Former Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has found a new calling – working the drive-thru window at the Popeye’s on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans.
Landrieu, who fell out of the limelight after losing her seat in the US Senate last November following 18 years of service, had struggled to make the transition back to private citizen life and rumor was she had found employment with the local fast-food chain.
Several NGN reporters were able catch up with the former senator for a quick lunch-time interview while awaiting their chicken and dirty rice.
NGN: Great to see you, Senator. What are you doing here?
LANDRIEU: It’s good to be here. And what a great question. My family’s whole world changed after Mr. Creepy stole my seat in Congress. I lost my senator’s salary, the speech honoraria dried up and K-Street stopped writing checks. No more junkets to the Caribbean, we had to fly coach everywhere, and we weren’t getting invited to the good parties in Georgetown. So Frank and I decided to sell the house in DC and come home, at least until my pension kicks in. And, well, here we are.
NGN: Where are you living now?
LANDRIEU: Like I said, we came home. Mom and Dad were so accommodating, like always. They had my room ready before we even walked in the door. It’s like I had never left. And legally speaking, I never did.
NGN: But why are you working at Popeye’s?
LANDRIEU: Well [brief pause], Dad said I needed to stop moping around and had to do something. Frank got a job pretty quickly, but there’s not much demand in this state for a former Democrat Senator. After a few months, Mom said I either had to start pulling my own weight and begin paying off some of the campaign debt or I had to get a place of my own. So, I returned to the last job I had before I went into politics.
NGN: Working at a Popeye’s was your last non-political job? When was that?
LANDRIEU: Back in high school, right before my dad gave me… I was elected to the State Legislature.
NGN: But your brother is the mayor of New Orleans. Couldn’t he find something for you to do?
LANDRIEU: He did offer me a position on his new Violent Crime Commission, but I don’t really know anything about statues. Which would be perfect, but I just wasn’t ready for that kind of time commitment.
NGN: I don’t suppose you’re looking to make a career out of Popeye’s. What’s next for our former Senator?
LANDRIEU: [Laughing] No. No, I’m not. But I do get all the chicken and biscuits I can eat. There’s talk of earning $15 an hour, so I figure once I have some money saved up I’ll buy my own car and maybe head back to school. Tulane, maybe LSU. I’ve had the urge to go back since that keg stand last year.
NGN: After that?
LANDRIEU: I really don’t know yet. Just kind of taking it one day at a time. Frank wants to move back to Monroe. But, seriously. Monroe? I was thinking of maybe taking… Oh, shoot! There’s another car behind you. Sorry to cut this short. Here’s your order. Thanks for choosing Popeye’s!