There is so much in theSalon article on Rove playing politics during the Katrina disaster it’s hard to highlight it all (see post below). But another point which caught my attention (as well asOyster’s) was this one…
“Well, I have no
intention of turning over my National Guard to you,” Blanco said.
“Anyway, the evacuation of the Superdome is now well underway and after
that we will begin finishing the evacuation of the Convention Center.”
This was true. While the administration had bickered over politics,
Blanco had expanded the size of her National Guard by accepting
deployments of guardsmen from all of the other 49 states.
By federalizing her guardsmen, Blanco would have been admitting
that it was the state that was unable to handle the disaster, not the
federal government. The Bush administration could have argued that they
had had to save the day for Blanco because she was not up to the task.
However, if Blanco didnot take the bait, the scheme was dead.
Blanco wondered about Bush’s confusion. Was he really confused or just
trying to get her to sign the waiver?
It didn’t matter. Not only did Blanco refuse to sign, she gave Bush
a two-page letter detailing everything the state needed to cope with
the disaster — troops, buses, supplies, money, and more.It would not
be until several days later, when Blanco’s aides released the letter to
the press and got frantic phone calls from Rove’s aide Maggie Grant,
that it became clear that Bush had taken the letter Blanco had
personally handed to him —and lost it.