Below: Mayor Nagin “backpedals, apologizes.”
Perhaps I can use it to teach students about rhetoric, audience, and the need for preparedness?
Political observers said the speech, which Nagin said was unscripted, may endure as perhaps the most damaging in the mayor’s history of spontaneous oratory.
“It was another case of him saying the first thing that entered his mind,” said Ed Renwick, director of Loyola University’s Institute of Politics. “Instead of thinking it through, he likes to shoot from the hip. He seems to think he’s only talking to the audience he’s with. So he spoke to the 75 people who were there, but of course the TV cameras and reporters were there, too, so it goes to everyone. He just seems to continue to do this.”
Nagin said his remarks were directed toward an African-American audience and were designed to resonate with people concerned about the direction of New Orleans’ rebuilding. Recent reconstruction plans that envision a smaller city have heightened some fears, particularly among displaced residents of the Lower 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans, two overwhelmingly black zones of the city, Nagin said.
EDITED to include more on audience and anxiety from 1/19