The Katrina Presidential Fitness Quiz
Question One: You are the president of the United States, you are in the last week of your annual
five week vacation at your ranch. It has been a working vacation, you have been riding your bike, using your machete to clear
brush, firing up that chain saw and golfing. Generally, you have worked hard to avoid doing the job you were elected to do
- being president of the United States. Although you are exhausted, a storm is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico - a category
five hurricane named Katrina is bearing down on a major American city New Orleans. The danger is imminent, so you:
a) Immediately summon Air Force One and get your butt back to Washington, DC to make sure that the Department of Homeland
Security and FEMA are prepared to evacuate the City of New Orleans.
b) Continue your vacation because you need to work your short game.
c) Make a speech on your Social Security destruction package.
d) Have your Chief of Staff assemble the cabinet to discuss the roles that their departments might have to play to deal
with the disaster.
Question Two: Although you decide to continue your vacation, you remember you were criticized
for being on vacation and ignoring urgent threats of a terrorist attack on New York and Washington, D.C. prior to 9/11. You
ask God for guidance. God is notably silent and you remember that he was pretty upset with you because you would not speak
to the mother of a dead marine that died in Iraq for your oil-based foreign policy. Desperately seeking someone to intervene
with God on your behalf, you call Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, but they are not home. What do you do?
a) Beg the lord to forgive your heartless and anti-Christian demeanor to Cindy Sheehan because you really need his advice.
b) Board Air Force One and instruct the staff to get you as far from New Orleans as necessary. Tell them to get a copy
of "Easy Rider" for you to watch.
c) Authorize more illegal wiretaps of US citizens.
d) Get Condi to play Amazing Grace on the piano.
Question Three: Hurricane Katrina slams New Orleans and the gulf coast. The levees in New Orleans
break flooding most of the city. Hundreds of thousands flee New Orleans and the city is in ruin. FEMA relief efforts fail
and the evacuation of New Orleans is incomplete. What do you do?
a) Publically denounce the mismanagement of FEMA.
b) Admit that you were caught "with your pants down" on the crisis.
c) Get Karl Rove working on a cover-up like he did for the 9/11 crisis.
d) Publically applaud FEMA Director Michael Brown and announce he is doing "a heck of a job."
Question Four: It has been common knowledge for decades that the levees in New Orleans could
not withstand a Category Three hurricane. You remember someone telling you that FEMA had predicted that a hurricane hitting
New Orleans would be one of the three worst disasters likely to strike the United States. You know that the other two were
a terrorist attack on New York (which happened) and a major earthquake in San Francisco. You also know that the Department
of Homeland Security advised the White House "at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, hours before the storm hit" in an urgent message that,
"Any storm rated Category 4 or greater will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching."(NYT 1/23/06). By September
1, 2005, you now know that the levees did break and the city did flood. Karl Rove tells you that the American people are going
to question why you didn’t do anything about evacuating the city and continuing your vacation. You have no good answers
and it looks like you really screwed it up this time, so you:
a) Deny that New Orleans is in the United States. When confronted that it is, you claim you didn’t know and though
Mexico would handle the hurricane response.
b) Blame Bill Clinton.
c) Assure the terrified American public that "come hell or highwater that the Saints will complete the NFL season."
d) Go on national television on September 1, 2005 and say that , "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."
We all know the George Bush's answers here: ? One - b; ? Two - c; ? Three - d; ? Four - d.
But the bigger issue is whether these were the right answers for a president of the United States. Our panel of government
experts disagrees with the President, do you?
Our panel went with response (a) to question 1, response (b) to question 2, response (a) to question 3, and response (b)
to question four. Bush's "work on the short game" was just a little too disinterested for our experts for several
reasons, but this photo of a Crawford area golf pro might explain the Bush response; Bush's decision to "run
away from his problem by boarding Air Force 1" is the right answer and very consistent with his 9/11 response and his call
to serve in the United States armed forces during Vietmnam; Bush's decision to "congratulate Michael Brown"
was premature, the better answer was (a) and Bush missed a real opportunity; response four was right on - always blame Clinton.