I'm Not A Real Governor, But I Play One on TV

Recent documents released to Republican aides to a special house committee investigating the federal response to Katrina contained emails from staff members to Governor Kathleen Blanco. The contents of the messages illustrate a paranoia among her staffers who were consumed by fears of Blanco not looking like a strong leader in the days just after the hurricane.

Trying to avoid a public relations disaster, aides to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco fretted over her not appearing in charge after Hurricane Katrina hit, even worrying about her clothing, documents released Monday show. Thirteen pages of e-mails sent in the immediate days after the Aug. 29 storm also reflect the Blanco administration’s concerns over race relations _ specifically, the number of black victims leaving Louisiana to find shelter.

The dialog in this email is especially rich.

Aides also had concerns about Blanco’s physical appearance and discussed ways to make her look strong but compassionate. Their ideas, according to the e-mails, included having Blanco “put a few bags of ice in the hands of the citizens who need it” and stop “doing too many ‘first lady’ things.”

“Gov. Blanco might dress down a bit and look like she has rolled up her sleeves,” press consultant Kim Fuller of Witt Associates wrote in a Sept. 4 e-mail to aides including Bottcher, Mann and Kopplin. “I have some great Liz Claiborne sports clothes that look kind of Eddie Bauer, but with class, but would bring her down to level of getting to work.”

“She would look like a woman, but show she is MOVING MOUNTAINS,” Fuller wrote.

Style over substance. Sounds like the Democratic Party to me.

Comments

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