Skip to comments.Obama Lashes Bush For 'Breaking His Promise' To New Orleans
Posted on 01/30/2007 4:19:04 PM PST by blam
Obama lashes Bush for 'breaking his promises' to New Orleans
By Alex Massie in Washington
Last Updated: 2:01am GMT 30/01/2007
Barack Obama, the Democrat presidential hopeful, used a visit to New Orleans yesterday to contrast President George W Bush's stubborn determination to persevere in Iraq, and his apparent unwillingness to do the same in the rebuilding of the hurricane-hit city.
During a special hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee in the city, Mr Obama said the President had broken his promises to the people of Louisiana by failing to do more to rebuild the city after it was hit by Katrina 18 months ago with the loss of at least 1,695 lives.
"In the weeks after Katrina, an ashamed nation looked at what had been allowed to happen here and said 'Never again. Never will we turn our backs on these people. Never will we forget what happened here'," he said.
"The President came down and said, 'We will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives'.
"Just 18 months later, we heard not one word not one word in the President's State of the Union address about New Orleans," Mr Obama noted. "And so I have one more set of questions to ask today: 'Are we willing to do whatever it takes? To stay as long as it takes? Are we in danger of forgetting about New Orleans?' "
The city's fate has become a leitmotif for Democrats seeking their party's presidential nomination. Democrats suggest that the federal government's sluggish response to the disaster symbolises Republican incompetence and indifference in equal measure.
Democrats argue that rebuilding the ruined city is an essential litmus test for the administration and that the failure to make swifter progress demonstrates a failure of national will.
"I hope we get some answers to the questions today because rebuilding the city of New Orleans is not just good for the Gulf Coast or the state of Louisiana, it's good for our nation," said Mr Obama. He questioned whether the federal government was doing its part to help New Orleans rebuild.
He noted plans to raze several low-income housing developments, adding that "I haven't seen concrete plans to meet the long-term housing needs of all the displaced people in New Orleans".
Mr Obama and Hillary Clinton, his rival for nomination as the Democrat candidate for the White House, were, however, slower to embrace the political potential and symbolic resonance of New Orleans than former vice-presidential nominee, John Edwards.
Mr Edwards, the other member of the Democratic "Big Three", announced his own presidential campaign against the backdrop of the city's battered Ninth Ward last month.
Mr Edwards used the city's plight to illustrate his populist message that America is increasingly divided along economic as well as racial lines.
Feelings ran high at the committee's hearing as a protester shouting "Stand up for Justice" interrupted Senator Joseph Lieberman as he opened the hearing. Though the protester was removed from the committee room at the Louisiana State Supreme Court, his message was met sympathetically.
"It's hard to come back here more than a year after Katrina without feeling that emotion," said Sen Lieberman, the committee's chairman. "We're here to say that we understand the work is not done, to put it mildly."
After the hearing concluded the Senators were given a bus tour of the city so they could see how much more work remains to be done in New Orleans' poorest neighbourhoods.
Donald Powell, the president's co-ordinator for the Gulf Coast recovery effort, said the administration was doing all it could to support the reconstruction effort, but said that more time was needed.
"President Bush is committed to rebuilding the Gulf Coast and rebuilding it stronger and better than it was before hurricanes Katrina and Rita," he told the committee.
Someone needs to just tell this empty suit to STFU.
Mississippi is recovering quite well, Osama.
Nothing to see here folks, New Orleans is dying. The emotions of Americans are drained, pouring money into RAT holes. It's just to say we can remember how it was once. But it will never be again. Nails are in the coffin, MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND...you do believe in global warming, and you know that the creek will rise, so move...UP.
"we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities"
TO HELP> HELP
Not give away like there is no tomorrow on people that will piss it away or put trust into the same effing politicians that caused so much of the problems to begin with.
Re-elect Nagin after that?
IMHO, GWB did a very very very stupid thing when he walked out on the WH lawn that day. It will haunt him for two more years and beyond.
isn't it amazing that everyone cites new orleans..and NO ONE will dare say mississippi or alabama..both of which are moving on without the crying and screaming..
if he wants to know why n'awlins isn't moving along quickly, simply compare the leadership of louisiana, mississippi and alabama..
So sick of the constant whining from Liberals about poor New Orleans.
I'm from Lake Charles. We had a little storm too. Her name was Rita. We were devestated. We rebuilt. We didn't move to Houston to live off the government's teat. You don't hear Hussein Obama talk about us too much.
Personally, I am sick and tired of NO crybabies. I have had it with every lefty politician that cries the blues about NO.
Pave the place and be done.
Obama and Nagin, double chocolate in 08.
Congressman Jefferson won't share the spoils with him unless he backs up the lie.
obviously Obama is not willing to do whatever it takes when the security of our country is at stake. e.g., Iraq.
