Saturday, March 31, 2007

Isn't This What you want from a Congressman?

This is an interesting article from Red State about Bobby Jindal's work in the aftermath of Katrina. Can he get elected?

Jindal’s office had set up a hotline number, with the number broadcast over the radio airwaves, for anyone who needed help to call. The calls ranged the full gamut, from the expected to the shocking—from no power, to missing children, to medical supplies needed, to “I’m stuck in my attic with a cell phone and a radio. Please come and save me.”

They had a helicopter pilot call in. He had his helicopter, gassed up and ready to go. But he wanted authorization to go in and save people.

Jindal’s staff called FEMA—they said it was a military issue. They called the Marines—they said it was an issue for the Department of Transportation. They called the DOT—nobody knew who to ask.

Jindal called the helicopter pilot back. “Go in.”

“You got me authorization?” the pilot asked.

“Yeah, I’m giving you your authorization right now.”

A local mayor told Jindal a story after the fact that in retrospect seems like a good symbol for the disconnect between D.C. and Louisiana. After the storm, he’d called FEMA in search of help. They were flooded. They had no power. Can you send someone?

“I’m not authorized to do that, I’ll need to ask my supervisor.”

Thirty minutes on hold.

“Yeah, he’s not able to approve that right now,” the FEMA bureaucrat said. “Could you maybe email the details? I can pass it along then.”

The mayor informed FEMA that no, without electricity, they couldn’t email him. FEMA put them on hold, searching for the answer to this unexpected situation.

Another few minutes. Then they came back on.

“Yeah, see, that’s our protocol here. So if you could find someone to email the details, and then maybe put that last part in the email too? That’d be great.”

FEMA was useless. The governor was looking for someone to blame. Time to solve some problems. Time to use that rolodex.

Jindal and his staff started calling like mad, becoming a de facto volunteer and donation coordinator for the corporate, community, and faith-based entities eager to help. We need a truck with clean water—let’s talk to the beer companies, the soda makers. We need medical supplies—I know a guy with the pharmaceutical companies, they’ll donate something. We need people in boats—let’s talk to the megachurches. They’ve got volunteers up north, but no way to get them here—fine, let’s call down the list to everyone who owns a plane or a helicopter.


Anonymous said...

Yes. Can we clone him?

chuck said...

I've heard only good things about Bobby Jindal. Sometimes I fantasize that he will be president: he's younger than Obama, immensely more occomplished, and anyone who can survive the swamps and alligators of LA politics has got to know a heck of a lot about how things work. On top of that, I'll bet it would play well in India. IIRC, Indians were following the last election for LA governor because of Jindal.

buddy larsen said...

What you three said.

Louisiana is lucky to have him at this place in time.

terrye said...

Yes, this is what we need. Maybe he could run for Governor down there.

I think it also highlights something people need to remember: FEMA is a government agency. They are most definitely not the first responders. Too much paperwork for that.

Barry Dauphin said...

He is running again. He lost to Blanco in 2003 after the Dems tried to paint him as a "darkie" with peculiar intentions. He's more of a known qunatity now, and Blanco has decided not to run because she knows she'll lose. John Breaux, former Senator from LA, is considering running against Jindal. But Breaux lives in Maryland.

terrye said...

Maryland? If I remember correctly Breaux was not that bad a guy. So who will run?

Rick Ballard said...


We need a photo montage of:

Blanco - flooded buses

Nagin - flooded buses

Landrieu - flooded buses

Jefferson - National Guardsmen saving his freezer

Jindal - CG helicopter plucking a family off a roof

Coisty said...

Jefferson and Nagin got re-elected. As in virtually every society in world history (including Iraq) identity (racial, ethnic, and religious) trumps all else. Marion Barry has a brighter political career than Bobby Jindal.

IIRC, Indians were following the last election for LA governor because of Jindal.

How very ethnocentric of those Indians! Whites who behaved similarly are called racists by Indians, neocons and the Left.

terrye said...

Coisty has gone so far to the right that he is mating with the left. He hates anything that has anything to do with neocons....Jooooos. Doncha know. Coisty is your basic Cazi, nazi puls commie.

buddy larsen said...

Jah, ven der socialsts desides to bekomme nationalists, ve gott der national socialists again.