Anyone else think it's odd that George W. Bush was personally warning people in the path of Katrina to evacuate? I mean, is this the president's job?
This morning on NPR, Cokie Roberts noted that Bush had declared a state of emergency even before the storm hit, which, as she says, is quite unusual. Roberts's mother lives in the French Quarter and other relatives live in the area, so she knows a little bit about hurricanes. She notes that Bush's father was criticized for a slow response to Hurricane Andrew in '92.
Katrina looks awful, and the federal government obviously needs to spearhead the recovery effort and do a first-rate job. But no one needs the president of the United States to tell them to get out of the path of 160 mph winds -- that's the job of governors and mayors and local TV and radio stations. I think Bush may be trying to own this hurricane, seizing on it as an means of gaining lost ground in public opinion polls.
UPDATE, MID-AFTERNOON: I see this:
Bush urges citizens to wait out Hurricane Katrina
US President George W. Bush urged Americans in areas battered by Hurricane Katrina to stay safe from the "devastating storm" and pledged government aid once it has passed.
"In the meantime, America will pray, pray for the health and safety of all our citizens," he said ....