In fact, nearly every post-hurricane project the President described hinges on a degree of federal involvement not seen in roughly 30 years.
Even before the Aug. 29 hurricane devastated many areas along the Gulf Coast, the President's approval ratings were at an all-time low, largely because of Iraq, fuel prices and the economy. In the initial days after Katrina, Mr. Bush's hesitancy to act and apparent insensitivity to the plight of people too poor to evacuate dismayed even Republicans, especially candidates in congressional races next year.
Comparatively, Hurricane Katrina is a different kind of crisis for a president already tested by terrorist attacks on American soil and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The immensity of this calamity has overwhelmed even the federal government. Bush faced not only the hurricane's aftermath, but the public perceptions formed by round-the-clock television coverage and the political pressures that follow. His wrong decisions blew the tops of people and ultimately gathered blame because of the government's laxity and slow paced disaster relief operations. Some even say that the disaster might not have been this "disastrous" if the government made proactive efforts to prevent all the damages.
However, a reversal of President Bush's reaction, as he admitted responsibility on the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, is exemplary on his part.