The idea that someone like Rudy Giuliani or Colin Powell should be appointed as a “Katrina relief czar” is being heavily pushed right now but I have to seriously question the capabilities of either man, despite their relative bi-partisan popularity.
Powell is simply untrustworthy. As Secretary of State during Bush’s first administration, he was either so bamboozled by Iraq war proponents that he believed the hokum he peddled at the UN before the invasion, or he was unwilling to take a principled stand to prevent an unnecessary war that’s cost tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. Gullibility and/or deference to authority are not qualities that would make him a good choice to get what the victims and communities affected by the hurricane need from this administration.
Giuliani’s reputation as a disaster coordinator is vastly inflated. The destruction of the World Trade Center towers affected a very small portion of Manhattan. Several thousand lives were lost, but the scale of the destruction in relative terms is much smaller. He’s never dealt with the kind of widespread devastation caused by a small hurricane, much less one that’s caused the kind of damage Katrina has. And given his performance over the past few years as a partisan voice, I’d have to question his willingness to stand up for the people affected by Katrina.
Either choice (or any similar names) are just a matter of pimping political celebrities who have no experience with the type of disaster, much less the scope of the disaster. That the Bush administration feels that someone from New York or DC should come in to “take charge” in the Gulf is no big surprise. What is astounding is that anyone else would buy into it.