Listen to this NPR piece from the Sept. 9 All Things Considered. At about 6:42 into the segment, they quickly mention that the president called the Louisiana governor and NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin onto Air Force One and bartered with people’s lives. He offered to send federal troops only if the two democrats agreed to cede all command and control of the situation in NOLA to the White House. This isn’t what a president does. He doesn’t dicker for political advantage while people are dying in their homes, nursing homes, or in relief shelters. This was an unbelievably cold-blooded move.
What’s almost as bad is that the governor then told him she needed 24 hours to think it over. Inexcusable. What she should have done was leave the plane, grab the nearest group of journalists, and tell them what she’d just heard.
One more interesting note about the piece: it explains that local emergency officials certainly did follow the established procedures and requested federal aid as soon as they were able. Someone needs to beat Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, and Dennis Hastert over the head with this story until they shut up already.