CNN: The ratings show that people are frustrated with you, how does that make you and your colleagues feel?
RN: We feel it's unfair, but we know the truth and how far we've come. We have this kind of idealism that at some point people are going to understand what we've been doing, it's almost like an underground movement. We've been working underground to make sure that this city can fully recover with the hope that at some point people will recognize the good work that we have done.
This might require some explanation. See, when a shadow government controls the levers of power above the ground, real leaders must go underground in order to create a stealth recovery movement. And that's what Nagin has done. Like Clint Eastwood in Firefox, Nagin had to steal the recovery from the powers-that-be, and fly it under the shadow government's radar. Sure, it's an audacious maneuver fraught with risk, but the underground movement understands the necessity of such tactics. They have faith that one day the sun will shine and the shadows will dissolve, and the underground movement will emerge triumphantly from the depths.
Since the shadow government controls the local media, the above-ground sheeple are already consuming fresher-smelling stories. No matter. Eventually the stealth recovery will be revealed, and history will vindicate Nagin's underground movement.
Update: Given the above context, I'm going to choose to uncharitably interpret this other Nagin quote about the Saints SB victory, of all things. To me, it comes off as being subtly self-serving:
When we won the Super Bowl, it was like a veil of frustration, despair and negativity was lifted from the eyes of just about every citizen... All I'm hearing around the city now is, 'oh my God, we are recovering, we are doing great.' It wasn't until that moment that people's eyes opened up to what we were doing collectively.
I don't think the Super Bowl wiped the scales from the eyes of New Orleanians, and they suddenly realized they were in the midst of a "great" stealth recovery. No. I think the Saints win inspired a unified celebration throughout the city. That feeling of unity, coupled with the landslide Landrieu victory, made the city optimistic about its future potential (not its current circumstances).