Public Perception of Oil Spill vs. Katrina

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More Americans have a negative view of the federal government’s response to the oil spill than they did of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, according to a just released ABC News/Washington Post poll. According to the survey, conducted June 3-6, 69% of respondents would rate the federal government’s response to the oil spill as “not so good” or “poor.” In an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted about two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit – and days before FEMA head Michael “Brownie” Brown resigned – 62% of respondents gave similarly poor marks to the federal government.

Neither disaster was the fault of the federal government, of course – one can be blamed on Mother Nature, the other on private industry. But these polls show that the Obama Administration’s early efforts to properly handle or appear to properly handle the crisis fell far short. The Bush Administration’s bungling of Katrina is legendary and its perceived level of competency was a fairly low bar; that the current White House couldn’t clear it is fairly astounding.

Hence, Thad Allen’s appearance in the White House briefing room today.