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Jeb Bush, the "Hurricane Governor" says "Blame me, not FEMA"

Reported by Chrish - October 26, 2005

Just a couple of days ago Jeb Bush was "commander-in-chief" material and dubbed "the hurricane governor" on Fox. Then yesterday 10/25/05 on both The Big Story and Special Report we were shown video of long lines of Floridians waiting for up to ten hours to get necessities like water, ice, and gasoline.

Acting Director of FEMA R. David Paulison let Fox viewers know that Floridia Emargency Management and the governor in particular were doing a good job, being prepared for the hurricane and then dealing with the aftermath, calling them "some of the best in the country." He described FEMA's job at the moment as making sure supplies got to the people who needed them. When asked if the power outages, which might last for as long as a month in places, was a FEMA issue, he replied that the main concern was to keep the people safe and out of harm's way. He reiterated that FEMA was helping distribute water, ice and meals, somewhat surprised that so many had already run out on day one, but they were going to ensure that everyone would be taken care of.

Comment: What a mixed message we're getting! Florida is great, prepared, Jeb is the man/ folks didn't even have 2 days of water and food at home, the local/state government needs federal help to distibute supplies, FEMA will keep us safe. Which is it: FEMA is the last resort and we should expect local and state relief agencies to take care of the immediate needs, or FEMA will take care of day to day needs? Maybe it depends on who your governor is. Shouldn't FEMA be concerned with restoring the infrastructure, coordinating help from other states and fixing roads and other public property damage?

The real kicker came today, however, when Jeb Bush declared a "no criticize zone" and said "Blame me, not FEMA" for the lack or coordination of relief efforts. (I saw this on CNN, not Fox.) Could it be that post-hurricane relief is bigger than one man? If you double the power of the hurricane, add a 20-foot sea surge and breach a city's levees and flood it, would it then be OK to expect the Federal Emergency Management Agency to live up to its name? The Ray Nagin bashers owe him an apology or ten.

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