Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned Monday after coming under fire over his qualifications and for what critics call a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.I'm becoming cynical. My first thought, on reading that last paragraph, was: "And if you believe that, I've got some land in southern Louisiana you'll want to buy, sight unseen." An old joke, predating the hurricane. Then I thought: "Well, what does this say for the Bush Presidency? One of the few resignations in the history of this Administration, and once again Bush is out of the office, and doesn't know anything about it."
"Today I resigned as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency," Brown said in a news release.
"As I told the president, it is important that I leave now to avoid further distraction from the ongoing mission of FEMA."
David Paulison, a 30-year veteran of fire rescue work, was named acting director by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
Brown's resignation came three days after Chertoff recalled Brown to Washington and replaced him as the point main for Katrina relief efforts.
Asked about the resignation as he toured the devastated city of Gulfport, Mississippi, President Bush said he had not talked with Chertoff and could not comment.
It is significant, I suppose, for the fact that it finally happened, and that someone with actual experience in the area replaced him. Still, I expect the Senate to have a field day with this one when someone is actually named to the position.
After that e-mail to his friends, though, I also have to wonder what was bleeding all over his bed this morning.