It is thought crass to talk openly of the political implications of the New Orleans disaster--unless you are bashing Bush--but sooner or later someone is going to notice that it is the Democrats who face the greatest peril in the aftermath: they may very well lose a Senate seat next year.
Both Mary Landreau in 2000, and Gov. Blanco in 2002, owed their small margin of victory to large turnout from New Orleans. Now probably 200,000 or more of those Democratic voters have been relocated out of state. It is doubtful many of them will be back in New Orleans by election day next year. Some may never return. An absentee voting effort might work, but it will be hard to reach and mobilize that large a diaspora. If the Bush administration can do a decent job of throwing money at the reconstruction (how hard is that?), they may be able to cover up the black eye they got for the chaotic and ineffective response of last week.
I cant want to read the MoveOn and DU posts about how this was part of a Karl Rove plot to disperse Democratic voters so that the GOP can steal another Senate seat.