Donna Brazile, CNN contributor and former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was born in New Orleans and much of her family was still in the city when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. In a column for CNN.com, she says Bush was "as good as his word" in responding to the disaster.
He visited the Gulf states 17 times; went 13 times to New Orleans. Laura Bush made 24 trips. Bush saw that $126 billion in aid was sent to the Gulf's residents, as some members of his own party in Congress balked.
Bush put a special emphasis on rebuilding schools and universities. He didn't forget African-Americans: Bush provided $400 million to the historically black colleges, now integrated, that remain a pride, and magnet for African-American students. Laura Bush, a librarian, saw to it that thousands of books ruined by the floods were replaced. To this day, there are many local libraries with tributes devoted to her efforts. ...
Our recovery can be credited to the civility and tireless efforts of President Bush and other Americans, who united and worked together to help rebuild the Gulf and the place of my birth, New Orleans.
At the time (and still today) the Bush administration was widely criticized in the media as being ineffective in its relief response to the Katrina aftermath.