As senators, Democrat Mary Landrieu and Republican David Vitter were not directly involved in the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, but wasted no time pushing for a massive $250 billion Louisiana aid package -- which was later whittled down into much smaller chunks -- once the dust began to settle. While Vitter admitted to involvement with a Washington, D.C., prostitution ring, Landrieu has a reputation as a clean, hard-working advocate for the protection of Louisiana's coastline.
However, to maintain their credibility in this crisis, Landrieu, Vitter and other Louisiana congressionals must stand up to the oil and gas industry after this disaster, says political consultant Brylski.
"The one thing I find distubring from our congressional delegation, is that nobody is saying, 'Stop the drilling in the Gulf','" she says, pointing out that officials in Florida have already protested the drilling. Brylski points out that Louisiana is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industries. "This is something the Louisiana delegation needs to own up to."
As the FEMA director responsible for "Emergency Preparedness & Response," Brown was put in charge of coordinating the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina but was quickly pushed out. Nicknamed "Brownie" by President Bush, who praised him for doing "a heckuva job" early on, Brown was criticized for not leading his staff properly and for emails that sounded flippant in the face of mounting disaster.
Today, Brown hosts a conservative talk radio show and works as an IT consultant in Denver. He recently appeared on Fox News arguing that the administration is intentionally letting the oil spill grow in order to garner support for alternative fuels.
Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana's first female governor, took office in January 2004, less than two years before Hurricane Katrina hit land. She was criticized for a slow, disorganized response to the disaster, which claimed almost 1,500 lives. Blanco tells ABC News.com that her predecessors had left inadequate emergency preparedness plans and argues that "nobody" was prepared for its magnitude.
Blanco announced in 2007 that she would not seek reelection, and was succeeded in 2008 by Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican. These days, she's working on a memoir and preparing for her son's upcoming wedding.
Ray Nagin, the charismatic young mayor who galvanized support for his flooded city by openly criticizing the federal response, this month stepped down after two terms in office. He was ineligible to run a third time. Nagin became best known to the rest of the country after an outspoken radio interview, in which he complained that the White House didn't have "a clue" about what was going on and said, "Excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."
But he was also criticized for not doing enough on the local level to minimize some of the calamity, and for failing to revive New Orleans' economy. Nagin has told local media he plans to take a vacation before deciding on his next career move.