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September 24, 2005

The Weeks After New Orleans: A Presidential Retrospective (#4)

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Hurricane Rita Approaches Landfall

September 23rd, 2004

Slightly more than three weeks after Hurricane Katrina lays waste to New Orleans, a new hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast.  Not to be seen as “out of touch,” the President and his PR team realize he needs to appear fully engaged.  The day before the new hurricane is to make landfall, the President makes an appearance at FEMA headquarters, then proceeds to NORAD’s Command Center in Colorado Springs.

In the face of intense stress and a daily stream of no-longer-predictable events, the normally well scripted and well rehearsed leader now regularly appears distracted and irritated, or wary and exhausted. Facing not just inescapable problems, but overt scrutiny, one has to wonder how well he (as well as other members of his team, for that matter) are holding up.

(The other entries in this series are available here.)

(image 1: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters. FEMA headquarters/Washington. September 23, 2005.  From Yahoo News.  image 2: Eric Draper/White House.  September 21, 2005.  Colorado Springs.  whitehouse.gov)

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