Watch CNN's Soledad O'Brien report on the New Orleans recovery effort.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two years ago Wednesday, Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. President Bush arrived in the Crescent City Tuesday night, and plans to talk about federal recovery efforts later Wednesday in the still-devastated region.
It was September 15, 2005, just over two weeks after the hurricane struck, when President Bush talked to the nation from Jackson Square in New Orleans.
Bush said then, "Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again."
But two years later, according to a new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll, 55 percent of Americans we questioned don’t think New Orleans will every completely recover from the storm. 44 percent say it will.
While the federal governments committed more than $110 billion in grants and loans to the devastated region, the money’s been slow in getting to the people who need it the most. That’s something Bush acknowledged at a news conference last August, just before the first anniversary of Katrina, when he told reporters, "It’s going to take a while to recover. This was a huge storm." (Related video: Former FEMA head Michael Brown says he's still angry)
More than half of those we questioned feel the federal government’s not doing enough to help rebuild areas hit hard by Katrina. 52 percent believe the government has not done enough. Meanwhile 33 percent feel that Washington has done enough and only 10 percent say the federal government’s done too much. The poll, conducted nationally August 6-8, carries a margin of effort of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
The White House says it is living up to its responsibility, but the federal government’s response to Katrina damaged Mr. Bush politically, giving Democrats running for the White House plenty of ammunition.
"The work is not getting done. The money is not getting to the ground," former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, said Monday night at a recovery summit in New Orleans moderated by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, at the same summit, said, “I pledge to you this: If we don’t get done what you deserve to have done by the time when I’m President, this will be one of my highest priorities."
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
New Orleans is surrounded by water. It is a bowl if you will. There is no point in rebuilding. It will happen again. It is below sea level!! Why waste money in rebuliding a buried city? Stupid!
The Government shouldn't be giving 1 penny to this rebuilding effort. Anyone with an IQ over 60 knows building below sea level – on the coast is money wasted.
If these yo-yos want to build their house in the swamp again – let them use their own money...not mine!
But let the tax and spend loonies begin spinning.....
Three – two – one
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing!!!
Will be eight (8); full years of empty accomplishments’! This must mean the US is up for a new begging.
I tell you what, why don't we ask the people of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf region have washington done enough to help out in the region instead of asking a national poll. That does not make sense to me to ask people that do not live in the area if Washington done enough!
Slow in getting to the people who need it the most? Of course it is! If the recovery monies were handled professionally, how would crooked republican cronies have a shot at usurping it themselves? One thing about the money the Bush administration doles out for one thing or another,,, Vast amounts of it always disappear unaccounted for. Even with a clear image of who grabbed the loot,, little if anything is done to restore justice to the situations.,,,, I guess I'm just jealous that I have no friends in low places to guide me through the murky waters of thievery and misappropriation.
Areas that are obviously at risk because of their location shouldn't be allowed to continue to grow and grow and then expect the government to bail them out when the inevitable happens and nature runs it's course.
What exactly did they expect building a city at or below sea level. This isn't the Netherlands where land is in short supply.
How much time Mr. President? The wealthy areas of Florida were cleared and rebuilt after 3 hurricanes hit a few years ago and devasted multiple communities. Why it is now 2 years later and the Lower 9th Ward is a ghost town filled with caved in houses, rats, no workers, and very few FEMA trailers? Recovery hasn't even begun in many places in New Orleans. How long is "a while" Mr. President?
Where is the leadership you so proudly proclaim to possess when waging war and occupation? What has happened with the recovery of New Orleans and the Gulf states? Soundbites don't get it. Answer the question.
Is a drive through ALL of New Orleans on your agenda Mr. Bush? Stop talking and act...if you are incapable, then get someone who is.
We the people demand it of you, the "decision-maker".
I hope the media spot light continues to shine on this travesty and not just for the anniversary of this horrible disaster.
"We will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes." Is the Shrub talking about New Orleans or Iraq?
New Orleans represents everything that is wrong with politics.
I know it is easy to bash George Bush about everything that goes wrong, but they all share the blame.
Congress gave them the money but it took them almost year. Where was the Congressional leadership Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama, Mr. McCain, Mr. Biden, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Tancredo and Mr. Brownback?????
So after a year Louisiana gets the cash. It is about time right? They've been waiting right? WRONG Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin weren't ready. And the company Gov. Blanco handpicked to run the program gets 10 cents for each dollar distributed. 10%!!!! Unbelievable! LA politics is so bad – Blanco, Nagin, Jefferson. How do they get elected?
On one point, Mr. Bush is correct...SHOW THEM THE MONEY. Something like 3% of families in Louisiana have gotten a check. This in contrast to almost 90% in Mississippi.
Yet Mr. Bush also must share in the blame. Local leadership was clearly inept and it was a national disaster. The federal government should have stepped in.
If any of you people out there think the government has done enough then you are simply not paying attention. This administration has done virtually nothing, nothing whatsoever. FEMA did manage to kick a bunch of people out of hotels after allowing them to loose everything and get bilked by big insurance companies. When it came down to the life or death situation in the gulf, this administration chose corporations over its own people. Way to pay attention folks, you should be ashamed of yourselves!
Wow – CNN is getting really lax in their editing capabilities.
"every" instead of ever and "governments" instead of "government has"
Anyone who thinks New Orleans hasn't come back because of lack of taxpayer money needs to visit the Vietnamese community who lost their homes. They are 100% back. Their neighborhood is totally rebuilt. AND they didn't get any more money or federal help than anyone else. They did it on their own!
So why can't other neighborhoods do the same instead of sitting on their rears and waiting for Uncle Sam to come save them.