Liberals appear to be turning on NO's hapless leader. Adam Nossiter of the AP offers "New Orleans Mayor Faces Leadership Crisis".
He's charted an "erratic course" over the course of the crisis, weeping one moment and "jauntily announcing the city's comeback at another". He got the death toll wrong (as far as is currently known), he invited people to come back then reversed course, he accuse Thad Allen of "trying to make himself the federal mayor of New Orleans", and, horror of horrors, he was late for a meeting with federal officials.
"He hasn't demonstrated a clear vision for what should be happening next in New Orleans," said Melissa Harris Lacewell, a political science professor with the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. She described him as a "kind of a passionate character in this whole story," but added, "He appears to have been pretty unprepared."
Others have said in Nagin's defense that he is dealing with an enormous and unprecedented crisis.
Asked Tuesday about criticism of his leadership after the hurricane, the 49-year-old Nagin laughed.
"I won't even deal with that, man," he told The Associated Press. "It's my style, and I love it." He then walked away...
But his shoot-from-the-hip style has not served him well in a crisis, and has resulted in sometimes ill-informed or premature public pronouncements.
His competence and his ability to work the levers of political power have also been called into question.
Has the AP now fingered Nagin as their scapegoat-of-the-week?