What Will the GOP Stage Next?

Monday, August 28, 2006

What Will the GOP Stage Next?

In yesterday's New York Times (subscription req'd), columnist Frank Rich writes that the mainstream media seemed to almost swoon over the Katrina survivor who drove from Louisiana to Washington recently to see President Bush. Sadly, he notes, it took others to shed some light on this ordinary visitor:
... Mr. Bush met Wednesday with Rockey Vaccarella, a Katrina survivor who with much publicity drove a "replica" of a FEMA trailer from New Orleans to Washington to seek an audience with the president.

... Mr. Bush granted his wish and paraded him before the press. That was enough to distract the visitor from his professed message to dramatize the unfinished job on the Gulf.

Instead Mr. Vaccarella effusively thanked the president for "the millions of FEMA trailers" complete with air-conditioning and TV. "You know, I wish you had another four years, man," he said. "If we had this president for another four years, I think we'd be great."

The CNN White House correspondent, Ed Henry, loved it. "The White House couldn't have scripted this any better, a gritty guy named Rockey slugging it out, trying to realize his dream ..."

He didn't ask how this particular Rockey, a fast food manager who lost everything a year ago, financed this mission or so effortlessly pulled it off. It was up to bloggers and Democrats to report shortly thereafter that Mr. Vaccarella had run as a Republican candidate for the St. Bernard Parish commission in 1999.

It was up to Iris Hageney of Gretna, La., to complain on the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune Web site that the episode was "a huge embarrassment" that would encourage Americans to "forget the numerous people who still don't have trailers or at least one with electricity or water."

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