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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

WORST WEEK EVER
No, it's not a new VH-1 show, it's the tag-line for President Bush's hurricane week. Good thing he took all those weeks off so he could make good, crisp decisions. Time Magazine offers up a recounting:

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. There was no breaking off from his commemoration in Coronado, Calif., of the 60th anniversary of victory over Japan, but there were videoconference calls and the like. The White House is "very, very slow sometimes," says a former Administration official.


Besides, members of the A team were on vacation: chief of staff Andy Card was in Maine; Dick Cheney was in Wyoming; even Condoleezza Rice was out of town, shoe-shopping in Manhattan. Many of Bush's best p.r. minds, including media adviser Mark McKinnon, were in Greece at the wedding of White House communications director Nicolle Devenish. Had they been around, perhaps Bush would not have been accompanied only by his dog Barney when he returned from vacation in Crawford.

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See what happens when you leave the child president alone with only his dog.

Also, The Daily Show did its usual brilliant job last night, detailing the president's difficult week. Check it out here, courtesy of One Good Move.

MORE
Gilliard: Best. Post. Ever.
Kos: See Bush Respond (slideshow)
ThinkProgress:
A Katrina Timeline
Operation Enduring Vacation

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