Breaking: Blanco out? Update: She’s out Update: Video added

posted at 4:12 pm on March 20, 2007 by Bryan

Oh sweet mother of storms, don’t play with my emotions like this.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco will formally announce this evening that she will NOT seek re-election, numerous political sources tell WAFB 9NEWS. Blanco was elected Governor of Louisiana in November 2003, becoming the first woman to ever hold the office.

PoliticsLA is reporting likewise. She has apparently requested TV time on local stations to make her announcement tonight.

Though President Bush and then FEMA head Michael Brown took most of the criticism in the wake of Hurrican Katrina (much of it justified), the real villain in that storm was Gov. Kathleen Babineau Blanco. She was indecisive. She brought in Clintonistas to help her cover for her deficiencies and politicize the storm. She kept the Red Cross from doing all it could to help the people left behind in New Orleans. Her performance during the Katrina crisis should stand in the annals of time as one of the worst executive performances in US history. Alongside “Chocolate City” Mayor Ray Nagin, no doubt.

If she exits the race, former Senator and now lobbyist John Breaux would probably step up to run from the Democrat side. Bobby Jindal is running for the GOP. I’d pull for Jindal of course, but either would be better than Blanco.

More: A few Blanco refreshers for those not too familiar with her work.

Blame Bush Blanco
Recall Blanco
“NO MORE CALLS FOR BUSSES!!!!!!!”
Blanco’s Salvo
Katrina Aftermath: More Local Failure

Heck, just go to JunkYardBlog and run a search on “Blanco.” There’s plenty there.

I shouldn’t forget my all-time favorite post, even though it’s not directly Blanco-related:

Local Screwup: Bus-ted!

More: See-Dub reminds me that Blanco makes an appearance here too.

Update: Blancout.

Update: Gateway Pundit has video of Blanco’s announcement.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Nagin for governor. We need a chocolate state! And he’s the man to bring it to us.

lorien1973 on March 20, 2007 at 4:15 PM

My tonail clipping would be better than Blanco.
However she got a pass as far as I could see, nobody outside of the VRWC even knows her name.

bbz123 on March 20, 2007 at 4:16 PM

Someone better check her freezer before she high-tails it.

Limerick on March 20, 2007 at 4:17 PM

Thank GOD!!! The last thing we need in this state is that liberal idiot running again! Beside she would just play the race card like she did the last time with Bobby Jindal.

Confederate on March 20, 2007 at 4:27 PM

What do you think Laura from NOLA? I know you’re on your way here.

Buck Turgidson on March 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

It was amazing how Bush took all the blame when he called and offered support. She also did not activate her own National Guard like she should have. Mayor Nagin and her should take the majority of the blame, remeber the buses parked underwater? FEMA messed up, but they are more of an agency that responds after a disater not during.

Sven on March 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Yeah, I remember the buses parked underwater. I remember them quite well.

Bryan on March 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Stuck on stupid no more.

Topsecretk9 on March 20, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Allelujah! This is Great News! Someone told me today that something was up with Blanco – too many appointed officials talking about where they would be next year, and none of them talking abouat being in their current job this time next year. Jindal’s my guy, but Breaux is smart and seems to be ethical and so either would be better, much much better, than Blanco. woodie4827 from Baton Rouge, LA

woodie4827 on March 20, 2007 at 4:54 PM

Sven wrote: “She also did not activate her own National Guard like she should have.”

I have to take issue with the above statement.

In fact, Blanco did call out the LA Guard. The Guard was on duty INSIDE the Superdome during the hurricane, unlike the media portrayal.
See this aritcle.

Here’s another one: Do you remember the dramatic TV footage of National Guard helicopters landing at the Superdome as soon as Katrina passed, dropping off tens of thousands saved from certain death? The corpsmen running with stretchers, in an echo of M*A*S*H, carrying the survivors to ambulances and the medical center? About how the operation, which also included the Coast Guard, regular military units, and local first responders, continued for more than a week?

Me neither. Except that it did happen, and got at best an occasional, parenthetical mention in the national media. The National Guard had its headquarters for Katrina, not just a few peacekeeping troops, in what the media portrayed as the pit of Hell. Hell was one of the safest places to be in New Orleans, smelly as it was. The situation was always under control, not surprisingly because the people in control were always there.

From the Dome, the Louisiana Guard’s main command ran at least 2,500 troops who rode out the storm inside the city, a dozen emergency shelters, 200-plus boats, dozens of high-water vehicles, 150 helicopters, and a triage and medical center that handled up to 5,000 patients (and delivered 7 babies). The Guard command headquarters also coordinated efforts of the police, firefighters and scores of volunteers after the storm knocked out local radio, as well as other regular military and other state Guard units.

