President Obama's Trip to New Orleans Draws Criticism -- Before He Even Arrives

"This is not going to happen overnight, it is not going to happen tomorrow, but it is going to happen," Biden said. "Look, we don't want anything like the past happening again."

Some policy analysts have credited the Obama administration with taking the right steps out of the gate in order to get money moving more quickly to those who needed it and making key Cabinet members more visible and involved in the process.

Amy Liu, deputy director of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, said that Obama made three critical appointments that have made a significant impact working with state and local officials dealing with the continued recovery efforts. They are Napolitano at DHS, Donovan at HUD and FEMA Director Craig Fugate.

"I think there are some really important accomplishments they have made in terms of getting the business of recovery right," said Liu, who has studied the region's post-Katrina recovery. "It is a process. He's accelerated the process of recovery and improved the responsiveness of recovery."

Liu added that, despite the criticism by the locals, the trip is far less important than what happens next, especially with the five-year anniversary coming next year. It is a critical date to a region that was promised a 10-year recovery plan.

"Can we now point to some visible improvements and game-changing reforms to say that we are not rebuilding the New Orleans of the past, but really using our public investments to put New Orleans on the path to true prosperity?" Liu asked.

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