President Obama is visiting New Orleans today, so here’s a mix (warning: some dirty lyrics).
This is a silly thematic mix. The associations are simple and obvious and not necessarily germane to today’s visit. Some of the tracks are about Bush. And just to avoid any confusion (and, hopefully, any visits from the Secret Service) I do not advocate any acts of violence, despite a couple of those song titles.
I suppose presidential visits of this nature are largely symbolic affairs, but symbols have power too. Many New Orleanians are anxious over the brevity of Obama’s visit, as he will be here less than four hours. It’s his first visit here as president, and we feel we deserve more attention. Things are tough all over, and we know that, but New Orleans was the site of the biggest disaster in the history of our nation, and that story isn’t over by a long shot. We’ve still got a lot of recovery work ahead of us. And like it or not, some of our key recovery issues are inextricably federal in nature.
I wonder how this visit plays to the rest of the country. I wonder which symbolism is more important, the local or the national.
I wanted to go to this rally for “Category 5 Levees and Coastal Wetland Restoration” this morning. I contemplated taking Persephone with me. But for various reasons I decided not to deviate from our regular schedule, so I just took her to daycare and went to work as usual. Ah well.
If I had a moment of the president’s time, I’d probably say something about the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. And I’d definitely say something about the need for reforming the US Army Corps of Engineers.
One Day Later: Eugene Robinson is calling this visit the biggest disappointment of Obama’s presidency.