September 18, 2005


I Will Rebuild With You, Mr. President (Donna Brazile, September 17, 2005, Washington Post)

On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush -- in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Bush called on every American to stand up and support the rebuilding of the region. He told us that New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast would rise from the ruins stronger than before. He enunciated something that we all need to remember: This is America. We are not immune to tragedy here, but we are strong because of our industriousness, our ingenuity and, most important, because of our compassion for one another. We are a nation of rebuilders and a nation of givers. We do not give up in the face of tragedy, we stand up, and we reach out to help those who cannot stand up on their own.

The president called on every American to reach out to my neighbors in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast. The great people of this country have already opened their hearts in the immediate aftermath of the storm, and their tremendous generosity has done more than just provide extra comfort -- it has saved lives. Now the crisis of survival is over. But the task of rebuilding remains, and the president made it clear that every single one of us has a role to play.

Each of us belongs to some group -- a church, a union or a fraternal organization, or even a book club -- that can make a difference. It is those groups that can pool resources and then reach out to their counterparts in the stricken states and ask, "What can we do?" Schools, Girl Scout troops, Rotary clubs -- this is the time for every community group to step forward to lend a helping hand. We need it.

The president also laid out the federal government's goal for rebuilding. It is unprecedented in its scope and ambition, matching destruction that is unprecedented as well. He made the challenge clear: This will be one of the biggest reconstruction projects in history. But he also made it clear that we can and will do this. New Orleans, Biloxi, all of the Gulf Coast will rise again. And the residents are ready to pitch in and do their part.

I know, maybe better than anyone, that there are times when it seems that our nation is too divided ever to heal. There are times when we feel so different from each other that we can hardly believe that we are all part of the same family. But we are one nation. We are a family. And this is what we do. When the president asked us to pitch in Thursday night, he wasn't really asking us to do anything spectacular. He was asking us to be Americans, and to do what Americans always do.

Not yet a Republican....

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2005 8:51 AM

Did you mean bleeding heart?

Hearken back one post to a statement that the left accuses us of lying because that's what they do without even thinking about it.

Brazile is a little smarter than the average bear and I think she'd like to get some of the glory and the booty from the president's initiative for herself and for her party.

Do I think for a moment that she's sincere? Not a chance.

Posted by: erp at September 18, 2005 10:34 AM

She has voiced contrerian sentiments in the past, only to snap back into line, presumable after a few "How could you write/say that?" phone calls or e-mails from others in the party hierarchy. In that way, Donna comes across as a smarter. campaign manager version of the Washington Post's Richard Cohen, who writes about one decent column every full moon or so, then goes back to penning what's expected of him (and certainly way more savy that the Democrats' other female campaign manager, Susan Estrich, who also occassionally falls into a moment of lucidity but then goes so far off the deep end you'd have to send a sub to the bottom of the Pacific trench to haul her back).

Posted by: John at September 18, 2005 10:54 AM

The president called on every American to reach out to my neighbors in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast.

Now you're speakin' the Left's language: Everybody send money and we'll pretend to get along for a while.

Posted by: John Resnick at September 18, 2005 11:19 AM

She's had my respect on numerous occasions. That's softens my heart for the rest. Others can't quite muster the same frequency of level-headedness. See Gore, post concession speech.

Posted by: RC at September 18, 2005 11:30 AM

Whether sincere or not, We need to make note of these items when they occur.

Brazille, whom I never held in very high regard, has gravitas (for the left anyway).

I too fear the spending that will flow re: Katrina, but it looks like Bush will make some lemonade out of this lemon.

Further, if this expands housing vouchers while providing excuses to bust Davis Bacon, it can't be all bad.

If the only way to get 10-15% of the black vote is to buy it, why not use this opportunity to do so (we will spend the money anyway)

Posted by: Bruno at September 18, 2005 11:51 AM

Further, as long as you don't buy their premises, there is nothing wrong with "speaking the left's language."

How else can one peel them away?

Posted by: Bruno at September 18, 2005 11:57 AM


Neighbor love is the Left's nemesis.

Posted by: oj at September 18, 2005 1:08 PM

OJ, Bruno: I know . . . I know. Just feeling particularly skeptical today.

Posted by: John Resnick at September 18, 2005 5:11 PM