The Southern Republican Leadership Conference closed out a rich few days in New Orleans over the weekend. On Thursday, Sarah Palin once again urged the faithful to "reload." A straw poll on Friday and Saturday found Mitt Romney running neck-and-neck with Rep. Ron Paul -- that's the black-teens-gave-white-women-AIDS Ron Paul -- as the favored GOP presidential candidate in 2012. Romney won by a single vote. And speakers repeatedly praised the New Orleans rebuilding process as both a success (really?) and a conservative showpiece. Sen. David Vitter even demanded, "Gimme a who dat?!" But the weekend's biggest eyebrow raiser had to have been the revised history of Katrina offered by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who heads the Republican Governor's Association. Video's above. Talking Points Memo reports:
The chairman of the RGA and another in the parade of potential 2012 contenders to take the podium in New Orleans today, Barbour led his remarks by thanking the Bush administration for the way it handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which slammed Mississippi's coast as it did New Orleans. To say the least, it was a surprising position for any politician -- much less one from the Gulf Coast -- to take. "Candidly I want to say thank you to the federal government," he said. "The federal government gets a very bad rap about what happened after Katrina. The federal government was very generous to us after the storm and I want to say thank you for that."
Wow. Barbour went on to bizarrely argue that this "generous" federal response offers a lesson in "stewardship" of taxpayer dollars, because Mississippi has passed audits of its recovery-dollars spending with flying colors. And then he somehow spun that point into an argument that President Obama and the "Pelosi-Reid Congress" have created a "man-made disaster." Up is down, down is up and the feds' "generous" response to Katrina proves it. Got it?