Ray Nagin

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Nagin in 2006

Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr. (born June 11, 1956) previously served as the 60th mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana from 2002 to 2010. A Democrat, Nagin became internationally known in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.



  • There's way too many frickin' -- excuse me -- cooks in the kitchen.
    • Interview with WAPT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi, August 31, 2005[1]
  • I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses. Get every dog-gone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans … This is a major, major, major deal. I can't emphasize that enough."
    • Television Interview, September 2, 2005 [2]
  • I just tell you, I'm not a big FEMA fan.
    • Transcript for September 11, Ray Nagin, Arlen Specter, John Barry & Ivor van Heerden[3]
  • You know, I'm sure I could have done a lot of things much better, but I will tell you this, Tim: I was there.
    • Transcript for September 11, Ray Nagin, Arlen Specter, John Barry & Ivor van Heerden
  • I think I did everything possible known to any mayor in the country as it relates to saving lives.
    • Transcript for September 11, Ray Nagin, Arlen Specter, John Barry & Ivor van Heerden

Interview with New Orleans radio station WWL (2005)[edit]

Interview with New Orleans radio station WWL, September 1, 2005

  • They're feeding the people a line of bull, and they are spinning and people are dying.
  • I don't know whether it's the governor's problem, or it's the president's problem, but somebody needs to get … on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now.
  • They thinking small, man, and this is a major, major deal.
  • Get off your asses and let's do something.


  • As we think about rebuilding New Orleans, surely, God is mad at America. He's sending hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroying and putting stress on this country. Surely, he's not approval [sic] of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But, surely, he is upset at black America, also.
  • I don't care what people are saying Uptown or wherever they are. 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.
    • Speech at a Martin Luther King memorial service [4]
  • You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about.
    • Explaining the previous remarks.[5]
  • New Orleans was a chocolate city before Katrina. It is going to be a chocolate city after. How is that divisive?
    • Further explaining the previous remarks.[6]
  • This economic pie that is getting ready to explode before our eyes is going to be shared equally.
    • Speech after making into run off for mayor, April 23, 2006. [7]
  • It's all right. You guys in New York City can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later, so let's be fair.
    • Response to a reporters question addressing the length of the Katrina rebuilding efforts [8] (August 2006)


  • Do I worry about it? Somewhat. It's not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. So it is kind of a two-edged sword.
    • Responding to a TV reporter's question about the murder rate [9] (August 2007)
  • Some of these guys are so violent that it is hard for witnesses to come forward, and they get involved in repeat criminal activities, so it is unfortunate that they had to die, but it did kind of end the cycle that we were struggling with.


  • The rise of the Earth's temperature, causing sea level increases that could add up to one foot over the next 30 years, threatens the very existence of New Orleans.

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