Regrets, he’s had very few
President George W. Bush will bid Americans a final farewell in an address to the nation from the White House tomorrow night. If Monday’s no-holds-barred press conference was a precursor, it appears he’s content to go out singing his cover of Old Blue Eyes’ “My Way.”
Monday’s two-and-a-half minute diatribe on the handling of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath hit a sour note with state and local officials, for certain.
When asked to name regrets during his two terms in office, President Bush was quick to pounce on the decision to hang a “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard a military ship, an unusual backdrop for a scheduled address on the war in Iraq. With the death toll continuing to climb and troops still in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, certainly the mission appears to be anything but accomplished.
But it speaks to President Bush’s rose-colored view of the state of our union.
It was through those same filters he apparently views the coastal region post-Katrina.
The same President Bush who nine days after Katrina devastated southern Louisiana and Mississippi was on camera saying, “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie,” told reporters that his decision not to fly in to New Orleans or Baton Rouge was just.
Louisianans were not looking for a photo opportunity days after the storm.
We were focused on food, water, gasoline and the help of our government.
President Bush’s reference to the heroics of the U.S. Coast Guard and military that assisted in retrieving storm victims from their roofs is refreshing. These men and women rushed to the aid of a region hard hit by the worst natural disaster our nation has seen.
Whether President Bush learned the real lessons of Katrina or not is moot.
New leadership will soon take the helm. But with much work still to be done in Louisiana’s recovery, let’s hope President-elect Obama views the problem sans the rose-colored glasses.