific incident occurred on Bienville Street last Saturday night at 9 p.m. involving two victims attending a church conference being beaten and robbed by four suspects. The other incident took place on St. Charles Avenue early the next morning. Another individual was struck in the back of his head by an attacker who seemed only interested in inflicting bodily harm, not in robbing the victim. There was no police officer around in either incident, not a surprise considering that New Orleans has a massive shortage of 500 police officers.
New Orleans has multiple problems getting worse, but none is more important than the crime crisis. Already, in the first half of 2017, there has been a shocking 60% increase in shootings. The murder rate is higher than last year, which was higher than the year before. In the years of 2010-2015, New Orleans was listed as the Murder Capital of the United States, so it is unlikely that the city will be relinquishing that shameful title anytime soon.
Fortunately, citizens in New Orleans will be electing a new Mayor in the fall, but Landrieu will remain in office until the following May. Thus, he will be at the helm during the city’s Tri-Centennial celebrations, basking in the glow of the historic milestone. This will be another opportunity for Landrieu to garner the national spotlight, but, hopefully, someone will eventually realize that this emperor has no clothes.