Jack Harrison, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia, cited “10,244 sorties flown, 88,181 passengers moved, 18,834 cargo tons hauled, 17,411 saves” by air. Unlike the politicians, they had a working chain of command that commandeered more relief aid from other Guard units outside the state. From day one.

However, Blanco did block the efforts of the American Red cross to assist victims because the stated goal of the State of Louisiana was to EVACUATE New Orleans in the aftermath, not ASSIST the survivors enough for them to want to remain. I find this action reprehensible.

More about what really happened in New Orleans, in the Superdome follows from the same article. But here’s the point: THE MEDIA LIED and they lied for PARTISAN POLITICAL ADVANTAGE AGAINST BUSH.

Let’s try that again: The cavalry wasn’t late. It didn’t arrive on Thursday smoking a cigar and cussing. It was there all along.

The National Guard’s response to Katrina was even more robust than I suspected in my reporting for RealClearPolitics in September, and in more detail for National Review, where I revealed for the first time that rescue operations saved up to 50,000 lives, with perhaps an equal number making their way to shelters on their own.

As has been reported, when the Superdome was established as a shelter of last resort on the weekend before Katrina hit, the Louisiana National Guard sent several hundred soldiers there who were trained in policing and crowd control. They also, as rarely noted, stocked huge quantities of combat rations, also known as Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), and water, both of which were never in short supply, according to Maj. Ed Bush, who was inside the Dome the whole time.

Dressler said that about 2,000 other troops, MREs and water were stationed at armories and schools around the city, mini-versions of what the Guard had set up in the Dome. They had about 50 high-water vehicles available, and two dozen boats. Some satellite sites and equipment would later be put out of business by flooding. Elsewhere in the state and around the country, another 6,000 troops were standing by.

Remember, every thing we knew about the aftermath of Katrina at the time came from the LYING MSM. Not the least lie they told is that the Superdome was “hell on earth” because the Guard wasn’t there or that Blanco didn’t call them out in time.

georgej on March 20, 2007 at 5:07 PM

Too bad she isn’t running. It would have been a good opportunity to truly expose who was responsible for the Katrina response failures. That’s another thing Santino let the Barzini family wrap around his neck.

TheBigOldDog on March 20, 2007 at 5:11 PM

FEMA messed up, but they are more of an agency that responds after a disater not during.

Sven on March 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Furthermore, FEMA is not allowed to do anything until they get approval from the Governor to enter the state. Since FEMA is a federal agency, it would be considered an invasion if the activated and began operating in the state without approval.

Most of those days following Katrina and the levys breaking that people remember as days where FEMA did nothing are actually days where FEMA was mobilized and waiting for permission from the Governor to deploy to LA.

JadeNYU on March 20, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Swift BUSES for Justice?

No, wait, that was Nagin … and he was re-elected. Unbelievable.

Tony737 on March 20, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Just wait…She’ll try to rehabilitate her image like billy jeff clinton…you can almost see it coming.

tormod on March 20, 2007 at 5:35 PM

From Bryan’s Sept 3, 2005 Junkyard Blog post:

If we let Ray Nagin, Jesse Jackson, RFK Jr and the rest of the leftist mob define Katrina and tell us what went wrong, the coming big bang will be dangerous. These are dangerous people. They taste the air and sense blood. They feed on misery. They must be answered, they must be pushed back, or they will win.

And we will all, every one of us, suffer.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:44 PM

Your prediction came true in November 2006, Bryan. Good call.

Anton on March 20, 2007 at 5:53 PM

Furthermore, FEMA is not allowed to do anything until they get approval from the Governor to enter the state. Since FEMA is a federal agency, it would be considered an invasion if the activated and began operating in the state without approval.

Most of those days following Katrina and the levys breaking that people remember as days where FEMA did nothing are actually days where FEMA was mobilized and waiting for permission from the Governor to deploy to LA.

JadeNYU on March 20, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Exactly. There’s this thing call the Constitution which prevented FEMA and the National Guard from just charging in there and taking care of business. Blanco and Nagin let a petty personal tiff over past election issues stop them from serving the people they were elected to serve, and people died because of it. But who gets the blame? That’s right, Bush and his crazy hurricane-conjuring up-capabilities. Blanco should leave her office in handcuffs, if justice truly were in the works.

NTWR on March 20, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Blanco was elected Governor of Louisiana in November 2003, becoming the first woman to ever hold the office.

