Wednesday, September 28, 2005

DC hearings

Yesterday, former FEMA director Mike Brown testified in front of a U.S. Senate committee about FEMA's response to Katrina. Today it's Governor Blanco's turn. Calling Louisiana "dysfunctional," Brown yesterday laid the blame for the Katrina debacle with Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin saying, "I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin to sit down, get over their differences, and work together. I just couldn't pull that off." Failing to stay above the fray, the governor's office responded to criticisms from Brown with this: "Mike Brown wasn't engaged then, and he surely isn't now. He should have been watching CNN instead of the Disney Channel." Hurling insults seems the preferred approach now that the governor's first line of defense -- as reported by John Hill last week that Blanco's only mistake was having "'a false sense of confidence' that the federal agency would respond rapidly to the national emergency" -- has failed to provide any traction. Today Governor Blanco may be asked questions that no Louisiana media has dared ask about both planning and performance. The governor ran for the highest elected office in Louisiana. It's a position that brings with it both privilege and responsibility. And facing tough questions is part of the job. It's unlikely that the "I don't even know what day it is" response the governor gave CNN a few weeks ago is going to fly with the Senate today.