|60th Mayor of the City of New Orleans|
May 6, 2002 â€“ May 3, 2010
|Preceded by||Marc Morial|
|Succeeded by||Mitch Landrieu|
|Born||Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr.
June 11, 1956
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Seletha Smith Nagin (m. 1982)|
|Alma mater||Tuskegee University|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (Getty Images)|
I was among the people in the Superdome. I knew what was going on every minute. I did not have air conditioning nor shower facilities. I made decisions based upon facts and not what I thought was going to happen. So history will judge me based upon those actions.
I need a break from politics, that's for sure. This is the hardest job in America.
The people of our city are holding on by a thread. Time has run out. Can we survive another night? And who can we depend on? Only God knows.
The reality of Katrina didn't really strike me until the first time I flew up in a helicopter and saw areas of the city that I had ridden my bicycle as a youth being fully flooded.
I don't think that any person can fix FEMA. I think FEMA needs a total restructuring. I think it needs to be taken from scratch and redone. The regulations are outdated; the rules are outdated.
I always feel that in politics, you have a bridle on. Well, I took the bridle off. And I tell you, it felt pretty good.
At the Superdome, a young man came up to me holding a baby. He'd run out of diapers. He'd run out of medicine. His baby was sick. The guy's saying, 'Help me! Take my baby.' What could I do? That's the definition of helpless.
One of the best moments I've ever had in New Orleans is seeing Bourbon Street filled on a weekend night not long ago. Just watching the city breathe again.
If it were my decision, I'd knock the Superdome down. If I couldn't knock it down, I'd just open the roof and gut the whole inside – totally modernize it. If you just dust it off and paint a little bit but don't reimage it, the legacy will be horrible.
I want to continue to stay plugged into New Orleans and help people who are still struggling with the recovery here, and then, if I can help around the country and around the world, absolutely, I'll be open to that.
We're learning as we go. We're a lot smarter this time. We understand what it takes to mobilize away from the threat of a hurricane.
I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I have supported some Republicans. I'm all about results, man. If somebody can deliver, that's where I'm gonna go. It's about who can get the job done.
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I had better news for you but we are facing a storm that most of us have feared. This is a threat that we've never faced before.
This city will be chocolate at the end of the day. This city will be a majority-African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way.
At the end of the day, I believe truth is stronger than any lie that's out there.
Basically, the start of my thinking process is: 'OK, if you didn't have to worry about re-election, what would you be doing?' That's kind of how I'm starting to think.