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Friday, October 21, 2016

Heckuva Nerve, Brownie! Former FEMA Head Criticizes Obama’s Hurricane Response

As President Barack Obama attempts to manage the the recovery from Hurricane Sandy just days before the presidential election, he is receiving some unsolicited advice from arguably the worst possible source: former FEMA Director Michael Brown.

Brown, who oversaw the tragically mismanaged disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (and was famously told “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” by then-President George W. Bush), has resurfaced with some very curious statements on disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy. On Monday, Brown told the Denver Westword that the Obama administration was actually responding to Sandy too quickly.

“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown asked of the president. “Why was this so quick?”

Apparently not content to make one embarrassing headline and slink back into obscurity, Brown expanded on his comments on a radio show that he co-hosts with David Sirota. While Brown said that he had no substantive criticism of the Obama administration’s response, he also claimed that Obama squandered a political opportunity by not getting “more mileage” out of the tragedy.

The president should have just—he could have just made a comment while he was in Florida that says, “you know my FEMA director is on top of this and we’re gonna do everything we can when the states ask us to come in and help.” Boom. …

He would have been better served politically to let everybody else—Bloomberg, Christie, Cuomo, O’Donnell [sic] – all of them make whatever statements they were going to make. Call for their evacuations. And then he could have stepped up, very presidentially, and said “And by the way, I have instructed my FEMA director to give the states whatever they need as the storm approaches.” I think he would have gotten more mileage out of it. In other words, he peaked too soon.

Audio of the interview is available below, via ThinkProgress

The irony of Brown lecturing anyone on the politics of disaster relief is almost too rich to believe, given how Hurricane Katrina played out politically for the Bush administration. After the federal government left the city drowning for days — getting maximum “mileage” out of the crisis, as Brown might put it — public opinion turned sharply against the Bush White House, and President Bush’s image never really recovered. Bush would later say that musician Kanye West’s infamous post-Katrina accusation that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” marked the “all-time low” point of his presidency.

As for Brown, he resigned from FEMA in disgrace two weeks after Katrina hit New Orleans. He briefly re-entered the public eye in 2011 when he published a book calling George W. Bush a “fratboy” who “didn’t get” the seriousness of the situation in New Orleans. In retrospect, the charge seems odd; after all, by waiting for days before providing tangible support to the suffering people of New Orleans, Bush essentially followed Brown’s advice for President Obama.

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  • DukeDacat

    “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job”
    How ironic now that this guy reacted so fast to critize President Obama about Sandy, when he took so long to respond to Katrina when he was the guy in charge of FEMA.

    If Romeny is elected we will get this guy and the whole Clown Car full of them back for for 4 more.

  • “Heckuva Nerve, Brownie! Former FEMA Head Criticizes Obama’s Hurricane Response” That’s one of the funniest headlines I’ve read in a long time! If you didn’t know “Brownie” was referring to former FEMA Director Michael Brown, you might think they were referring to Obama’s skin color!

  • The shitheads attitude of ignoring the horror of the disaster, and focusing on the political gains to be made, seems to echo the Romney mentality exactly.

  • patuxant

    Was this Brownie’s idea of making a comeback and defending his stint as FEMA director during Katrina by making this statement? What a jack-o-lantern!

  • Brownie is an idiot of the highest order! As horrific as his inactions were in responding to the needs of the Katrina victims in New Orleans now, all of a sudden, he has the audacity and nerves to try and criticize the president. It shows how stupid and still out of touch with reality he still is. His reputation is irreparable. It will go down as the worst response to a natural catastrophe by a FEMA official in U S history. Brownie is simply being used as a tool by the Romney campaign to try and score some political points while President Obama is being presidential by doing what he is suppose to be doing and that is responding appropriately and in a timely manner to the hurricane Sandy victims. There is one major problem: the messenger Brownie is very flawed. Brownie, once again, “you’ve done a heckuva job!” NOT!!!

  • Brown Noser rises up to the surface of his moral sewer, I see!

    You know? Between this advice making it almost certain that Mitt comes off as another heartless neoconservative by comparison with Obama (who wisely did everything possible to NOT be like Dubya OR Brown) and Bush himself going to the Cayman Islands (home of Mitt’s money), one would almost think they are setting Mitt up for not hiring them along with virtually all of the Bush foreign policy adviser team.

  • ryueire

    Brown, what a fucking moron you are. A useless bag of shit that should be flushed with extreme prejudice.

    To think this was the FEMA director under the last republican presidency. And think harder people, Romney has many of the same advisors from the last republican admin. So, what kind of judgement does that future, God forbid if he is elected, bode?

  • Brecholle

    Look who’s calling the kettle black!!! What’s the matter Brownie? You miss all the attention and admiration for doing nothing. What an arrogant ass this guy is. Just because you prostituted your position to the highest bidder especially in trailer sales, you feeling left out? Neoclowns!!! Unbelievable!!!