Bush finally descended deus ex machina into New Orleans yesterday where he met with officials about the status of the situation, reassured the nation that Trent Lott’s house would be rebuilt, and hugged a couple of black people.
Wait. Did I say he met with officials about the status of the situation?
Thousands of people stranded in two swamped parishes south of New Orleans are just as desperate for supplies as those trapped in the city but can’t get the attention of federal disaster relief officials, their congressman said Friday.
And to make matters worse, says Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., he was unable to deliver that message to President Bush during his visit to New Orleans because the president’s security detail couldn’t clear him to board Air Force One.
After waiting 90 minutes Friday while a U.S. marshal using a satellite phone repeatedly tried, and failed, to contact Bush’s plane – located just 300 yards away at New Orleans’ Armstrong airport – a disgusted Melancon left.
"After an hour and a half of that, and two hours to get down there, I am now back on my way, without seeing the president, not accomplishing anything in my mind today. I’ve wasted time while people are dying in South Louisiana," he said in a telephone interview. "It’s not personal to the president. It’s just that this whole thing has been handled terribly."