Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No-Brainer Indeed

With Katrina Fresh, Bush Moves Briskly

By the time most Californians awoke on Tuesday, the Pentagon had sent helicopters and troops to California and the homeland security secretary and head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency were on their way. By Tuesday evening, the White House announced that Mr. Bush himself would go on Thursday. He canceled a trip to St. Louis, planning to send Vice President Dick Cheney instead.

For a presidency still haunted by memories of Hurricane Katrina, the forceful round-the-clock response was a political no-brainer — the “anti-Katrina,” in the words of Peter Wehner, a former domestic policy adviser to Mr. Bush.

Because a massive deployment of resources to a white, affluent, Republican-leaning part of the country is exactly the way to erase the stigma of Katrina.

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