In a possible foreshadowing of what we can expect in the next few days, the Associated Press suggested that there is a political motive behind the massive mobilization occuring in Texas ahead of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Rita:
“Eager to avoid the public pounding he got for his response to Hurricane Katrina, President Bush pledged on Wednesday to be "ready for the worst" as another big hurricane headed for the Gulf Coast.”
Although the article is titled “Administration Prepares for Rita,” the AP spent a lot of time talking about the politics of Hurricane Katrina:
“Democratic critics said the preparations for Rita seemed to exceed those for Katrina, and called anew for an independent panel to investigate why.
“‘It's nice to have the Bush administration recognize the importance of a federal response to Rita, but why weren't they proactively mobilizing and organizing like this for Katrina?’ said Rebecca Kirszner, a spokeswoman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.”
This raises an interesting question: Would the AP prefer that the administration made alterations to procedures that have evoked three weeks of media scorn, or just followed the same playbook?