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April 24, 2008

McCain: Katrina Response “Disgraceful”

Alas, he doesn’t seem to have been talking about the State of Louisiana or the City of New Orleans.

John McCain toured a New Orleans neighborhood still reeling from Hurricane Katrina and issued a new and scathing critique of the ``terrible and disgraceful'' failure of the Bush administration's response to the disaster.

McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said that had he been president he would have immediately visited the area after the storm hit in August 2005. While he's been critical of the administration's Katrina response before, the Arizona senator's remarks today were some of the sharpest he's used.

``Never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in this terrible and disgraceful manner,'' McCain said after a walking tour of the Lower Ninth Ward, a predominantly black neighborhood that was devastated by Katrina. ``History will judge this president,'' he said. ``This was an unacceptable scenario.'

I guess the reality is McCain feels he needs to spend some time distancing himself from Bush but to dump all the blame for what happened in New Orleans at the feet of the federal government is crazy.

UPDATE:

Commenter Z Ryan points Popular Mechanics took a look a the Katrina response and came to a very different conclusion.

MYTH: "The aftermath of Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history."--Aaron Broussard, president, Jefferson Parish, La., Meet the Press, NBC, Sept. 4, 2005

REALITY: Bumbling by top disaster-management officials fueled a perception of general inaction, one that was compounded by impassioned news anchors. In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest--and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall.

I don't think anyone says the response was perfect but I also don't think any serious person thinks that is actually possible in a disaster of this magnitude.


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posted by DrewM. at 05:08 PM

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