Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton announced a nationwide fundraising campaign Monday to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, saying they will bring what they learned from reaching out to tsunami victims halfway around the world to a crisis on their doorstep.
"I guess I could say on behalf of all of us that nothing we can do can be an adequate response to the agony we've seen," Clinton said at a news conference at the Reliant Arena. "The reason we decided to do this, not that we think the governments won't do their part, is we need to have a fund where we can fill in the blanks and help people who otherwise will be totally overlooked," he said. "A lot of people, they have no cars, no homes, nothing."
A dozen members of Congress and local and state officials sat on chairs below the podium, among them former first lady Barbara Bush, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). In the exhibit hall a floor below, more than 4,000 evacuees were waking up on cots to another day of uncertainty in one of Houston's newest shelters, reports Washington Post.
According to CNN, He said that the utmost priority was saving people now -- and evaluating the mistakes in the months to come.
"We've got the departments on the ground, we've got the military on the ground, we've got a chance to do it right now, and we should do it right," he said. "And then in an appropriate time we should analyze what went wrong and why and what changes should be made."
As with the 9/11 commission charged with looking at the events leading up to and after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Clinton suggested a bipartisan Katrina commission be formed. It would investigate what went wrong and determine "what is the best structure and what are the best personnel decisions" to make in emergency management, he said.