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Populist Figure Lashes Out

Arianna Huffington is annoyed that President Bush has flown over Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to view the Hurricane Katrina devastation from 2,500 feet. Maybe she feels disrupting rescue and relief efforts with motorcade is a better idea. Or maybe, Arianna is just upset he isn’t wading around so she can attack his fly fishing outfit.

Also, Arianna doesn’t want to hear specifics of how people are being helped. No, no, no. The mention of the tents, ice, and meals people will need makes her head spin:

And, like the president, Chertoff and company came armed with plenty of designed-to-obfuscate numbers. In one head-spinning riff, Chertoff rattled off info on "39 disaster medical assistance teams," "1,700 trailer trucks," "truckloads of water, ice, meals, medical supplies, generators, tents and tarpaulins," as well as the Coast Guard’s "three national strike teams" and other "ships, boats and aircraft" that had "worked heroically for the last 48 hours, rescuing and assisting well more than 1,000 people who were in distress." But still no mention of those unavailable Guardsmen or the funds that were taken away from shoring up Lake Pontchartrain and shipped over to Iraq.

Even having cabinet members and agency heads at a press briefing annoys Arianna: “It had the feel of the old circus bit where clown after clown after clown piles out of the impossibly small car.” I guess anything smaller than the Town Car waiting for her when she steps off a private jet must seem impossibly small.

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Mr. Moffat is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.

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