President Barack Obama visits New Orleans today and he’ll visit areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. Between the Obama and Bush administrations, a reported 71 billion dollars in federal money was allocated to assist recovery efforts in the region. UNO Political Science professor Ed Chervanek says while the federal money helped, the recovery didn’t accelerate until Mayor Mitch Landrieu got into office.
“He brought in people who had contacts with the federal bureaucracy and I also think it helped having Senator Mary Landrieu in the senate, helped kind of grease the wheels getting the federal government to move.”
Chervanek says the federal government did supply billions of dollars to the recovery but is also responsible for the damage to New Orleans because of an inadequate flood control system. He says President Obama did the best he could to aid in the rebuilding of the Crescent City.
“So I think the Obama administration was attempting to make amends on that particular issue and that it seems that FEMA has been much more cooperative under the Obama administration than it was under the Bush Administration.”
Chervanek says Obama wants to make New Orleans a showcase of his administration to separate his administration for Bush’s. He is surprised former President George W. Bush is coming on Friday and says he would’ve thought Bush would stay away.
“I think it is one of the biggest regrets of his presidency and it basically changed the character and tenor of his presidency and that his approval rate dropped significantly and never really recovered after that.”