Blanco and Nagin on the Hill
I watched most of the testimony by our governor and our mayor in Washington DC yesterday. KBB was bombarded with questions about when she called for buses, when the mandatory evacuation was called, did she refuse help from numerous organizations, etc. etc. We have heard all the questions. She has heard them all too and she didn't seem ready for them. The guy she had with her from the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness handled things far better than she did. They had her on her heels from the begining. Rep. Charlie Melancon saved her a few times. He stepped in with real answers when she was stumbling trying to defend herself. She seemed defensive and a little combative at times. It wasn't the kind of image we need to project right now in my opinion. She did very little to inform them of the things we are doing to help ourselves. Even when asked directly about what we are doing her answers were rushed and incomplete. That should have been her main focus.
The Mayor for the most part did a better job. He seemed prepared and kept his cool the whole time. I wish he would have answered a few questions differently. When asked about the situation in the Superdome (murders, rape, etc.) He basically said he didn't know what really happened because "the story is not through being told yet". That may be true but, there is no evidence as of today that any of those rumors are true. They did finally get to the point that most reports were only rumors perpetuated by media sources after a FEMA representative, who was at the Superdome, testified that the violence reported was exaggerated from what he saw.
The one thing that I realized while watching this, is something that hasn't been stated by anyone yet. I think it is very important for everyone to realize that even if the state and the city had executed a perfect evacuation we would still be in the same situation today. Even if everyone had gotten out and not a single person had died, New Orleans would still look like it does today. Every single challenge would be exactly the same.
Too much finger pointing and not enough moving on with our "new" reality. Of course, should we really expect anything different?