Blanco seems to have been elected because of a lack of clarity on the part of Louisianans as to the office to which they were electing her. She appears to be a nice old lady, but she’s also appeared out of her depth both on campaign and in office. I’m only half joking when I say that state governments may be improved if they add “Grandma” as a distinct elected office. When people vote for Governor, they’ll be explicitly reminded that they’re not voting for Grandma; that’s a different office, with different qualifications.

Kralizec on March 20, 2007 at 6:10 PM

One can hope.

Mayor Nagin and Gov Blanco had a detailed emergency disaster plan in hand, that National Geographic used to describe an identical scenario prior to Katrina, nearly a year before Katrina hit. The Emergency Plan was prepared for the use of such people, mayors and governors of hurricane-prone cities and states and New Orleans was the worst-case scenario. It even predicted the failure of the levees, about a day AFTER the hurricane passed, just as it happened. The report predicted about 150,000 people would require transport out and SPECIFIED that the mayor of New Orleans (whoever that would be) should commandeer the school buses in order to get these people (poor and elderly with no transport) out of the way, before the storm would hit.
All Nagin and Blanco had to do was open the damn report and hand it to their respective underlings and say, “I authorize this plan. Follow the instructions and do it.” Nagin didn’t have to think up ANYTHING. It was all laid out in advance. Neither he nor Blanco have any excuse for their appalling behavior. People died because they didn’t bother to do their homework, or pay attention to the emergency briefings, a complete failure of their oaths of public office. Then, they vilely blame President Bush who personally contacted them in advance to give them, to preposition everything they wanted, plus things they hadn’t thought of. Despicable is hardly comprehensive enough of a description of those two.

naliaka on March 20, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Hmmm, and all along I thought that because Bush lied, people died.

Rick on March 20, 2007 at 6:25 PM

Nalaika, you make some good points. Chris Regan and I studied the NOLA plan after Katrina (which seems to be when Nagin and Blanco finally got around to studying it too) and we wrote about it for NRO.

Bryan on March 20, 2007 at 6:28 PM

no matter how incompetent blanco is do not jump for joy….after all this is Lousiana….

robo on March 20, 2007 at 7:01 PM

I’ve got my Jindal bumper sticker ready.Blanco has been nothing but a bumbler and embarrassment to this state.She is the female figurehead of the good ole boy network that is still alive and well in south Louisiana.Moon Griffon has a lot of good information on whats going on in Louisiana.I wouldn’t give the reins over to John Breaux either. Lots of quid pro quo going on there too.

spazzmomma on March 20, 2007 at 7:02 PM

Chocolate City! Now with less nuts!

Good riddance hag.

thedecider on March 20, 2007 at 7:40 PM

Chris Regan and I studied the NOLA plan after Katrina (which seems to be when Nagin and Blanco finally got around to studying it too) and we wrote about it for NRO.
Bryan on March 20, 2007 at 6:28 PM

I hadn’t read that article. It’s very good. The article I had read prior was out of the October 2004 issue of National Geographic. It’s so close to what really happened, it’s surreal reading it.
You’ve done a lot more research on this than me, but here’s another thought to throw in the pot, another aspect that I haven’t seen many people comment much on. I’m not sure many people really understand that when a president or governor or mayor declares an “emergency” it’s not just hyperbole, it’s an administrative trigger that activates certain emergency functions, which are set out in advance (or are supposed to be). It usually also frees up a preset amount of funds that can be used immediately for emergency purposes, get people over a hump or provide liquidity until more funds can be earmarked by the usual funding authorities. President Bush’s personal appeal to Blanco and Nagin was to get that “Emergency” call made, so that the bureaucracy could be mobilized – and President Bush’s intention was to mobilize it all IN ADVANCE to save lives.
Blanco wouldn’t agree to the “Emergency” and Nagin didn’t either. So the bureaucracy was frozen in place as critical hours ticked by and were lost. The Declaration of Emergency shifts government officials out of their usual jobs and puts them into emergency roles, with a clear hierarchy, delegation of authority, and specified tasks. The declaration is a responsibility of the highest elected official. No one needs a mayor when everything is fine, it’s when the place goes into crisis and normal systems shut down, that a temporary dictatorship is established – for the need for one direction. Blanco and Nagin have spent quite a bit of their spinning to blur to the public the fact that they were the ones authorized by law to “turn on” the emegency system, and they didn’t. The buck stopped there all right. Clunk!

naliaka on March 20, 2007 at 7:52 PM

One can only hope that when history re-visits Katrina it’ll be so clear how most of the blame for the aftermath belongs on the heads of Dem. who controlled both the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana for years and decades and whose actions and inactions was the direct cause of the loss of live and suffering.

mlong on March 20, 2007 at 8:03 PM

Hey, I’ll trade you a Hagel and a Nelson for your Blanco…!

serenity on March 20, 2007 at 8:14 PM

Blanco said in her announcement:

I will focus my time and my energy for the next nine months on the people’s work — not on politics.

