When President Obama mentioned Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at his New Orleans town hall Thursday, the name was met with a resounding chorus of boos.
"No, no, Bob is doing a good job," the president told the crowd at the University of New Orleans. "Bobby, if it makes you feel any better i get that all the time," he continued, and the crowd laughed. More seriously, he added, "Even though we have our differences politically, one thing I will say is that this person is working hard on behalf of the state, and you gotta give people credit for working hard." This time, the audience cheered.
The president promised New Orleans residents that his administration would never forget the city.
Obama noted that sewers and roads damaged by Hurricane Katrina still need to be repaired. Houses and hospitals are still vacant, he said. And schools and neighborhoods are waiting to thrive again.
"I promise you this," Obama said. "Together we will rebuild this region and we will build it stronger than before." He announced a new working group to coordinate restoration projects across the Gulf Coast.
The president also touted the progress made in the city since he became president: Reconstruction projects have moved forward that had stalled due to disagreements over whether the state or federal government would foot the bill. And his administration has sent more than $1.4 billion in additional federal aid toward repairing and rebuilding Louisiana.