I really don't like to find fault at times like this, but one thing that was missing was a quick recognition that in such a situation the potential for civil collapse is nearly 100%. Once the weather settles, you need to immediately declare marshal law and send in the MPs. That's basically what Haley Barbour did in Mississippi - there were a few early problems but very quickly the MPs were patrolling what was left of Biloxi and Gulfport and keeping a lid on things. Back on Tuesday when I put on the news and we all saw Kathleen Blanco bursting into tears, I knew that was the wrong message and would bring trouble. Louisiana and New Orleans basically have those touchy-feely, "I'm okay, you're okay" soft-leftie types in charge. Their education took a few days and has been expensive.
So I hope you're Watching Mississippi. Highly recommended - we may have found our next President out of this (you heard it here first).
Well, it's not the first time someone has tapped Governor Barbour as a presidential hopeful. One of the political mags we read--either National Review or The New Republic, I forget which--has already made that prediction. Also, several Mississippians I know have said they read the governor's signing of the Ten Commandments bill (allowing the display of the Biblical text in some state buildings and which pleased the right to no end) as an indication that he may be gearing up for a presidential bid.
Before Katrina, it was difficult to gauge how effective Gov. Barbour truly is due to the fact that, in Mississippi, the legislature holds the lion's share of the power. In the face of unprecedented budget deficits, he attempted to brutally cut funding for education and Medicaid, which I supported, but was forced to compromise due to public outcry, political pressure and legislative stonewalling. However, he has not hesitated to rein in the legislature using special sessions and refusing to sign bills unless his conditions are met. Unlike his predecessor, Gov. Barbour has not allowed our elected state officials to emasculate him.
He has his shortcomings and his quirks, but I like him. His ability to handle the crises of Katrina has been down right admirable. I'd vote for him. Again.