Mary Tutwiler

Obama in New Orleans: time for town hall and gumbo

by Mary Tutwiler

Few Louisiana citizens were able to get a ticket to see President Obama conduct his town hall meeting at the University of New Orleans today at 1:15 p.m. That doesn’t mean residents of the state can’t have front row seats. Louisiana Public Broadcasting will air the town hall meeting live, statewide on the LPB2 channel, or streaming on the Web. LPB will repeat the broadcast at 10 p.m. on LPB1.

While some Louisiana officials are upbeat, the President’s visit to the Crescent City is being criticized as too little too late, only three hours and 45 minutes total. He brings an entourage of cabinet members: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Nancy Sutley, who chairs the White House Council on Environmental Quality; each will attend different meetings and events around the city. Following the brief visit, Obama will fly to San Francisco for a fundraiser.

He will have time, however, to pick up a to-go order from the Queen of Creole Cooking, Leah Chase, at her Treme resturant, Dooky Chase. “I know he likes gumbo, so there will be gumbo; I know he likes shrimp Creole so there will be shrimp Creole; I know he likes fried chicken, so there will be chicken,” Leah Chase, the 86-year-old owner and chef of the restaurant, told the Times Picayune. “It will be enough if he wants to share,” she said.