I think we have found our man for 2008. He's currently President of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
Aaron Broussard has become the clearest voice against the disregard and disrespect of the less prosperous people of the greater New Orleans area. He has been warning about the root causes of why Hurricane Dubya^H^H^H^HKatrina struck so hard and caused so much damage for years before the event. He has been a tireless fighter for the rebuilding of the wetlands of the Mississippi Delta. It is thought by scientists that if the wetlands hadn't been drained and channeled and "reclaimed" as much as they have, they would have been a buffer against the huge storm surge that topped and destroyed so many of the levees of New Orleans. Broussard acknowledged that perhaps the scientists might know what they were talking about and fought for this cause.
He was out there helping to fix the levees, and he was also indispensible in his eloquence on behalf of his people. Maybe a few right-wing blog types might have called details of the tale he told on Meet The Press and Face The Nation the Sunday after Katrina a little exaggerated, but as he pointed out when challenged on those details on MTP today, he got the big story right.
"Listen, sir, somebody wants to nitpick a man's tragic loss of a mother because she was abandoned in a nursing home? Are you kidding? What kind of sick mind, what kind of black-hearted people want to nitpick a man's mother's death? They just buried Eva last week. I was there at the wake. Are you kidding me? That wasn't a box of Cheerios they buried last week. That was a man's mother whose story, if it is entirely broadcast, will be the epitome of abandonment. It will be the saddest tale you ever heard, a man who was responsible for safekeeping of a half a million people, mother's died in the next parish because she was abandoned there and he can't get to her and he tried to get to her through EOC. He tried to get through the sheriff's office. He tries every way he can to get there. Somebody wants to debate those things? My God, what sick-minded person wants to do that?"
-- Aaron Broussard, MTP, Sept. 25th, 2005
After 8 years of Bill Clinton's triangulation and 5 years of George W. Bush's outright, blatant, bald-faced lies, we need a straight-shooter like Aaron Broussard in office. We need a guy who will sit down and tell it to us straight, "tell it like it is" as the great Neville Brothers put it, and roll up his sleeves and get to work. The damage done by 5 years of George W. Bush borrow-and-binge spending and by an elective war against the wrong enemy in the wrong place at the wrong time will have to be dealt with, probably by the next President. I get the feeling that Broussard might be our century's answer to folks like President Teddy Roosevelt and President Harry S. Truman, people with whom you might not have agreed with 100% of the time but who would give it to you straight and unvarnished, tell you exactly what is needed and what exactly should be done.
Currently I like General Clark, of all the likely candidates, as our next President. Even though some of my fellow bloggers like a resurgent Al Gore for President, I think Clark has the "right stuff" and is the kind of person who can connect not only with the Democratic base but also with Indies and potential GOP "switchers." However, if Broussard threw his hat into the ring I would support him wholeheartedly. Hmm...perhaps a Clark/Broussard ticket? That might work. The General from Arkansas and the tough Cajun. Mais bien sur!
Oh yeah, one last thing: yeah, I know that Muskie blew it in 1968 when he cried in public. I think we've grown up a lot since then. If you don't like a man unafraid to show emotion, you are simply not human.