THE BLOG

The Base Hillary Didn't Touch

09/26/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary Clinton's job, we were told, was to unite her supporters behind Barack Obama. The speech she gave had several mentions apiece of her chosen themes -- ending the war (!), universal health care, helping the middle class. In a speech that ran nine minutes past its end-of-prime deadline, there was room for Harriet Tubman and the suffragettes, the typical vignettes about the unforgettable people encountered on the campaign trail, even room for some gentle poking at John McCain. Only one thing was left out.

Three years ago this Friday began what UC Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea has called "the greatest man-made engineering disaster" in the history of the United States. Bea with his partners devoted more than a year of pro bono work to investigating that disaster, which involved the flooding of up to 80% of a major American city for weeks, and the exiling of a third of its population to this very day. It was an event the response to which proved the commitment of the current government to a simple proposition: you can't rely upon the federal government to keep its promises, to come to the aid of a stricken region in its hour of greatest need.

Is it possible Hillary Clinton hasn't read or heard about what happened to New Orleans? Or was it just not on her poll-tested list of bases to touch on her home-run trot following a triple?

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