NBC’s Chuck Todd epitomizes the media’s obsession with Hurricane Katrina and George W. Bush – and by implication – me. Here is Politico’s summary of Chuck Todd’s pronouncement that Hurricane Isaac is reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina:
NBC’s Chuck Todd tries to tie Hurricane Katrina and former President George W. Bush to the GOP convention in Tampa. From Sunday’s edition of NBC’s Nightly News: “There are folks with the Romney campaign who think, ‘Boy, Romney can’t catch a break ever since he named Paul Ryan. He got a little momentum after the Ryan pick and then he’s disrupted by two storms. One, a political storm in Todd Akin which we just brought up. But now an actual storm, and when you think when this storm moves to and closer to Louisiana, the specter, the sort of shadow of Bush and Katrina does hang over this convention. It is something organizers are concerned about and don’t be surprised if Tuesday gets changed again.”
I recognize and accept that President George W. Bush and me will be forever linked to Hurricane Katrina. What I don’t understand is the inexplicable disassociation of Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco from that very same storm. But for the failure of Nagin and Blanco to heed my warnings and order a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans at least 48 if not 72 hours before landfall, coupled with Nagin’s stupid decision to use the New Orleans Superdome as a “shelter of last resort” Katrina would have been a devastating storm but without the television views of people stuck in a shelter they shouldn’t have used in the first place.
For those of you who don’t remember, I objected to and questioned the use of the Superdome as a “shelter of last resort” because engineering reports made available to me (and surely available to the Mayor who oversees that same sports arena) indicated it could not withstand a storm greater than a Category 3 (Katrina was a Category 5 when we recommended to the Mayor and Governor they evacuate the city). Had that place not been used and had people been evacuated, you would not have seen all of those people standing around in the heat complaining about the heat and MRE’s.
The Governor and Mayor are legally responsible for the evacuation of their citizens – not the federal government.
Yesterday I tweeted kudos to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindahl for declaring states of emergency well in advance of landfall. The result? Liberals came out of the woodwork to belittle me, Bush and Republicans.
So apparently you can’t even applaud state and local officials for doing the right thing. The only issue that matters is that the media, liberals and progressive (and for that matter some ignorant Republicans) continue to blame me and President Bush for the problems in New Orleans and Louisiana.
Both the President and I have admitted to our shortcomings, none of which resulted in people being stranded in the Superdome but that is immaterial to the likes of Chuck Todd and NBC News.
Hurricane Katrina, irrespective of facts, will always be a punching bag for the likes of Chuck Todd to attack President Bush.
So, kudos to Landrieu and Jindahl for doing the right thing at the right time – so far – which is far more than we can say for Nagin or Blanco.