Bush Speaks About Hurricane Katrina Relief

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And Joe Gandleman responds with a MASSIVE post. Honestly, it’s almost too long to read in one sitting, but give it a try.

Here’s an excerpt:

STYLE: This was clearly a well-rehearsed and delivered speech. The tone was fine but, again, the timing of the speech � coming after the huge controversy over the federal performance, local and state failings, the resignation of FEMA chief Michael Brown plus new allegations about Michael Chertoff � in practical terms are likely to have diminished its impact.

ERRORS: There was no massive political blunders here and it didn’t seem like a typical partisan speech. A minimum of Peggy Noonan-like rhetorical flourishes (in other words: that’s a plus).

BIGGEST ROADBLOCKS: The cost (will conservatives go along with it and what will have to be jettisoned from the agenda to do it?). The linering issue of the investigation: Bush seemed to skirt or downplay the kind of investigation pressed by GOPers in Congress and be reaching out for some kind of broader investigation (but it was vague enough that time will tell on that one).

LIKELIHOOD TO CHANGE MINDS: At this writing it’s too early to tell but at first glance it seems unlikely to spark a huge poll shift. It may gain some irked voters back, but is unlikely to change Democratic minds. Independent voters in recent surveys have leaned more towards Democratic positions. BUT if the speech signals of a serious disaster relief effort that truly entails bipartisan “input” and a detatchment from political manuevers, it could be a good start.

WHAT IT MEANS TO VICTIMS: Mobilization of the private sector and a seeming perception that this could be a disaster that could be used to put some conservative approaches into action.

IMAGERY: Is a President in a button down shirt standing in front of a building a more majestic and institution reinforcing image than a President dressed in a suit and tie talking from the Oval Office? Apparently some bigwigs think so.

I too agree that Bush’s numbers will go up because he offered so many solutions. But that’s trivial right now, and only confined to the blogosphere.

Let’s hope he delivers on his promises…and then some…

UPDATE

Marc Schulman is decidedly unimpressed with Bush’s Katrina relief speech.

As memories of 9/11 faded, out-of-sight, out-of-mind prevailed. With Katrina, heads have come out of the sand, as it’s now abundantly evident that the US isn’t prepared to cope with the aftermath of an act of catastrophic terrorism. Four years after 9/11, the ability of the federal government to provide security has now been called into question. As a perception-changing event, Katrina is to Bush as Tet was to Johnson. And the massive spending that will be required to undo the damage done by Katrina is to Bush as the Great Society was to Johnson.

What do you think?

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