Sen. Mary Landrieu has served her time as poster child for the Katrina apologists. Not that the she didn't have it coming; as we've noted previously, Landrieu was so effusive in her praise for fellow government officials earlier this week that CNN's Anderson Cooper was fully justified in smacking her down. But the Democratic senator from Louisiana is making amends, and she's doing it fast.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Landrieu said she was tired of hearing people -- including George W. Bush -- blame local officials for the slow response to the hurricane. "If one person criticizes them or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me," Landrieu said. "One more word about it after this show airs, and I might likely have to punch him. Literally."
Landrieu noted that Bush "could have funded" work on levees in New Orleans but cut the funding instead. She also complained about Bush's appearance at the New Orleans airport Friday -- the one in which he made a joking reference to his partying days of the past. "Our infrastructure is devastated, lives have been shattered," she said. "Would the president please stop taking photo-ops?"
Who will take Landrieu's place as defender in chief of the Commander in Chief? After spending most of the week gallivanting around New York, where she is said to have taken in a Broadway show and dropped thousands of dollars on footwear, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is making a strong play. Rice toured her home state of Alabama Sunday, and while there she made it clear to anyone who would listen that race had nothing -- nothing! -- to do with the disparate treatment of Katrina's victims. "I don't believe for a minute anybody allowed people to suffer because they are African-Americans," Reuters quoted as Rice as saying. The secretary of state, who is the highest ranking African American in the Bush administration, said: "Nobody, especially the president, would have left people unattended on the basis of race."