The day before Katrina, Blanco asked for help from the federal government:
"I have determined that this incident will be of such severity and magnitude that effective response will be beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance will be necessary," Blanco wrote.
David Vitter delivered the federal government’s response:
White House senior adviser Karl Rove wanted it conveyed that he understood that Blanco was requesting that President Bush federalize the evacuation of New Orleans.
The resulting tug-of-war between the state and the national governments for control of the evacuation and rescue caused nothing but trouble.
Who to blame? I guess it depends on if you think “supplementary federal assistance” = “federalize the evacuation of New Orleans.”