At a press conference this afternoon, President George H. W. Bush singled out the Walton Family for their generosity to Katrina relief efforts:
I don’t think anyone would mind if I singled out the chairman and CEO of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, who is right here. He told us that they gave the Bush-Clinton fund a total of $23 million…$15 million from the company and then $8 million more from the Walton family, the marvelous philanthropists that they are.
Let’s put that in perspective. The Walton family’s net worth is $90 billion. So $8 million dollars represents .009 percent of their total.
The average family’s net worth is $86,100. If an average family contributed at the same rate as the Waltons, they’d donate $7.74.
There are thousands of families all around country that are being far more generous to Katrina victims than the Waltons. Few of them will be personally thanked by a former President.
Scott McClellan, 9/1/05:
As I have indicated, this is not a time for politics. This is a time for the nation to come together for those in the Gulf Coast region and that’s where our focus is. This is not a time for finger-pointing or politics. And I think the last thing that the people who have been displaced or the people who have been affected need is people seeking partisan gain in Washington.
This morning’s New York Times:
Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, … and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.
The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett. … In many ways, the unfolding public relations campaign reflects the style Mr. Rove has brought to the political campaigns he has run for Mr. Bush.