Katrina Five Years Later: Where Are The Head Honchos Now?

Hurricane Katrina flooded a city five years ago and took with it lives, property and dignity. It also threatened to sweep away the political reputations of nearly everyone it touched. The roles of the key political figures associated with one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history are rarely discussed in a context of praise. A small handful escaped the storm with their reputations unscathed, but those closest to the action mostly could only apologize for a catastrophe that proved the limits of government.   

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    Underwater Transportation

    Sept. 1, 2005: An aerial view of flooded school buses in a lot in New Orleans, La. Mayor Ray Nagin was sharply criticized for not using those vehicles to evacuate residents before the storm hit. 
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    Air Force One Flyover

    Sept. 9, 2005: "Ragin' Cajun" and now retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore served as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina. He was known for his gruff but effective approach to coordinating military relief efforts for areas throughout the Gulf coast affected by Katrina and is credited with turning around a bad situation to an organized response.
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    The Key Players

    Sept. 12, 2005: Vice Admiral Thad Allen and an unidentified man help lift up a downed power line during a tour of downtown New Orleans with President Bush, Lousiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, Lt. Gen. Russ Honore, second from right, and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
    AP
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    Federal, State and Local Response

    President Bush, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco worked together -- albeit not warmly -- even after the waters receded from the Big Easy. In this March 8, 2006, photo, the three are being briefed on flood wall construction at the Industrial Canal levee in New Orleans.
    AP
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    Twice the Gulf Hero?

    Sept. 17, 2005: Then-Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen headed up the relief effort for the Department of Homeland Security. Allen, who criticized New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin for setting up an "extremely problematic" timeline for allowing residents to return to the evacuated city, led the Bush administration's clean-up effort after Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown was relieved of his duties. After later being promoted to commandant, Allen, who recently retired from the Coast Guard, returned to the Gulf again this year to manage the federal government's response to the BP oil spill.
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    Underappreciated?

    Lt. General Russel Honore listens to a Hurricane Katrina disaster briefing during a stop over in New Orleans, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
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    One State and One Reputation Saved

    Aug. 29, 2006: Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour speaks at a memorial service commemorating the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. at the Town Green in Biloxi, Miss.
    AP
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