If the thing you are most famous for is botching the recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and leaving thousands stranded in the New Orleans Superdome, maybe you should just never “joke” about the Superdome or the behavior of the people you left stranded in there.
More than 20,000 people sought shelter at the Superdome, and the cameras caught it all: towering garbage piles, putrid waste, tens of thousands of hungry, half-clothed people awaiting evacuation. There were reports, some later debunked, of rapes, murders, and suicides inside the bubble.
To television viewers elsewhere in the country, the Superdome became synonymous with the hurricane and the chaos it wrought, seared on the national consciousness like a psychic wound.
Michael Browne, FEMA director during immediate Katrina recovery, last night:
I just can’t.