The Cavalry Didn't Come
Meet the Press made for compelling viewing this morning. First, Tim Russert got all feisty and paper-showing to Chertoff, demanding to know why FEMA wasn't more prepared. Chertoff responded by saying that the levee break took them by "surprise," and noted that "Tuesday morning, I opened newspapers and saw headlines that said 'New Orleans dodged the bullet.'" Ah, well, so DHS gets its information from the papers. Good thing they're not looking for WMDs or terrorists or anything.
Then Russert interviewed president of Jefferson Parish, Aaron Broussard. He asked about the experience of getting through the disaster. Video coming. For now, this rough transcript. . .
MR. BROUSSARD: Sir, they were told like me, every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.Video here. Haley Barbour came on afterwards, clean, showered, powdered. Make-up has never made anyone look worse.
MR. BROUSSARD: I'm telling you most importantly I want to thank my public employees...
MR. RUSSERT: All right.
MR. BROUSSARD: ...that have worked 24/7. They're burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night. . . Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I'm sick of the press conferences. For God sakes, shut up and send us somebody.