But it seems to the politically smart thing would have been to fire Brown and ask Colin Powell to run the entire relief operation Herbert Hoover style (note to those reared on a generation of Democratic rhetoric, Herbert Hoover saved millions of lives as perhaps this country’s greatest crisis-administrator). Powell may have his faults, but he can make bureaucracies hop, knows logistics better than almost any top tier political figure in America and he’s great on TV. This would have shut down a lot of criticism, gotten rid of a political liability, and put a well-respected and competent black face at the forefront of a politically radioactive situation and an enormous humanitarian challenge.
Please: to emailers on the pro and con side, note that I’m not talking about the merits of firing brown. I’m talking about what would have been the savvy political move, assuming Powell would say yes (and various players in the Bush orbit wouldn’t veto it).