No comment. I'll just let NY Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller tell the story, she was clearly having fun with this:
NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 12 - President Bush made his first trip here in three months on Thursday and declared that New Orleans was "a heck of a place to bring your family" and that it had "some of the greatest food in the world and some wonderful fun."
Mr. Bush spent his brief visit in a meeting with political and business leaders on the edge of the Garden District, the grand neighborhood largely untouched by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina, and saw little devastation. He did not go into the city's hardest-hit areas or to Jackson Square, where several hundred girls from the Academy of the Sacred Heart staged a protest demanding stronger levees.
Mr. Bush's motorcade did pass some abandoned neighborhoods as it traveled on Interstate 10 into the city.
"It may be hard for you to see, but from when I first came here to today, New Orleans is reminding me of the city I used to come to visit," the president told the local leaders at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, an independent group set up to attract business and tourism to the city.
Mr. Bush added that "for folks around the country who are looking for a great place to have a convention, or a great place to visit, I'd suggest coming here to the great New Orleans."
Mr. Bush, who appeared to be trying to spread optimism in a city that is years away from recovery, did not tell the group or the city's residents what many were hoping to hear: that he would commit the federal government to building the strongest possible levees, a Category 5 storm protection system.
The president ignored questions about the city's new rebuilding plan, introduced Wednesday night to enormous community criticism, and White House officials traveling with Mr. Bush declined to offer opinions. The plan, which depends on nearly $17 billion more from the federal government, gives neighborhoods in low-lying parts of the city from four months to a year to attract sufficient numbers of residents or be bulldozed.
Ok, maybe a quick comment. Readers may remember Bush's last trip to New Orleans, when he declared at a September 15, 2005 photo op in Jackson Square that his administration would "do what it takes" and "stay as long as it takes" to rebuild the Gulf. The administration then proceded to drag its feet for over 100 days, tried to cut aid for Gulf rebuilding, and ultimately signed a package that will do little to help Gulf residents.