Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Inside Report for Mar. 1
By MICHELLE MILLHOLLON
Advocate staff writer
These days, Blanco seems to have lost her sting. She is no longer playing a female version of the Kingfish. Now she is Pollyanna playing the “glad game.”
The governor was in full Pollyanna mode during her news conference at the end of the recent special legislative session. Blanco touted the session as a success. She was glad that levee board consolidation passed. She glossed over what failed, and there was a lot that failed.
“If consolidation of the New Orleans area levee boards was the only accomplishment, I would call this session a total success,” a smiling Blanco proclaimed.
Politicians are known for being the masters of spin control, and Blanco is no different. She is trying to turn a farce into a fairy tale.
The reality is the session spiraled into a nightmare for Blanco. As governor, she set the agenda.
She decided to start the session with a bus trip to New Orleans to show lawmakers the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The tour was to culminate at the city’s convention center, where Blanco would deliver her opening-day speech.
The bus trip was the cue for Blanco to fasten her seat belt. She was in for some bumpy nights.
Once again, Blanco ran into problems in the Senate, where her leaders either voted against her or left early the day of the vote, taking their votes with them.
Blanco was forced to abandon her attempt to shrink New Orleans government like a plane dumping fuel before a rocky landing.
But there is no explanation for the inexplicable battles. For example, Blanco wanted to put the Office of Emergency Preparedness under her direct supervision. It was largely a symbolic move since the Louisiana National Guard oversees the office and Blanco oversees the National Guard. However, the Blanco administration had to scramble to get the votes to move the legislation out of committee.
Blanco said she spoke tersely to the members of her legislative leadership who worked against her. But she also made excuses for them, saying the session dealt with sensitive issues.
If the governor continues in this Pollyanna fashion, she should add the words “et tu” to her vocabulary because she is fast on her way to seeing her so-called friends kill her political career.