Monday, September 05, 2005 Dipping His Toe Into Disaster

TIME's scathing review of Bush's week: "It isn't easy picking George Bush's worst moment last week. Was it his first go at addressing the crisis Wednesday, when he came across as cool to the point of uncaring? Was it when he said that he didn't 'think anybody expected' the New Orleans levees to give way, though that very possibility had been forecast for years? Was it when he arrived in Mobile, Ala., a full four days after the storm made landfall, and praised his hapless Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, Michael D. Brown, whose disaster credentials seemed to consist of once being the commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association? 'Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job,' said the President. Or was it that odd moment when he promised to rebuild Mississippi Senator Trent Lott's house--a gesture that must have sounded astonishingly tone-deaf to the homeless black citizens still trapped in the postapocalyptic water world of New Orleans. 'Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house--he's lost his entire house,' cracked Bush, 'there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch.'

Bush seemed so regularly out of it last week, it made you wonder if he was stuck in the same White House bubble of isolation that confined his dad. Too often, W. looked annoyed. Or he smiled when he should have been serious. Or he swaggered when simple action would have been the right move."


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