Tuesday, September 13, 2005

No Political Agenda?

Today's Boston Herald has an article on another out-of-state speech by Governor Mitt Romney, this one in front of the conservative Manhattan Institute. During the speech, the governor spoke at length about the hurricane Katrina disaster, and the government's response to it. Of course now, with the resignation of Mike "Heckuva job, Brownie" Brown, some are dropping Romney's name as a possible long-term replacement. From the article:

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions had mentioned Romney as "the type of individual" who could oversee the $61 billion Katrina cleanup job.

"We need someone without a political agenda who can report directly to the president to help coordinate this relief because the potential for fraud, waste and abuse is so great."
How the Senator (who is actually from Alabama, not Arizona) managed to say the words "Mitt Romney" and "someone without a political agenda" in the same breath without cracking up, I'll never know. Apparently, for Republicans, that is code for "willing to carry the administration's water." Already Romney has backed off his earlier statement that FEMA was "an embarrassment" that made him "shake [his] head" and he's now, in that very same Herald article where he's praised for his lack of agenda, claiming that the blame lies squarely on state and local officials. Here are Governor Romney's remarks from yesterday:
"You have to have a leader. Someone who grabs the reins and says, 'I'm in charge,'" Romney said."What I saw ... was the apparent absence of the state and local level on the ground -- someone who was calling the shots."
Never mind that whatever it was that Romney "saw" in those first few days of the disaster he saw from television in his palatial Belmont estate. Never mind, too, that it is reasonable to expect FEMA or Homeland Security to fill any vacuum left by local leaders when dealing with a flood that stretched the equivalent distance from Boston to Framingham. Apparently, Romney got the memo from the administration that it was time to deflect some of that blame onto the locals. The result: another stunning "turnaround" for our Governor. You know, the one with no political agenda.