Thanks to the President

In the midst of all the Prez-bashing, it's worthwhile pointing out a fact several of the big blogs have noted. Who was it that got NO evacuated in the first place? AP reports:
The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding [emphasis added].
Ahem. So I hardly think it's the case that Bush was cavalier about people's lives. We must concentrate on rescue and restoration and then get all the facts out, but it is sniffing to me like a colossal failure on the part of Gov. Blanco. It was her job to order an evacuation --why did the President have to call and beg her?
O'Reilly had someone on last night who'd been pursuing the story and his view --from sources on the ground-- is that Blanco made two very bad moves. First, she evacuated her guardsmen and other first responders, which meant she had no eyes on the ground to give her information once the levee broke and the flooding started. Then she dithered about when to send them back --and by the time she did, half the roads into the city were already destroyed. To this hour, neither she nor the mayor has any idea how many people were in the city in spite of the order to evacuate, nor does either of then know where they were besides the Superdome and Convention Center (and they don't know how many people were there). Then she apparently dithered about asking for Guard and other military help. Without eyes on the ground, you can't direct aid to where it needs to be and you get pretty much what we've been seeing these past few days. I can't vouch for this take on things, but find it completely plausible. Whether there's an additional problem with FEMA I think it's too early to say.
P.S. The New Orleans papers are reporting that retired Archbishop Hannan, who officiated at the JFK funeral, is among the missing.