The (Last) Mayoral Debate

Last night's run-off mayoral debate between candidates Landrieu and Nagin was striking. All of them were, I suppose, since the moderaters routinely asked pointed questions and were clearly engaged in the answers given--unlike, say, Bill Schieffer. But last night, John Snell acted like a wife who'd been cheated on and was addressing her husband who'd just come home to pick up a few things for another night in a hotel. "Did you think about me when you were fucking her? huh?" he may as well have asked. He brought up the past--Nagin's Bring Back New Orleans Commission plan, which he called "pure fantasy," the undisclosed budget and the fiscal health of city hall. And yet, unlike the wife in my example, he was fair. He grilled Landrieu too (but Landrieu isn't running N.O. right now and doesn't have to answer for un-picked-up debris). It was beautiful. Because anyone running for an important office should be grilled. The rest of us are grilled in important job interviews, but politicians rarely are. Dare I hope that one day we could have presidential debates like that?

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