Daily Briefing: 'Going Through the Motions'
• Bush addresses nation from New Orleans: "Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes -- we will stay as long as it takes -- to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know: There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again." [WP, NYT, WSJ]
• "Bush's objective last night was to set out a strategy and commitment for recovery along the Gulf Coast. But the critical question is whether the damage will limit his ability to govern effectively in the remaining 40 months of his presidency and whether he will be able to focus on, let alone win approval for, major initiatives other than Katrina and Iraq," writes Dan Balz. [WP, USAT]
• "Democrats were unable to bloody the nominee significantly. . . the fourth and final day of hearings into Roberts left the firm impression that senators were just going through the motions," writes Dana Milbank. [WP]
• Katrina sidelines GOP quest to restructure Social Security. [WP]
• Bush okays 22 military base closures and 33 base reconfigurations. [WP]