Nathan Stubbs

A 'Ragin' Cajun' mayor of N.O.?

by Nathan Stubbs

Famed political consultant and Louisiana native James Carville, who's blunt style earned him the nickname "The Ragin' Cajun," has penned an editorial for New Orleans' Gambit Weekly in which he writes that he would be a candidate for mayor of New Orleans if the city charter would allow it. Carville just moved his family to New Orleans last year; the charter requires all mayoral candidates to be five-year residents of the city to qualify to run. Carville's editorial comes a week after state Rep. Karen Carter Peterson became the latest popular official to take a pass on running for the job (following the lead of Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu and councilman Arnie Fieklow).

"The truth is, though," Carville writes, "if I could do it, I would do it. And I would not only run, I'd run with enthusiasm and optimism." Carville makes a convincing case, listing several reasons why the future looks bright for New Orleans, including a new medical corridor in development, top notch universities and, of course, a dynamic cultural heritage that is the envy of all major cities. "You can literally see the improvement each passing day as the recovery continues," Carville writes. Perhaps he's gearing up for a run in 2014?

In other Carville news, the Ragin' Cajun is also busy campaigning for Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon, who recently announced he will challenge Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter in next fall's election. In a fundraising e-mail sent out this morning titled "Giving Vitter the Boot," Carville writes that Melancon "is an honest man" who "doesn't preach family values. He lives them in his more than 37-year marriage to his wife, Peachy." Carville also vents about Vitter's recent attempts to tie Melancon to unpopular health care reform initiatives, proclaiming: "there's one thing I won't abide — not in my friends, not in my clients, not in right-wingers, not in left-wingers and certainly not in a United States Senator who represents the state I'll always call home: a blatant hypocrite and someone who distorts the record of a fellow Cajun."