Live Blogging: Presidential Address
9:02 PM - President Bush's walk to the podium was a bad start. In 2001, it would have worked. But now everyone is so used to these dramatic entrances that appear forced and a little phony.
9:04 PM - The president's story about the citizen who lost everything but his spirit was a nice touch. While it is a political trick used by all politicians to tell a "real" story, it still works.
9:07 PM - Will President Bush address the issue of race? He has to. If he doesn't, he is a coward. I hope he does. It is important for the nation that we have an honest discussion about race and Katrina.
9:11 PM - I'm glad that the president has credited those who have opened their doors to evacuees. Those are the real heroes, and I'm glad they weren't overlooked.
9:14 PM - The president appears to be doing OK, not great. I do have a problem with his words about the rebuilding without any explanation of his administration's decision to suspend the federal Davis-Bacon law, which guarantees that all construction jobs be paid a fair wage.
Most should suspect that our tax dollars will go to increasing big corporations' bottom lines, while they exploit illegal aliens, not U.S. citizens, for their labor.
9:18 PM - The president is listing his three initiatives, and he mentioned tax cuts for businesses in the New Orleans area. From a policy standpoint, this is a good idea. From a political standpoint, the president should have not made this his number one priority. The president is becoming predictable when it comes to tax cuts. It's always his first priority.
This wouldn't be bad except for the way that Republicans have put tax cuts over other priorities in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Immediately after the disaster, the RNC pushed for eliminating the estate tax. Then Congress wanted to extend tax cuts for capital gains and dividend income. Shameless!
9:20 PM - The president just mentioned "weapons of mass destruction." I hope he didn't really mean "weapons of mass destruction programs!"
9:24 PM - The president is talking about how strong we are as a nation. This is the kind of talk that America needs to hear. Of course, it would have been nice if he said this a week ago, but I guess it is better late than never.
9:25 PM - The speech is over. Not as strong an ending as we are used to from this president. I can't see how this speech solves the president's problems.
9:28 PM - I'm still amazed at how weak the speech's closing was. The president tried too hard to speak in terms that the people of New Orleans would understand, but it didn't appear as if he felt it. It was just like John Kerry when he went hunting in Ohio. Just a little too phony.
9:31 PM - FOX News has four right-wing conservatives critiquing the speech. How fair & balanced! It's too bad that FOX is so willing to mislead its viewers. It's even worse that there are people that buy this stuff.
9:34 PM - The woman on FOX News discussed how Bush appeared to take an LBJ-style liberal view on poverty when addressing the United Nations this week. Of course, most believe that liberals better handle domestic issues. It is wise for the president to lurch left.
9:35 PM - Sean Hannity has Governor Barbour on the show. I wonder how long until the smearing of Governor Blanco begins! She has done a remarkable job. She has handled two storms - Hurricane Katrina and the attacks launched at her by Republicans in Washington.
9:38 PM - On MSNBC, Tucker Carlson, who just called himself a "right-winger," is ripping the speech, because the president came across as "liberal-lite." The president acknowledged that racism causes poverty and has proposed more government. Tucker believes that the right-wing base of the Republican Party is going to be upset with the speech.
9:40 PM - "He (President Bush) is a big spender," said self-proclaimed right-winger Tucker Carlson.
9:43 PM - Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland has given the president some credit for taking a more liberal approach to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He did say that "the devil is in the details," and this is so true. Vague policy speeches are fine, but let's see what the Bush administration does with it.
9:45 PM - Cummings blasted all those critics who are discussing cost. He mentioned that this is about human lives, not money. Well said Congressman.
His comment about how if we can rebuild Iraq, we can surely rebuild the Gulf Coast was brilliant!
9:46 PM - Barbour is now on MSNBC. He talking about tax cuts and how important they are. Apparently, Barbour got the RNC talking points.
9:47 PM - Chris Matthews asked Barbour if he agreed with Blanco's statement that the federal government should pick up 100% of the tab to clean up the Gulf Coast. Barbour dodged the question and Matthews let him off the hook. It is a shame how the Republicans have made this disaster such a partisan issue.
9:50 PM - A black business owner said that he doesn't think racism is the biggest issue. He said that it is money and whether businesses in New Orleans are used or whether the federal government outsources all the work to carpet baggers.
9:54 PM - Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) is speaking to Rita Crosby. He's talking tax cuts too. Again, those RNC talking points really made the rounds.
Vitter is an absolute embarrassment to the state. He came out initially after the storm and attacked the federal government. Then when he remembered that he was a Republican, he flip-flopped and praised the federal government, while attacking Governor Blanco. What a disgrace!
9:58 PM - Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said that the speech probably came up short. Brinkley said the speech was 10-days late, it was not a memorable speech, and it won't stop the loss of confidence that people now have in the president.
UPDATE: Read the speech transcript. View the speech at Inside Politics at CNN.