But, as long as there are govt. handouts in the pipe for N.O., the failed Dem Utopia, well, we should by all means do whatever it takes.
Barack Hussein needs to shove it up his skinny ass sideways and twist it.
Exactly what promises were broken? And what are the people of New Orleans going to do to rebuild their city? Galveston was rebuilt. San Francisco was rebuilt after the earthquake. Other hurricane-devestated areas have been rebuilt. Why does the Federal Government have to do it all?
Obama? I remember him. Wasn't he running for President a few months ago or something?
Whatever.... Old news. The Obama fad disappeared faster than Tickle Me Elmo.
Thanks for weighing in and giving real insight from that area. I am in Houston and we got the Katrina "evacuees" aka criminals. They just got an extension (i.e., free ride) to August 2007!
This is all about helping BlankO win re-election. If she defeats Bobby Jindal it will be a further disgrace.
And he STILL was reelected!
Someone needs to just tell this empty suit to STFU.
maybe not......with his lack of shame as well as foolishness and big head, he COULD turn out to be the democrats very own ross perot of the '08 election.....
Junior seems to be slow by a step or two.
The primary season between him and the Thighmaster ought to be a lovely one to watch.
Did you hear that Mary Landrieu said that she wished that terrorists had bombed the levees instead of Katrina hitting? She said that Bush would have responded faster and given more money. (Heard this on Rush or Sean today.)
Blanco (that's French for stupid, by the way) is sitting on 10 Billion dollars of Federal money. She is saving it for buying votes in the upcoming gubernatorial election.
I went down there. I took time off. I slept on a cot in a dorm of hundreds. I worked 10 days without a break. I got sh*t from my bosses and more sh*t from the people I helped.
Where was your sorry behind when those of us who pay thousands in taxes also went down there and shed blood for those people?
Take a flying f*ck over a rolling doughnut, you candy-b*tt freak. We helped, where was your sorry behind? The sociopaths and psychopaths down there who feel the nation, each one of us, owes them our sacrifice and suffering, they're still in trouble. And you want to blame US?
You make me want to puke. I avoid stepping on stuff like you because it makes my shoes smell bad all day.
Agreed. NO is sinking; everybody with common sense knows this. That's why Hussein Obamarama wants to rebuild.
When Katrina came through, they should have just swept up the debris and made a big honkin' boat ramp.
Let's just federalize all the states and get it over with.
Actually, that 1.5 coco. And Hussein has absolutely nothing in common with blacks" in New Orleans. He certainly has nothing in common with the decendants of American slaves.
I thought Bush kept his promise not to blow up the levees again ................... /s
Floppy eared punk.
How many new under-the-table with FEMA money milliomaires are there in Nawlins today?
Yes she did. Posted Posted by Ellesu on FR yesterday.
I have one thing to say to BarackHussienObama.
STFU. NOLA was almost as liberal as any place in the USA BEFORE Katrina hit, and the LOCAL and STATE governments should have been doing their job first. The next time we have a flooding issue here, I will NOT call FEMA, I'll depend on LOCAL authorities FIRST.
Red faced rant mode off
Much of the available cash has yet to be spent because Blanco & crew are squabbling about scope of projects, priorities and so on let alone awarding contracts. The money is there, it's just that the local and state leadership is lacking (again).
Always remember, an anagram of the letters in Barack Hussein Obama reads, A car bomb has a use in K. Now we just have to find out what K stands for!
"Hey Hussein, ask Jimma Carter to bring his homes for humanity in".
100,000 applicants; 300 dispersals; rate is about 2 per week.
The feds did their part, it is the State of Louisiana and alleged Governor Blanco that are not doing their part.
Well, it's clear that the people of Louisiana are for sale....how pathetic and how very sad for the good and decent folks there who are paying the price.
Well the people of New Orleans need to stop robbing , stabbing, and shooting and rebuild. Local government still counts, local leadership is important. The people of New Orleans re-elected an incompetent, racist mayor who failed to evacuate them or succor them at their hours of need and danger. He and an equally incompetent governor took, and continue to take, NO responsibility for the safety, welfare or recovery of their people. The dogs in the street know that NO has received tens of millions of private and public assistance. What did Nagin and Bianco do with it? Mississippi was hit just as hard as Louisiana. Yet communities there are rebuilding . Leadership matters. But New Orleans voters apparently felt race mattered more. And Obama is race-hustling right along with the best of them. Despicable.
He's paying way too much attention to his press clippings.
Divert the federal funds scheduled to flow to Illinois to waste on NOLA, if that's what Barack wants.
As usual, it's Bush's fault while state and local officials are sitting around and drinking beer in Baton Rouge.
Who the hell cares? New Orleans was a dump before Katrina. Bulldoze it under and move on already.
If the Feds poured 100 times as much money into Nagin's Chocolate Town, it would still not be enough for Obama.