Newly re-elected Mayor Ray Nagin immediately began trying to mend ties with political opponents and crucial leaders on Sunday as he looked ahead to another four years to oversee reconstruction of this major American city.
"We're going to bring this city together. It's my intention to reach out to every segment of this community," Nagin said a day after defeating Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. "This is our shot. This is our time."
Nagin said he reiterated his desire to work together in conversations with President Bush and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
The president called to congratulate Nagin and said he would rather finish rebuilding with the mayor because the two men had weathered Hurricane Katrina together, Nagin told fellow parishioners at St. Peter Claver Church.
Nagin said he pressed Bush to help accelerate the rebuilding and to help with the removal of tons of debris still littering neighborhoods. He also raised questions about the pending end of federal aid for some evacuees still living in Houston and other cities. ...
Nagin, a former cable television executive, was able to win back some of the conservative white voters who supported him four years ago but then abandoned him during the primary.
Many had sought new leadership after complaining of the slow rate of rebuilding and the national controversy caused by Nagin's tearful plea for the federal government to "get off their (behinds) and do something" in the aftermath of Katrina. His remark on Martin Luther King Day that God intended New Orleans to be a "chocolate" city sparked outrage — and then an apology from Nagin.
But during the run-off campaign, Nagin actively courted conservative white voters by emphasizing his business background in contrast to Landrieu, a longtime politician and a member of Louisiana's equivalent to the Kennedy family.
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Posted by Forkum at May 22, 2006 07:52 PM