Mitch Landrieu was sworn in as the mayor of New Orleans only 13 days after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, about 150 miles from a city that has yet to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Landrieu has since attempted to balance hurricane recovery projects with efforts to mitigate economic and environmental damage to New Orleans from the oil spill, not to mention the city's harrowing $67 million deficit. The New York Times today profiles Landrieu, son of the Louisiana political dynasty, in his very first days on a very tough job:
The oil spill has also provided some political cover for Mr. Landrieu. Difficult steps, particularly the announcements of cutbacks and layoffs, have not dominated the news for days on end. ...
Still, there are plenty of people in the city who are not so easily distracted, people who have not had a police station or an emergency room nearby for nearly five years.
"They don't want to hear any more excuses," said Mr. Johnson, whose district, which includes the Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East, is lagging the furthest behind in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
That district also includes the only areas of New Orleans where oil has actually appeared -- in the marshes far to the east of the city proper.
Read the full story at the New York Times.