Monday, May 22, 2006

Ray Nagin’s Magnanimous Remarks

From today’s Washington Times:

"NEW ORLEANS -- Rebuilding this city will take a team effort, said its newly re-elected Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who extended his hand to the governor and state officials, but most notably thanked President Bush for the aid he already has given.

"To President Bush, I want to thank you, Mr. President. You and I have probably been the most vilified politicians in the country. But I want to thank you for moving on that promise you made at Jackson Square," Mr. Nagin said during his acceptance speech.

Mr. Nagin said that the president called to congratulate him on his victory and said he was pleased with the opportunity to continue working on recovery with Mr. Nagin, instead of having to begin anew with a different administration..."

Whatever his shortfalls, Nagin is a classy guy for praising President Bush. Democrats never do this. Our political culture has become so polarized. But as Ray Nagin shows, it doesn’t always have to be that way.

Bush himself has acknowledged making mistakes in handling the Katrina disaster. So, here is an unusual example of civility in American politics.

Nagin himself is an interesting political character. DNC Chairman Howard Dean opposed him, as did the New Orleans business community. But Nagin let bygones be bygones last night saying, “I forgive you,” referring to the business community.

Conservative Republican businessman Robert Couhig supported Nagin after being highly critical earlier on. The Republican's support proved critical to Nagin's victory.