Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Queen Bee won't run for re-election
(Sign sez: "Lingerie Show")
Madam Governor is not gonna
run for re-election. That's good. I'll go out on a limb and predict that there will be a minimum of teeth gnashing and garment rending in da gret stet over this decision. Even among those who thought Blanco had endured (some) unfair criticism after Katrina, no one can excuse the slow pace of her expensive, ineffective Road Home
program. It's been totally
unacceptable. I mean: especially
after the President and Congress held up the allocation of federal funds for the first half of 2006, you'd think the state would be ready to "hit the ground running" with its recovery program when they finally did
get the money from D.C.. But no, they weren't ready. They weren't anywhere close to ready. Observing the Road Home's "performance" during the past 9 months has been like watching a slow-motion train wreck-- emphasis on "slow".
For the record: I don't vote for many Republicans, but would have voted for Bobby Jindal over Blanco in a nanosecond. No second thoughts whatsoever. (And to those hacks who were expecting me to formulate some elaborate, "strategic" political rationale as to why I would talk myself into supporting the worst candidate-- sorry.)
To be fair, this 2004 Wapo op-ed
on coastal restoration is a reminder of the Queen Bee at her best. I'll reprint the first two paragraphs:
My state dodged a massive natural disaster in September when Hurricane Ivan, which seemed on course to hit New Orleans, veered away at the last minute. The near miss was a dramatic reminder that we continue to face the possibility of a man-made catastrophe.
Had Ivan hit New Orleans, the toll in lives lost and property destroyed would have rivaled anything in recent U.S. history. With barrier islands and thousands of square miles of marsh lost to erosion, there was little left to buffer Ivan's winds and waves. Even with the massive evacuation, thousands could have died in the storm surge, trapped in a city that is largely below sea level.
Labels: Queen Bee
Let her up slow buddy, as Adrastos says. We have work to do now, and plenty of it! We have much to do, and we need to find someone to do the job. The question is, who can do it? Who has the first aid kit we need so much? That is our focus now.
Some reminders on the Road Home. The Baker Plan was nurtured by the Bush Admin until the last moments and rejected. We were forced into a privately administered program. Overly stringent verification through FEMA for grants/insurance caused much stagnation in the beginning. Suddenly HUD says you don’t need all these precautions, mandatory escrow accounts after being involved from the beginning. Don’t need protection from a drowning subprime mortgage industry.
Blanco stood up to bush during the federalization of the guard attempt. Would Jindal? Of course he would not have been asked to. Is that a reason to vote for him? His record is dismal.
It’s good that she’s out, we will have a better race now. But don’t disregard Rove’s hand in her downfall on any of these issues…
DM: Who can do it? John Kennedy.
Mac: No, I'm not "disregarding Rove's hand" in Blanco's troubles, and I remember the administration's cruel scuttling of the Baker Bill. But still, come on... ICF? 3,000 closings? Low rewards? Yecch.
I don't like a ton of things about Jindal... and yet, he still would have been preferable to Blanco.
What hacks were expecting you to come up with a rationale for voting for Blanco? I can't read every comment on every local blog, or even every local blog, but I thought was one of the last diehards and it's been a while for me. For six months, I said that people are forgetting the delay. Then, for a couple of months, I said that if the Road Home can make a miraculous turnaround, one can make the case for voting for her. But it's been a while since I've even I've said. God, you mean that there are people out there who are more stubborn than even me?
That said, I must say that I'm really impressed. Conservative radio hosts and the hacks at the Picayune merely ignore the fact hat Mississippi got its money six months earlier when they criticize Blanco, you actually use it against her. My hat's off to you.
There is another fact that conveniently ignore when they criticize Blanco--it's expected that about 120,000 people will apply for Road Home money. $7.5B/120,000=$62.5K. I imagine that most people are expecting a lot closer to the $150K max. All the people that say just cut the checks and penalize the people who claim too much later are ignoring the fact that we don't have enough money for that. Is there a way to use that fact against her?
BSJ: "What hacks were expecting you to come up with a rationale for voting for Blanco?"
No one, really, but it's my sarcastic reference to the imaginary "flip side" of the Couhig conservative Nagin voters.
If we played by the GOP hack rules, surely I (as a partisan Dem) would be expected to invent some scenario as to why "the devil we know" Blanco is better than the devil we don't know, and why she only has 4 years to go if re-elected but Jindal might be in office for eight... and all that other "strategic", lesser evil bullshit.
I was afraid that my tone was a tad belligerent, but you should see what I started to write. I hate blaming the media as a matter of general principle, but it is amazing how much harder she's gotten it than either Nagin or Bush. Or I should say that she hasn't had the defenders either of them have had. Of course, the friendliest media in the world couldn't make the road home look good. I just don't understand the need to make it look even worse than it is by ignoring every slightly mitigating factor.
I still think Nagin's the big loser. When Nagin demands that the recovery money get turned over the city more quickly, she's now free to say that the state's responsible for the money that the city keeps misspending. Of course, that's the kind of thing that it's better for administration sources to confide off the record to friendly reporters than for the governor to say herself. I don't think this administration has many friendly reporters.