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Last night in New Orleans, something extraordinary happened.  Something I thought I would never see.

For the first time I can remember, a mayor was elected to an open seat on the first ballot.  With a 2/3 majority.

He got a solid majority of whites.  And blacks.  And rich.  And poor.  And men.  And women.

Four years after being trounced by a sitting mayor who made no bones about defining the mayor's race along purely racial lines, he took the office with the overwhelming approval of everyone.  

Four years, heck, four days after being told that politics here would always hinge on one issue, black voters handed "the franchise" to a white man and white voters enthusiastically backed black candidates in other offices, because they felt those candidates were the best people for the jobs.

And, in speaking to the press after his victory speech, the mayor-elect said something we've been hoping, praying to hear:  that if the fractious people of our city can walk into a voting booth and cast a ballot based on nothing but a candidate's qualifications, that if our citizens can transcend the divisions of centuries' standing and pitch in to make our city truly one city, that serves all its people, then maybe there's hope for the rest of the country, too.

With all the troubles and anxiety in the world, I woke up feeling pretty good today.

Now all we have to do is win this little football game. . .

Super-duper lagniappe PS:  I get to vote against that wretched Republican creep Jay Batt again in the District A runoff!

Originally posted to Crashing Vor on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 07:08 AM PST.

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