WaPo calls for Bush to use bully pulpit on Gulf Coast recovery

Bush has not done so, and I doubt he will, but it is after all what a President of the United States should have done…and continue to do…

AMONTH after neglecting to mention New Orleans or the Gulf Coast in his
State of the Union address, President Bush heads today to the city
crippled by Hurricane Katrina. He’s certain to get an earful during his
listening tour of the region, which will start in Mississippi. But if
the Crescent City’s revival is to go from a crawl to a gallop, Bush
must use the bully pulpit of the presidency to energize all levels of
government. Despite $89 billion from the federal government to rebuild
the devastated Gulf Coast, New Orleans’s recovery has been slow.
Painfully slow.


Solving these problems not only takes vision, it takes leadership. From
the beginning, Mr. Bush wisely insisted that local officials plan and
control their own destiny. Yet that does not absolve him of any role in
fulfilling a vow he made to New Orleans in his speech in Jackson
Square: “This great city will rise again.” A presidential push is
needed to tamp down partisan bickering and old rivalries among local,
state and federal officials and to quash conspiracy theories that the
decision not to rebuild flooded housing projects is an attempt to
ethnically cleanse New Orleans.

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