Quotes of the Day
Almost a week after Hurricane Katrina, these are the quotes that seem likely to define the day: A Louisiana senator, furious about the Bush administration’s attempt to shift blame for its failed response onto local officials, threatens to punch Bush. And a local official tells an utterly heartbreaking story about the death of a woman in a flooded nursing home — a woman who happens to be the mother of a lead emergency management official in New Orleans.
Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a Democrat, said today that she was so angry about federal failures and second-guessing that if she heard any more criticism of local efforts, even from the president, she might “punch” him…
“If one person criticizes them or says one more thing - including the president of the United States - he will hear from me,” she said on the ABC program “This Week.” “One more word about it after this show airs and I might likely have to punch him. Literally.”
She also referred angrily to comments Mr. Bush had made Friday at the New Orleans airport about the fun he had had there in his younger days.
“Our infrastructure is devastated, lives have been shattered,” Ms. Landrieu said during a helicopter tour of the area with an ABC interviewer. “Would the president please stop taking photo-ops?”
The government message has found itself struggling for time on the airwaves against angry criticisms like Ms. Landrieu’s, and anguished cries for help, like that of Mr. Broussard [president of a local Louisiana parish], the local official who broke down sobbing on NBC.
“The guy who runs this building I’m in, emergency management, he’s responsible for everything,” Mr. Broussard said. “His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, ‘Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you. Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday.’ And she drowned Friday night.
“Nobody’s coming to get us,” he said through his tears. “Nobody’s coming to get us.”
Crooks and Liars has the video.