At 2:20 this afternoon, Troy Henry representative Angela Anthony threw the local political scene into a swivet when she sent out a simple email:
New Orleans Mayoral candidate Troy Henry has scheduled a press conference today to discuss the future of his candidacy. The press conference will be held at his campaign headquarters, located at 140 N. Carrollton Avenue, at 4:30 p.m.
Was Henry getting out? It seemed impossible, but the ominous words "future of his candidacy" was enough catnip to get all 4 TV stations on the spot immediately, as well as the T-P and Gambit. Once we were there, it seemed clear that Henry wasn't going anywhere, but the rumors were a-flying: Henry was getting a major endorsement. Henry was being supported by the cast of The Wire. Or maybe it was Tremé. No one from Camp Henry was talking.
At 4:30 sharp, Henry took the podium and read a statement:
Today in the Times-Picayune newspaper, columnist James Gill wrote, "Sure, in a rational world, the color of hizzoner's skin would be irrelevant. But we live in New Orleans."
Those words should send shivers up the spine of every citizen in this community. Whether the columnist is right or wrong is irrelevant. What is more important is that we don't let any reporter, any politician, or anyone deduce that a candidate is about to be anointed mayor without the benefit of the democratic process.
No doubt, Mr. Gill has all but prematurely crowned the next mayor as a white mayor. Of course, I strongly disagree with his assessment. I am in this campaign to win because this city needs a champion for change, a new direction....
The whole statement will surely be up on Henry's Web site soon, but the question-and-answer session that followed was prickly, electric and more than a bit contentious. Clancy DuBos was also there and will surely have some analysis soon, but I got the raw video of the Q&A on my iPhone and uploaded it here (sorry, can't figure out how to embed the damn thing).
Since Henry's statement included the words "I am appealing to you -- the media -- to allow this process to be democratic," presenting his conference without comment seems the best way to do so. Watch it and let us know what you think in the comments.