The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


50 States

No New 'Czar' For Gulf Coast

From the press gaggle aboard Air Force One en route New Orleans, with White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton:

Q Why such a short trip to New Orleans today? A little less than four hours long.

MR. BURTON: Well, the President has been to New Orleans since Katrina; he's seen the damage. As President he's sent more Cabinet Secretaries and senior administration officials to the Gulf Coast region than almost any other place in the country. He's freed up billions of dollars in aid to the region to help with the recovery efforts. He's helped to cut red tape to put people back to work, get kids back into the schools, to get people back into their homes. And he's going to continue those efforts. And it's his hope that he's judged not just by the words that he says but by the actions that he's done and that he continues to do over the course of his administration.

He's -- today, specifically, though, he is looking forward to hearing directly from the people of New Orleans about their questions, concerns and thoughts about the recovery efforts and what they're seeing and what the administration can do.

Q Has he got anything new to announce, anything to offer them beyond his presence, or is it just a listening session?

MR. BURTON: The President is here to listen today.

Q Do you guys have any plans to announce, like, a Gulf Coast recovery czar to oversee the federal effort down in the Gulf Coast?

MR. BURTON: There's no such effort that I know of.

Q Is he going to --

Q Before you move on, do you mind if I just ask, are there any dignitaries he's going to be meeting with? Is the mayor going to be there, for example?

MR. BURTON: Some of the folks who will be there include Mayor Nagin, Senator Landrieu, Lieutenant Governor Landrieu, Speaker Pro Tem Karen Carter [Peterson]. Congressman Cao and the congressman from Louisiana 1 -- who's name escapes me for a moment -- [Melancon]. The governor will be there, Bobby Jindal. So you'll see a --

Q Jindal?

MR. BURTON: He'll be there when we land. And he'll also be at the town hall. And then Secretaries Donovan, Napolitano and Duncan will all be there as well.

Q And they all have separate events also, those -- the Secretaries?

MR. BURTON: They do have separate schedules that they're doing, but they'll all be linked up with what the President is doing, as well.

Posted at 1:57 PM ET on Oct 15, 2009  | Category:  50 States
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I live here on the Gulf Coast. We were hit by Katrina. We personally lost a lot. FEMA paid us $6500 out of a $100,000 loss. I'm no FEMA fan. However, Katrina did not hit New Orleans. New Orleans was on the right side of the storm. New Orleans flooding was because of the break in the levees. The levees were known to have a problem. The Corps of Engineers had presented a report and money was allocated to New Orleans. Instead, the decision was made to bring in the casinos. Go figure. People had plenty of notice to get out of town. Notoriously, people do not leave. It was a tragedy that New Orleans was flooded but let's put the blame where it is deserved. The local and state governments. All of us responsible people in this area know what to expect and how to deal with it. Poor and rich alike. The Mississippi Gulf Coast which was hit the hardest have taken care of their own although there are some who still live in FEMA trailers in Mississippi and Alabama. What have you heard from them? Has Obama visited them? Nope.

I would like to know if Obama met with ACORN in New Orleans. Organized crime is prevalent there.

Posted by: lmcpark | October 16, 2009 3:55 PM

The "czar" in the Treasury Dept overlooking pay has worked out an agreement with Ken Lewis to return his pay for this year. He is in the process of setting some kind of standard for how pay should be granted. If you do not have a "czar" looking into problems there will be no changes. If Bush had a few "czars" he might have done something in time to avoid this crisis.

The KNRW (know nothing right wing) ridicule "czar" because they are afraid that there will be a return of rights of consumers that have been whittled away in the past decade.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 16, 2009 3:33 PM

Obama needs to expand the culture of dependancy. All of the blue states are debtt-ridden, corrupt messes. All. In Detroit and Ohio there are riots by the dependant class at even rumors of or applications for free handouts. In NY, last April the billionaire George Soros gave some $35 million in handouts to people on public assistance much to the annoyance of long suffereing working taxpayers. All tax deductible and a cheap way for Soros to buy good press.

Meanwhile Obama and his far-left, Mao loving regime is busily pushing $2.2 trillion "health reform", wealth-killing, job-killing cap and trade mega-tax hikes and amnesty for resource draining illegals. Those are the big issues.

On a typical day like yesterday, Obama plans to throw $250.00 each at seniors, relax restrictions on US Satellite and Missile tech to China, announces more giveaways to teacher's unions and releases a study that shows paltry job creation for his ill-conceived 800 billion stimulus plan.

Pathetic. Today California's budget collapses again and unemployment there surges to 12.2%.

Posted by: NAuchi | October 16, 2009 3:06 PM

Boy, what horrible examples of Americans some of the people posting on this board are. One of our greatest cities gets destroyed, the people whom we've all been paying to help out in times like these do nothing, and all the poor people (or "trash" as you call them) who've lived there for generations get blamed for this? Newsflash: we all pay for FEMA through our federal taxes, so what gets old is paying for an organization that turns out to be incompetent and doesn't do what they're supposed to do.

Complaining about losing your city gets old? Statements like that are exactly why most of us don't like rich people. It's actually shocking that more Americans don't think seriously about socialism.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | October 15, 2009 5:42 PM

A few years ago parts of SW Fl were devastated by hurricane Charlie. Ask people in Punta Gorda how the 200 mph winds were that day. But they didn't set around crying, they didn't expect the Federal Government to support them 100 % & they're re-built today. New Orleans needs to stop the crying ... it gets old

Posted by: wasaUFO | October 15, 2009 5:18 PM

The criminals in the continued destruction in New Orleans is NOT the government's fault.

Even the Phony Messiah gets a break on this one-even though his empty rhetoric and broken promises qualify him for crucifixion!

No, the collection of TRASH that refuse to clean up the Garbage;


are the only ones to blame!

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 15, 2009 4:41 PM

Since that awful hurricane, the people, particularly those who lived in the 9th ward have been pleading for help to re-start their lives.

From the reports I have had from Jindal and others, nothing significantly happened. Not to mention thus far there wasn't much done under the former president.
Yet eight months into the Obama presidency-- given the time needed to deal with this awful economy and two wars, some believe he has not moved fast enough to re-visit that area. Give me a break!

Some think Obama is a magician, I dont happen to think so. An older president could not keep his pace. He gets no D-merits from this side of the fence. How thin can one spread him/herself and expect lasting results?

Posted by: Victoria5 | October 15, 2009 4:02 PM

WAPO: Do you not realize that there is no such as a "czar" in the Obama administration?

Posted by: JRM2 | October 15, 2009 3:32 PM

obama is still in campaign mode...and 4 hours is long enough to throw out some more cheese to the people who just want more extensions to living free in trailers and collecting welfare...and their the ones that don't return but want the welfare sent to the other states their living in.

Posted by: JWx2 | October 15, 2009 2:57 PM

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