Waiting for Last Night

I arrived at McAlister Auditorium at 7 p.m. last night for the mayoral forum.  Who will replace Mayor Nagin?  It's worth pondering.  I wandered into the building with a few friends and ended up seated next to student body president Tim Clinton.  The main floor of the hall was almost full of people in the audience.  7:30, the designated start time rolled around.  Nobody was on stage.  7:40 arrived, and we moved to sit with a few other friends closer to the front right of the stage.  Candidate Jonah Bascle, in his wheelchair, was on the ground floor off the stage - ostensibly there is no ADA accessible way onto the stage, so it would have made for a fitting entry and driven one of his points home soundly.

I never found out if Bascle made it on stage.  By about 7:45, an organizer noted that most of the candidates were still taking questions at an event at Dillard University across town.  Groans.  We got up and went out to get some food, walking around the still uncompleted and heavily fenced McAlister Place.  We returned at about 8:20.  Here's what I saw as I walked up the steps:

Moderator Clancy DuBos, greatly animated, spoke to a few people with the old pelican hovering overhead off in the distance like a pterodactyl.

By 8:30 p.m., not a single candidate had taken the stage, although Nadine Ramsey had arrived, taking off her black coat in the front of the room to a smattering of applause. We had had enough at this point, however, having waited an hour for the event to get underway.  A giant, spectral fail whale appeared on the stage curtain above the lonely microphones.  As we left, James Perry appeared at the back of the auditorium (a few people mentioned that they appreciated that he had done an LGBT meet and greet the week before).  And as we walked back out, Rob Couhig or someone who looked like him drove by in a silver SUV.

I'm not quite sure what moral I'm supposed to take away from last evening.  I don't know whether to blame the Tulane organizers or the candidates.  Perhaps I should just realize I'm in New Orleans (although I thought this election was the one that's supposed to stop the perennial eye rolling in that regard, so to speak).  In the end, it's probably not that big of a deal.  But I certainly didn't feel any better about the future of the city as I walked on into the night.