Walter Pierce

Times-Pic: Landrieu, Vitter ‘irked' by Obama itinerary

by Walter Pierce

The White House has set Thursday, Oct. 15 as the day President Barack Obama will visit New Orleans and assess the city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina four years ago. But according to an article in today’s Times-Picayune, a memo from the White House to members of the Louisiana congressional delegation informing them that the president would host a town hall meeting on the 15th “irked” Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, both of whom hail from the New Orleans area.

“If this visit is too brief, it will not afford the president the opportunity to see first-hand the impact that an effective and committed administration can have on rebuilding neighborhoods and communities,” Landrieu said Thursday evening, according to the T-P. Vitter also chastised the town hall plan in a letter to the White House: “If the town hall is the only major event of the visit,” he wrote, “I truly think it will be deeply disappointing to most citizens.” The White House, meanwhile, says the president’s plans have not been finalized.

Several elected officials — among them Republicans including Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao, R-New Orleans, and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson — have announced plans to join Obama in the Big Easy. A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, says the congressman will remain in Washington, D.C., to participate in House votes.