Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Michael Brown still doesn’t get it…

I watched some of the Michael Brown interviews today and it’s obvious this guy still doesn’t get it. Christopher Shays said it best when he described Brown’s reaction as a “deer in the headlights”.

He’s in full CYA mode right now, blaming Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin for not getting their act together and higher-ups in the Dept of Homeland Security for not approving a budget request for more advanced communication gear. He may be absolutely right in both of these claims, but it doesn’t exculpate him of his truly feeble performance during his Nightline interview with Ted Koppel. Why didn’t he say then that he was afraid to send his workers into the SuperDome? And now he claims that he was “just tired and misspoke” when it looked like he learned from a reporter that there were people in the Convention Center that needed help. I think what happened was that he was, truly, a “deer in the headlights” in that interview with Koppel, totally out of his depth. And, now that he has had some time to think about what happened (and probably gotten advice from some fellow lawyers), he’s trying to justify his response (or lack of it). Leadership is being able to perform when the pressure is on and he clearly failed to do that.

He let President Bush down. But, as I’ve said before, it was Bush who appointed Brown, a man with no prior experience in running disaster recoveries before he came to FEMA, so I have little sympathy for either of them.

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