Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Time Magazine slaps Blanco 3 times--once would have been enough

Time Magazine has just named Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco one of the five worst governors in the United States, based on her post-hurricane reponse. The writers went out of the way to say they found Blanco blameless in every aspect of hurricane preparation and government performance. The low rating was because she failed to appear "decisive, steadfast, and capable" during the days after Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana, and because it took her seven weeks to establish her Louisiana Recovery Authority.

The governor's failure to establish the LRA in a timely fashion deserves a big media slap, in my opinion. But her failure to have a bullhorn moment shouldn't come as a surpise to anyone who has followed her career. She is the most low-key politician imaginable. And besides, we know what can happen when people are sucked in by the ersatz leader appearing "decisive, steadfast, and capable," so perhaps that routine is a tad over-rated.

The third slap? Time didn't take into account any other part of Blanco's governorship. I am no fan of Blanco, but she was certainly the better of the two choices we had, and she is certainly better than the last governor we had. Since she took office not that long ago, she has done some good things and she has done some stupid things. If I were giving grades, I'd probably give her a C+, though it may be too early to be handing out grades. She is a tireless worker, she understands what the state has to do to attract business, and it appears she is a bit of a closet civil libertarian. On the down side, she has established strong alliances with the wink-nudge legislative crowd of old, she has hardly mentioned the state's massive environmental problems, and she is going to task-force us all to the edge of reason.

She has also been the chief scapegoat for the Bush administration in its desperation to appear competent in the aftermath of the hurricanes. The White House mud machine worked overtime to spread huge lies about her, and much of the mud stuck in a state where people were angry and in total denial that the "man of God" could possibly have done these terrible things to them.


I seem to remember Louisiana's last governor, during a time of drought, asking the citizens to "pray for rain."

Imagine if Foster had been governor during Katrina.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 PM  

He'd have been trying to find a spot to go fishing, or having a luncheon chat with David Duke.

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