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The President's Response to Hurricane Andrew

President Bush, selling himself to voters as the man they can trust to act decisively in a crisis, failed to make advance preparations to handle the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew that had been expected for two weeks. The delay didn't help his image of one who wants to be seen as a take-charge hombre. He was more responsive to foreign-relief operations that command worldwide attention.

Bush's campaign advisers, panicky about losing Florida's 25 electoral votes, hope to turn the despair and skepticism of the beleaguered storm victims to gratitude for belated assistance. The president played Santa Claus with federal funds, promising to rebuild the shattered homes and facilities in the stricken areas while the housing crisis plaguing the rest of the country continues to deteriorate unattended. Florence Fox, La Jolla, Calif.

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