It is good to see people try new things :^)

db on March 20, 2007 at 8:48 PM

Marshmallows. Can’t have a chocolate state without marshmallows!

Who will cry for Evita Blanco

Kini on March 20, 2007 at 8:53 PM

What do you think Laura from NOLA? I know you’re on your way here.

Buck Turgidson on March 20, 2007 at 4:28 PM

Hey, Buck, I’ve commented on lots of HA posts, just not much recently. If I’d known how much you missed me I’d have dropped by sooner. ;-)

I’m happy it’s official, but it’s not really news. Blanco is an idiot, but not so much that she thought she had a chance of winning. She’ll keep that war chest, thankyouverymuch, and find something advantageous to do with the money. Never doubt it. I wish we could have recalled her – there was a movement to do that, as well as Aaron Broussard. Remember him on Meet the Press? Another bald-faced Democrat liar. He personally caused about 3 billion worth of flooding by sending the pump operators too far away. Hopefully he’ll be the next one to go away quietly. I told you people were finally getting mad around here!

Laura on March 20, 2007 at 8:58 PM

spazzmomma on March 20, 2007 at 7:02 PM

I’m with you on that, spazzmomma, but I sure hate to lose him in the House. Still, if he makes Governor, maybe he can bump Mary “bring out your dead” Landreiu out of her Senate seat sometime later.

Laura on March 20, 2007 at 9:11 PM

Laura on March 20, 2007 at 8:58 PM

Hi Laura, your comments last weekend about the “Cajun Kennedys” were not lost on me. Her retirement was news to me, however. I lived in Tx in the 80′s and early 90′s and enjoyed my visits to NO. Now back to my Ohio roots, I appreciate the opinions of folks who live through these issues locally.

Buck Turgidson on March 20, 2007 at 9:35 PM

Pathetic.

The Ritz on March 20, 2007 at 9:40 PM

The good news for Democrats is that once she’s out of power, she can lie and blame Bush even more viciously than when she was busy preventing the Red Cross from going to the Super Dome while screaming for Bush to send help. The media will love to have “scoops” on bogus allegations made by Blanco about her interactions with Bush is it all unfolded, she’ll probably write a book and make a few million and ride swim off in to the sunset.

RightWinged on March 20, 2007 at 9:48 PM

And Bush won’t defend himself. Again. It’s pretty frustrating to watch.

Laura on March 20, 2007 at 10:15 PM

Who here honestly doesn’t believe she knew there was no chance she would get re-elected? Particularly after the effective ethnic cleansing job Bushitler did to replace the residents with white folk. Vanilla City here we come!

thedecider on March 20, 2007 at 11:24 PM

How long before she blames Bushco? LMWAO.

SouthernGent on March 21, 2007 at 12:13 AM

Here’s a recap, if anyone is interested, in Blanco v. Bush during Katrina’s aftermath.

A Blanco aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the people around Bush were trying to maneuver the governor into an unnecessary change intended to make Bush look decisive.

“It was an overwhelming natural disaster. The federal government has an agency that exists for purposes of coming to the rescue of localities in a natural disaster, and that organization did not live up to what it was designed for or promised to,” the aide said. Referring to Bush aides, he said, “It was time to recover from the fiasco, and take a win wherever you could, legitimate or not.”

[Senator David] Vitter[R-LA], in an interview, disagreed but acknowledged the clash.

“In my opinion, they [Blanco aides] were hypersensitive. . . . They seemed to feel there was some power play, which I don’t think there was,” he said. “The fact that it was [Rove] — might that have fueled the governor’s hypersensitivity? It may have, I don’t know.”

… In any event, the conflict delayed the arrival of active-duty troops in New Orleans, where reports of looting and violence prevented rescuers from retrieving stranded residents and evacuating hospitals and the Louisiana Superdome.

… At about the same time, Blanco communications director Bob Mann spoke to an aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), who said Democrats were eagerly “mobilizing big-time to push back on criticism of the state.”

