Allan thought the second inaugural address by President Barack Obama was a very good reflection of what is in the President’s soul -– truculent, adversarial and not a hint of compromise. Allan also thought that the President’s advocacy of gay rights was historic, the first time gay rights have ever been mentioned in an Inaugural Address.
Danae, on the other hand, thought the speech was a flop, misdirected and mistaken in its apparent refusal to even consider compromise on any of the points that matter to the American people.
Danae thinks the real issue the President barely mentioned is the economy. She thinks the American economy is still in the ditch, just as it was four years ago at the end of former President George W. Bush’s regime and the main issue that ought to unite us all is how to get the ox out of the ditch and back on the road.
Allan thought the President broke new ground and made it clear that on behalf of the the new American majority that elected him to his second term , he’s going to try to remove the various elements of repression that impair the quality of life of folks who are gay. Danae is also an advocate of gay rights but she thinks that if a gay couple could legally marry in Louisiana or any other state but neither of the partners was able to get a job, the quality of their life together would still be severely impaired.
Danae believes that any President, mayor or governor bound by a two-term limit is a “lame duck” in his or her second term. Because the incumbent can’t run again, their power ebbs away in each year of their second term until there is none left at the end. Danae knows this because she was a political operative in the second term of the late Mayor Dutch Morial. She saw firsthand how Dutch’s power ebbed as his second term wore on and how Dutch tried to regain his power by twice forcing referendums on a third term. Both tries lost. The voters didn’t want any part of a mayor for life, in the same way they wouldn’t want a President for life either.
In Danae’s reckoning, the only hope Obama has to get the economy moving again is to enter into negotiations with Congress, including the Republican majority in the House, to work out some compromise on how government can give the economy a lift that will return America to something close to full employment. But, Obama made it clear that he really isn’t interested in negotiations or compromise so it may well be that he will pass on to his successor the challenge of figuring out ways to get the nation’s economy moving again.
We receive polling information from former New Orleanian Ron Faucheux and thought that some of the national numbers he came up with this week might be of interest to Uptown Messenger readers:
- President Obama approval now: 54%
- President Reagan at this point: 64%
- President Clinton at this point: 60%
- President George W. Bush at this point: 57%
- Hillary Clinton: Approve 67%, Disapprove 26%
- Joe Biden: Approve 48%, Disapprove 37%
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: Approve 74%, Disapprove 21%
- Ban the possession of armor-piercing bullets to anyone but police and military: Approve 67%, Disapprove 30%
- Spend $4 billion in federal money to help cities, suburbs and towns keep police on streets: Approve 70%, Disapprove 24%
Allan Katz spent 25 years as a political reporter and columnist at The Times-Picayune, and is now editor of the Kenner Star and host of several televsion programs, including the Louisiana Newsmaker on Cox Cable. Danae Columbus is executive producer of Louisiana Newsmaker, and has had a 30-year career in public relations, including stints at City Hall and the Dock Board. They both currently work for the Orleans Parish School Board. Among the recent candidates who have been represented by their public relations firm are City Councilwoman Stacy Head, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and council candidate Dana Kaplan.