Gov. Blanco Is Another Katrina Casualty

Governor Kathleen Blanco, D-La., testifying before Senate Finance Committee on Capital Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005 in Washington. AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has announced that she's not going to see re-election this year. Her poll numbers are woefully low, so I suppose it wasn't a big surprise. But politics in Louisiana isn't always easily understood — that Ray Nagin was re-elected mayor in New Orleans is a perfect example.

Hurricane Katrina was the great equalizer, though — no one got high marks for his or her performance, from the feds ("Browney, you're doin' a good job) to the local cops, dozens of whom disappeared when they were needed most.

Gov. Blanco worked hard to rehabilitate her image. Her redemption was to be a state program called "Road Home" that's supposed to get case into the hands of people ready to rebuild.

We were down there months ago when the program started, and so many people went to the Web site that it crashed. More than 100,00 people have signed up now, but only 3,000 have gotten their money.

That's not redemption. That's criminal negligence.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.



  • John Kreiser

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