… But Vitter took another lesson, saying that in catastrophic incidents the legal and practical problems of calling in active-duty military must be straightened out “so people don’t mess around for three days and then come to some understanding, which is what essentially happened here.”

How did they end up straightening out those problems? By weakening posse comitatus and beefing up the Insurrection Act of 1807.

Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.”

I wrote earlier that Bush doesn’t fight back – I meant in the propaganda war. But it seems like he does fight back in other ways.

But think of ways a future president could use this change – think of Hillary! in office with this kind of unchecked power. Worrisome.

Laura on March 21, 2007 at 12:24 AM

I’ve always believed that the NOLA / Katrina mess was orchestrated by the Democrats to give them something to attack Bush with.

Didn’t Papa Bush get smeared with a hurricane just before Clinton won the election? Seems familiar.

FEMA works well everywhere else. It would be a shame if people died so the Democrats could gain some votes.

Buzzy on March 21, 2007 at 2:37 AM

That woman couldn’t manage to hit her ass with both hands.

ReubenJCogburn on March 21, 2007 at 2:48 AM

Maybe Blanco can get a job with the DNC. With her “Katrina Legacy”, she’d make a great sideshow with the Screamin’ Dean in “08. Oh, the lies she will weave. Everyone will forget the facts (again) and future generations will be taught how bad those evil republicans were.

And RightWinged, here’s a title for that book…”Katrina and Me”. No, that would be the title of Michael Moore’s next documentary. How about “Stormy Weather”? Hey, that would make a great song title.

Anyway, good riddance. Hope she doesn’t take up driving school busses in her next job.

JohnnyD on March 21, 2007 at 8:13 AM

Vanilla City here we come!

thedecider on March 20, 2007 at 11:24 PM

Flan City, actually. Tens of thousands of illegal aliens have arrived to help rebuild by lowering wages, filling up our emergency rooms and already weak schools, abetting employers’ OSHA, permit, and employment law violations, driving drunk (my mother and daughter were hit by one in August), and improving our conversational Spanish by their failure to assimilate.

Laura on March 21, 2007 at 8:29 AM

With the risk of sounding like a dick, to hell with New Orleans. You’d have to be pretty dumb to live there in the first place.

Darth Executor on March 21, 2007 at 11:00 AM

Flan City, actually. Tens of thousands of illegal aliens have arrived to help rebuild by lowering wages, filling up our emergency rooms and already weak schools, abetting employers’ OSHA, permit, and employment law violations, driving drunk (my mother and daughter were hit by one in August), and improving our conversational Spanish by their failure to assimilate.

Laura on March 21, 2007 at 8:29 AM

If Americans think they’re being crowded out of their country, the answer seems to be having more children. At first, it may seem odd to relate America’s fallback in the Southwest to Social Security and Medicare, but employees’ and employers’ payroll taxes are going to a dying generation instead of being left at the discretion of people who want to be parents, uncles, and aunts. As for “employers’ OSHA, permit, and employment law violations,” the advocates of free markets said all along that regulation reduces a people’s competitive ability. In all, the Americans are slowly dying in their government’s firm grasp, while the Mexican immigrants are just doing what people do with their freedom.

Kralizec on March 21, 2007 at 11:04 AM

With the risk of sounding like a dick, to hell with New Orleans. You’d have to be pretty dumb to live there in the first place.

Darth Executor on March 21, 2007 at 11:00 AM

You don’t sound so much like a dick as like someone who’s substituted a single thing and a single name for an entire region. Metropolitan New Orleans is three-dimensional. Its qualities differ by neighborhood and its neighborhoods differ in elevation. Intelligence or error seems to attach to a decision to live in some particular building in some definite place in the area. Intelligence or error also seems to attach to the ways we generalize and overgeneralize.

Kralizec on March 21, 2007 at 11:19 AM

Somewhere this morning there’s a headline: “First LA woman governor driven from office by Bush-led Republican spin machine”

eeyore on March 21, 2007 at 11:27 AM

To those of you who think John Breaux is OK, think again. While he was in congress (U.S. House, ’72-’87; U.S. Senate, ’97-’05), Louisiana crumbled. Consider, as well, that Breaux’s candidacy, if it actually happens (legal issues may preclude that) and he wins, is to help ensure Mary Landrieu stays in the U.S. Senate (she’s up for re-election in ’08) and to help elect a Dem to the White House. It’s not about Louisiana, kids.

The *only* hope Louisiana has, at this point, is Bobby Jindal in the governor’s mansion and a clean sweep of the State Legislature. Without both, the state will be dead.

Aunt B on March 21, 2007 at 12:12 PM