Obama lands in N.O. as state Democrats struggle
President Barack Obama arrives in New Orleans today to help kick off the National Urban League annual conference. But as The Times-Picayune notes, Obama is landing in a state where his party, less than a month before the qualifying deadline, has yet to find a congressional candidate for any district outside the black-majority seat held by Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans. In short, while the president may have plenty of admirers in New Orleans—as well as across Louisiana and the Deep South—he doesn't have a whole lot of political allies. State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, who seized control of the Democratic party from Buddy Leach in April, says this is a year for "grassroots rebuilding." But so too was last year, when the party failed to field a single major candidate for any statewide office, including governor. Rebuilding is certainly the order of the day for the Democratic Party across much of the South, where the party's fortunes are lower than at any time since the end of Reconstruction, and where black political influence has suffered a sudden, symbiotic decline. "Black voters and elected officials have less influence now than at any time since the civil rights era," David Bositis, an analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, wrote in a stark analysis late last year. Read the full story here.
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