“Resolve” and “compassion.” They are the twin attributes called on by President George W. Bush to overcome the aftermath of Katrina. But as the waters recede, revealing more devastation, the president’s approval rating is also falling. It is just 38 percent.
Despite arranging a morale-boosting visit to the region on this the fourthanniversary of another American trauma, the latest survey finds that 53 per cent of Americans no longer trust Bush to make correct decisions. In his weekly radio speech, he called for Americans to recall the spirit of September 11 to help rally the country. But on the ground, the clear-up operation continues door to door – painstakingly slowly so as not to miss anyone. Although there are 36,000 volunteers in the field, the Red Cross is launching a drive to recruit 40,000 more. While New Orleans has been descirbed as “a city for the dead,” Houston is one of the cities for survivors. Some 2,000 alone are camped out in the city’s astrodome. Federal official estimates of just how much Katrina is likely to cost the US are being put at between 100 and 200 billion dollars.