The cable networks have just carried a live feed of Air Force One landing at Andrews Air Force Base. The president strode smartly down the steps of plane, saluting a couple of military officers with one hand while holding his Scottish terrier in the other.
The commander in chief is back in command, and not a minute too soon. The mayor of New Orleans just said that the death toll in his city is "minimum, hundreds," and "mostly likely, thousands." He said that there are a "significant number of dead bodies in the water," and that New Orleans will not be "functional" for a matter of months.
What will the president do now that he's back in Washington? He'll give a televised speech from the White House at 5 p.m., and he may contemplate sending active-duty U.S. soldiers to New Orleans to help stop looting there. Appearing on CNN, Adm. Timothy Keating, the chief of the U.S. Northern Command, said he's awaiting a request from the governor of Louisiana and an order from the president of the United States.