I suppose Gov. Kathleen Blanco technically is correct when she asserts that state officials had a “well-thought plan” for dealing with Hurricane Katrina. It’s her reelection plan, and it’s kicked into high gear now by her defending Pres. George W. Bush.
But as far as any plan to deal with the tangible, rather than political, effects of Katrina, no “well-thought out plan” existed, according to one expert. Florida’s emergency operations chief, Craig Fugate said “A plan should not be some requirement. It should truly reflect what your real needs are, and what your real resources are." Louisiana's plan doesn't do either.”
The best Blanco’s team could come with was a vague document with stunning observations such as “The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating (emphasis added)” and “the evacuation of over a million people from the Southeast Region could overwhelm normally available shelter resources.” You don’t say? It would have been nice for the document to include a solution to this, but it doesn’t.
Not only that, but when the grownups from the federal government offered assistance three days before the storm hit, Blanco delayed accepting out of fear she would be upstaged politically. Then when started making requests, she conveyed them very poorly. She explained, “"Nobody told me that I had to request that [troops outside the state’s National Guard] … I thought that I had requested everything they had.”
And just how long have you been Governor? Long enough not to know the relevant federal law (U.S. Code Title 42 Sec 5191) in this case? (It’s not enough to declare a state of emergency in the state; you have to ask the federal government in and with what specifics). Long enough to forget how it was done in a similar situation last year?
In the past week, Blanco has come to understand that she is taking a political beating for her missteps so now, understanding the glass house in which she lives, she refrains from passing out the blame by word or deed. Not that she was very public about it, but her actions spoke louder than her neutral words in her intent to blame Bush. Now she goes out of her way to avoid any critical tone about the president whatsoever.
In addition, even two years from now the demographic effects of the storm may have permanently altered the political landscape to her and Louisiana Democrats’ disadvantage. That and the mishandling of the whole situation leaves her political future in doubt, meaning we can look for her to continue to dissociate herself from the moonbat Left’s criticizing of Bush as Louisiana turns more Republican in the aftermath of it all.
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