The Man of the Hour in New Orleans is Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, one of the highest-ranking African American generals in the U.S. Army. As soon as he hit the ground, his lead from the front style contrasted favorably to that of President Bush.
Honore immediately ordered his troops into action, and the results, for once, were swift.
There were quick successes. Minutes after the military convoy halted near the convention center, Guard members were hiking up the ramp to where thousands were waiting -- some cheering, some cursing. The soldiers set up mess lines for food and water, ladling out pork rib lunches and bottled water to the famished refugees.
Mayor Nevin heaped praise on the new arrival:
"That's one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done," Nagin said admiringly. "He came off the doggone chopper and he started cussing and people started moving."
The general also downplayed the over-the top stories about criminal attacks in the city:
"By-and-large, these are families that are just waiting to get out of here. They are frustrated; I would be, too. I get frustrated at the cash register counter when the paper runs out."
Contrast Gen. Honore's style of reacting to persons in need with that of President Bush:
The general came to rescue of one young mother trying to carry her twin babies down the street in the terrible heat and humidity of New Orleans, Starr reported. The mother was so exhausted the children were almost falling out of her arms.
The general went up to the woman and took both of her babies, handing them off to soldiers to carry, as he promised the mother that they were going to get her some help. The troops helped the three hurricane victims to a Coast Guard ship, where they were treated for exhaustion and dehydration.