Bush sobers up?

Even Republicans are saying his Katrina reaction was too little, too late.

Published September 3, 2005 8:25PM (EDT)

It looks like War Room wasn't alone in wondering exactly how President Bush could joke about his so-called "young and irresponsible" party-boy years while visiting the hell that is New Orleans on Friday. Adam Nagourney and Elisabeth Bumiller report in Saturday's New York Times that Bush has remade his calendar and belatedly marshaled his Cabinet to cope with the disaster -- and the P.R. disaster that's come with it. So far Bush has canceled a Labor Day trip to Maryland and a visit by China's President Hu Jintao.

"The last-minute overhaul of the president's plans reflected what analysts and some Republicans said was a long-term threat to Mr. Bush's presidency created by the perception that the White House had failed to respond to the crisis," the Times reported. "Several said the political fallout over the hurricane could complicate a second-term agenda that includes major changes to Social Security, the tax code and the immigration system." Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt warned that it would be a mistake if the disaster caused Bush to drop his plans for repealing the estate tax and privatizing Social Security, but conceded, "I'm sure there will be some revaluation."

By Joan Walsh

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