The New Republic reminded us recently that, “Someone forgot to inform Jeb Bush that, Hurricane Katrina isn’t funny. In one of his most ill conceived statements yet, Jeb Bush recently compared a Senator to Hurricane Katrina. Because her name is Katrina. Only weeks later, the Washington Reports Jan. 22 that mommy dearest has penned an open letter to her son, praising him on what a Great President he will be and of all of his, what Barbara Bush perceives as, wonderful qualities.
It’s almost like the Bush family doesn’t have somebody nudging them saying, “Psst. You shouldn’t say that out loud. Ever.” There appears to be a true disconnect in many cases between what the Bush’s hear inside their heads, and what gets said out loud, in front of real human beings. It’s as if they have no idea how they come off to people.
You would think someone would be whispering in Jeb Bush’s ears, during a Presidential campaign, that, of all families, yours is the one to steer away from Hurricane Katrina jokes, Mr. Bush. But that isn’t happening.
This is just all so interesting. Barbara Bush probably thought the Katrina jokes were funny and quippy when her precious son said them out loud, to people with ears. Many of whom found them outrageous.
Some of them may have even been actual Katrina survivors. Not that this appears to matter much to the Bush family.
Barbara Bush was the mother of the President at the time Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana, and along the Gulf Coast in August 2005. It was her that was quoted by the New York Times, 10 days after that happened, suggesting that the Katrina “refugees” had somehow experienced upward mobility in life by being shepherded to the Houston Astrodome for a mass evacuation. Yes, she said that.
She hinted that, living in a stadium with hundreds of other people, was a step up for the families devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The New York Times reported this Sept. 7, 2005, which was exactly 10 days since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana, and killed thousands of people. The Bush Administration was not doing so well at the time.
They were being highly and publicly chastised for not attending to the needs of the Gulf Coast during a crisis. President George W. Bush was accused of having blood on his hands. Many that still live in the region still feel that he does.
In this particular 2005 interview, Barbara Bush was supposed to be doing damage control on that. Instead, she was also making light of this terrible situation. The New York Times says in a radio interview she said,
“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway. So this is working very well for them.”
The White House, in other words, Barbara’s son, wouldn’t respond to that comment, or make a statement on that comment to the New York Times, at the time. What can you say after a comment like that? Hurricane Katrina categorically, in a category 5 kind of way, put the Bush Administration in trouble.
Which is precisely why most people would think Jeb Bush would hush up on the topic. But he didn’t. Maybe he forgets that his brother was really good friends with then-Mayor of New Orleans at the time.
Jeb Bush opening the door for Hurricane Katrina jokes, shines a light on that little pickle. The Bush-Nagin association was not good for the Bush Administration either. And it won’t be a good one for the future either, if there ever is another Bush Administration.
Just a few days after devastation swept his city New Orleans, instead of helping his people, Ray Nagin was in the bathroom of Air Force One taking a shower. In other words, while there were stranded and starving people still waiting, as they had been for days, for help on their rooftops, their mayor was high-fiving the President and taking a shower on Air Force One. Harry Connick Jr. wrote a song about it called “All These People,” a song about how “nobody came” to help, all those people.
What is former Mayor Nagin doing now? Time.
Former Ray Nagin of New Orleans who was mayor during Hurricane Katrina, is now doing jail time for the way he failed the city in the middle of this devastating crisis, and during his political time in office. In September 2014 he reported to federal prison for a 20 count conviction that included corruption, bribery, money laundering, and conspiracy, for actions that occurred during his mayorship and “the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005” reports Fox News.
And he was good friends, all buddy buddy with the Bush’s right after Hurricane Katrina. Our slideshow shows many years of relationship between George Bush and Ray Nagin.
Does Jeb Bush really want to be making jokes about it? Who does he have as a manager? As the New Republic said, someone in the Bush campaign needs to put out a “Hurricane Katrina = Not Funny” memo.
CNN reported that this gaffe of Jeb Bush’s came just on the heels of the year end in 2015. CNN reported Dec. 30, that he was trying to be “lighthearted” when he referred to South Carolina Senator Katrina Shealy as “Hurricane Katrina.” She introduced him at a town hall meeting, and he promptly compared her to a national tragedy that killed 2,000 Americans and devastated his own brother’s Presidential reign
What Jeb Bush was actually trying to do, was highlight how great he is at handling hurricanes. Well, he wasn’t there in 2005 for Louisiana, and neither was his brother, who should have been. Bring up any hurricane, Jeb Bush, any one at all.
All of his advisors likely had a collective facepalm over that one. Did he really — Yes. CNN reports that he said,
“In fact, when I was Governor, in 16 months we had 8 hurricanes and 4 tropical storms. One of them was called Katrina….I don’t know why your great State Senator reminds me of a hurricane. But she does. You should be honored to have her as your elected official. I hope you agree with that. That should be your nickname. In the Bush family, we always give out nicknames. Yours is now Hurricane Katrina.”
It is of no surprise to anyone, that nobody in the Bush family had already called that one. “Oh, can I be called Hurricane Katrina now?” That is not a conversation heard at the Bush family dinners.
CNN reports the crowd laughed. Because what else can you do. That is, besides collectively tweet out, “Awkies!” when Jeb Bush pulls another one of his gaffe-isms.
The good Senator Shealy politely laughed it off and referred to it as a compliment. What else can you do? The Bush campaign told CNN they had nothing to add. What else can you do?
Ask your mom to write an open letter about how awesome you are? Not recommended. Not a whole lot of moms coming out on the campaign trails with letters about their favourite person.
But Barbara Bush did. The Washington Post reports today Jan. 22 that the nickname Barbara Bush has in the family is “The Enforcer.” They reported today that she recently released a video where she pens a letter on all of the wonderfulness of Jeb Bush.
“Jeb has been a very good father. A wonderful son. A hard worker; his heart is big. When push comes to shove people are going to realize Jeb has real solutions, rather than talking about how popular they are, how great they are. He’s doing it because he sees a huge need, and it’s not being filled by anyone. Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who could solve the problems. I think he’ll be a great President.”
The Washington Post reported today that a letter had also emerged, where Barbara Bush acknowledged she admits “to being prejudiced as I am his mother.” A letter than disappeared off of the Washington Post article with only a box containing the phrase “removed due to copyright infringements.” The Post also says that George Bush said at a November fundraiser for Jeb,
“I’m typically not a very good pundit, but I’ll tell you this – what appears to be reality today will not be reality next February. The winner is going to be somebody who’s competitive. The winner is going to be somebody who’s tall.”
Well as long as they are tall, America will be fine then, right? What gaffe will he make next? Last time Jeb Bush was saying yes, I said single mothers should be shamed. Now, he’s making fun of Hurricane Katrina.
Watch the video shown here, from 2005, that shows what life was really like in the Astrodome, and how the Bush Administration was being perceived. What do you think of Jeb Bush making light of Hurricane Katrina?