Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bush seen as doing too little, too late

Bush seen as doing too little, too late

Richard Luscombe in Miami
Saturday September 3, 2005
The Guardian

The fallout from the Gulf coast disaster could take a heavy political toll on President George Bush, who has been accused by some of fiddling while New Orleans drowns.

His already plummeting popularity rating is likely to take another big hit, according to experts who say the public largely see his response to the tragedy as several days too late, inadequate and insincere.

Visiting the storm-wrecked town of Biloxi, Mississippi, Mr Bush hugged a sobbing survivor. The woman, Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutched a plastic bag containing all she had rescued from her wrecked home. "We're going to get you some help," Mr Bush said. "Hang in there. Help is on the way."

Later on the tour, Mr Bush was asked if the US could continue spending billions of dollars in the war in Iraq amid the hurricane crisis. He replied: "We've got plenty of resources to do both. We'll secure our country from the terrorists and we'll rebuild this area. We've got what it takes to do more than one thing."

But even as the rescue operation continues, anger is growing that the administration's focus on the war in Iraq diminished its ability to respond adequately to a growing crisis at home....