Donna Brazile Praise for George W. Bush and Hurricane Katrina: Bush “Was as Good as His Word”

Donna Brazile is currently Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. She has been a partisan Democrat and was campaign manager for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential run. She is a Louisiana native with family in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. Her family needed help and they got it. The day after the Bush Library Dedication, Brazile wrote a column praising George W. Bush for his handling of Hurricane Katrina.

Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

But rather than rehash all that went wrong, I want to share what I believe to have been President Bush’s determination to follow up on commitments, and the intense, personal, dedicated efforts he made to revive and restore people’s futures. I know what I’m talking about.

Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana’s governor in 2005, asked me to serve on the state’s commission overseeing the long-term recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. I’ve kept a close watch over the last eight years.

Hurricane Katrina wasn’t one natural disaster: It was a triple whammy of water, winds and lawlessness. An Army Corps engineer on CBS talked this week about Midwest flooding: “Water is the perfect instrument of destruction,” he said. He is so right: Katrina’s waters laid waste to an area the size of Great Britain. Its winds reached 174 mph and, together, they took 1,833 lives.

Every member of my family was displaced by Katrina. Last year, I lost both my father and sister. But I had them with me that much longer because they were rescued from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. My father, Lionel, left New Orleans only two times in his life. The first was to serve his country in Korea. The second was when FEMA evacuated him to San Antonio, Texas.

My older sister, Sheila — people sometimes thought we were twins, we looked so much alike — was in an assisted care home. Sheila developed a brain tumor in childhood. Brain surgery left her needing help, although she still managed to finish high school and college. When FEMA officials told me it might be weeks before we found Sheila, I was furious…Eddie Rodriguez of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and our cousin, Keith, a cop, rescued her from the building’s rooftop…

My 92-year-old great uncle Henry, a WWII vet, was plucked from another rooftop and transported to Roswell, Georgia, only to suffer a heart attack. All seven of my remaining siblings, my father, uncle, aunts, and other relatives, lost everything in Katrina. I was upset — mad as hell — and disappointed But, I made a decision not to act out — act against Bush — but rather to turn to his administration for help, and to offer my help.

“Mr. President,” I said, “how can I help you?”

“Civility,” he said…

George W. Bush was good as his word. He visited the Gulf states 17 times; went 13 times to New Orleans. Laura Bush made 24 trips. Bush saw that $126 billion in aid was sent to the Gulf’s residents, as some members of his own party in Congress balked.

Bush put a special emphasis on rebuilding schools and universities. He didn’t forget African-Americans: Bush provided $400 million to the historically black colleges, now integrated, that remain a pride, and magnet for African-American students. Laura Bush, a librarian, saw to it that thousands of books ruined by the floods were replaced. To this day, there are many local libraries with tributes devoted to her efforts.

The above are snippets, read the whole story at CNN and how it must have galled them to report Brazile’s story. There’s also some good commentary on this story at the Washington Times by Eric Golub – you’ll want to read it.

Linked at BadBlueuncensored news 24/7 – read it here.

  • Now look at Obama and Sandy. Look at NYC, specifically Staten and Long Islands, Brooklyn and Queens. How FEMA still is not around.

    You do get what you pay for.

    • findalis, yes, talk about mismanagement – Hurricane Sandy is a good example. Having said all that, I do not believe the government should have to take care of those who live in risky places. As I’ve said, I would love to live somewhere on the water, and would give up a lot to do so, but I never want to be in a position to lose all I have. I live in tornado alley, and people tell me it’s the same, but it isn’t. When historic tornadoes hit, they do a lot of damage, but even though you lose everything, it doesn’t compare to having the ocean in your house, the whole beach lying on main street. If you can’t self-insure, you have no business living there. Anyone who builds back in areas are nuts, and dittos for the below sea-level areas of New Orleans.

  • Geo

    Funny how sometimes the clarity of hindsight finally brings something into focus, especially coming from a dim. Of course it would’ve been much more beneficial if she had the fortitude to do it, when the President was being excoriated by her own party. You can only expect so much though.

    President Bush and FEMA Director Brown were used as pinata’s for the ineptitude of the actual persons who were responsible for most of the chaos and mayhem that ensured, Governor Blanco and Downtown Nagin. Who let their own personal animosities for each other along with their own incompetence caused the death of hundreds of their own constituents and untolled misery and destruction of their State and City.

    • Geo, Brazile and her family was “effected” and when it happens to you it makes a difference. I agree that she could have come forward before, but she did the right thing, nevertheless. I never understood making Brown a target, but it’s the way Democrats do things and Republicans are so incredibly poor at making logical arguments in effective ways, even when they have all the evidence clearly at hand.

      The blame should have placed on the wussy shoulder of Nagin, and the people who simply refused to get up and move their bums. I remembered a little elderly lady that grabbed her purse, walked somewhere and caught a bus to Baton Rouge. She said she wasn’t about to be one of those needing to be rescued, and she could see that rescue would be needed sooner rather than later. That’s how a normal person thinks.

  • Judy

    Good to read. The only other place I had read about this was in Decision Points by GW and in Laura’s memoir. A democrat who is going against the grain. WOW!!!

    • Judy, I read Decision Points and do not remember this, so maybe this was not current. Her column on the CNN site is dated April 25, 2013 and she is a CNN analyst. Strange that she would push it, but I’m glad she did.

  • Richard

    There is a time when we should at least put away the hatched, if not bury it. Civility, I believed was the word GW used with Donna Brazile. She praised him for a job well done – politics aside. In my opinion, history will be kind to GW and represent him as man of his word. I did not agree with all of his decisions, but he tried to do what was “best” for the United States. Especially, in the aftermath of the heinous attack on our country.

    • Richard, I feel the same, history will trample the trash rhetoric (except in educational history books). I am thankful neither he or Gore were in the Oval at this time. I agree with going into Iraq, but never dreamed we would not finish the job quickly and thoroughly.

      Democrats will never bury the hatchet and we’ll never have a Democrat president advocate for it.

  • Richard

    Thanks for the comments Maggie. I only meant to bury the hatchet regarding the words written by Donna Brazile at the GW Library dedication. Her words were presented graciously, more than I can say for W. Clinton and Obummer. I guess civility (in politics) is dead. Also, yes, both Bushes did not allow the military to fight a quick and decisive war. Conflict is a stupid term for war.

  • Before I comment on Ms Brazile’s take, a word about risk management and how we do insurance in the good ol’ US of A. The concept of insurance involves pooling risk. Everyone in the pool contributes a fee to cover the cost of claims for a particular risk. The idea being that the money received will be sufficient to cover the cost of claims plus afford the insuring entity at least a break even if not profit from the transactions.

    What the hell happened to that? We have government in the business of flood insurance. We have disaster declarations for items that should be covered by private insurance. Everyone it seems think someone else should shoulder the burden of loss. What happened to ‘if you take a risk and lose you pay for it yourself’?

    If you have a prime piece of real estate on a cliff in California and the seasonal rains drop it in the ocean, who should pay for that? If you live in an area that has been below sea level for 300 plus years and a hurricane visits your neighborhood who should pay for that?

    I must say Donna Brazile is one of the liberals who surprises from time to time but hey, when do people start taking responsibility for their actions? How many times must other taxpayers pony up for the loss of those who make risky decisions?