INTRODUCTION One late August day in 2005, a Category 3 hurricane slammed into th

One late August day in 2005, a Category 3 hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast of America, wreaking havoc across large areas of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. New Orleans, with a population of 484,674, was especially devastated as over eighty percent of the city flooded due to the failures of the levee systems and other infrastructure. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath caused approximately $75 billion in damage. An estimated 1,200 people lost their lives, 1,000 in Louisiana and 200 in Mississippi. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which helps track residency and labor patterns, estimates 1.5 million Americans had to leave their homes. About two-thirds had returned a year later.
Many Americans were shocked to see so many fellow citizens suffering for as long as they did, much of it caught in video and photographs by reporters and others on the scene. Local authorities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were accused of extreme incompetence due to what seemed to be an inexcusable lack of preparedness. The criticism extended to President Bush, who was seen by some as out of touch with the struggling storm refugees, who tended to be poor, as New Orleans was one of the poorest cities in the nation at the time. In other words, many Americans wondered if the Bush administration’s mistakes and miscalculations regarding storm preparation and emergency relief were the result of simply not being able to imagine the level of destruction, or would his administration have responded more fully and competently if a richer city had been devastated by the storm? Then and now, with the advantage of historical hindsight, the answer to that question is not settled. However, much of the nation believed that President Bush did not do or care as much as he could have–or should have. It’s one of the reasons his popularity was so low at the end of his presidential service.
Document 1 is a New York Times newspaper article reporting the comments of Barbara Bush, former first lady, during a visit to refugees in Houston.
Document 2 is a political cartoon produced by the artist Patrick Chappatte on September 4, 2005.
Document 3 is a video of President George W. Bush’s full speech on Katrina from Jackson Square.
Document 4 is ABC News coverage of the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the city of New Orleans.
1. Read Chapter 32.
2. Review Documents 1 and 2, and watch, listen, and analyze Documents 3 and 4.
3. Answer the questions that appear after the documents. One full single page or two full double space pages is required for Primary Source Exercises. Submit your responses in the accepted formats and label your answers.
1. What were the issues and developments during Bush’s second term that helped lead to Barack Obama’s historic victory in the 2008 presidential election?
2. Document 1: Why did Barbara Bush believe that many of the refugees staying in Houston’s Astrodome were faring better than they had before the storm?
3. Document 2: What is the cartoonist implying with this political cartoon?
4. Document 3: What is the purpose of President Bush’s statement?
5. Respond to Document 4. What portion of the report makes the largest impression on you and why?

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