Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bartlett spin comes up short

Here's what Dan Bartlett said before the SOTU on Katrina:
Q Any recognition of Katrina in the speech?

MR. BARTLETT: Yes, a lengthy recognition of the duty we have to help the people of the Gulf Coast, quite frankly, not only to recover, but to address some of the underlying problems that were there before the storm even hit, to make sure that we build back better schools, provide better economic opportunity to the region. This will be something that will be very specific and very -- and a direct commitment by the President yet again. (emphasis added)
And what was actually in Bush's speech:
A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency -- and stays at it until they're back on their feet. So far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We're removing debris and repairing highways and rebuilding stronger levees. We're providing business loans and housing assistance. Yet as we meet these immediate needs, we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived.

In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country. The answer is not only temporary relief, but schools that teach every child, and job skills that bring upward mobility, and more opportunities to own a home and start a business. As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope, and rich in opportunity.
Many have discussed this point in the wake of the speech...you decide how much recognition is carried in these words or whether there are any specifics here. How reassured would you feel if this were your city or region?