Wearing only the latest in fashion, baby blue guayabera, Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff stepped off his military helicopter yesterday looking more like he was headed for vacation than the disaster zone that is Galveston.
Chertoff came down to the island to assess damage and check in on current operations, and by that we mean he was there to shake hands with locals for a good ol’ photo op.
Hair Balls was present to see the dog-and-pony show when it came to town and we’d be surprised if anyone didn’t. Because more than half of the media personnel present were the DHS in-house "press corps," a public-relations squadron that included countless photographers, tons of video cameramen and at least one actual reporter.
Chertoff spent his time skirting Hair Balls and other reporters' questions, deciding his time was better spent playing the “grip and grin” game with a slew of individuals.
After introducing himself and asking a few DPS troopers a few irrelevant questions, he moved along to a local family, waiting for a bus ride out of this war zone. He made sure to pause for an extra long shot with a small boy, asking his name and slowly speaking to him like the youngster somehow would have a better grasp of what he was saying.
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The prepubescent kid just stared up at this creepy old man in his holiday attire, probably not knowing him from the Easter Bunny. At this point, Hair Balls puked a little in its mouth, and this was followed with Chertoff -- of course continuing in turtle talk with extra emphasis for everyone to hear -- telling the kid, “You’re going to leave soon.”
At this point we just wondered when he was going to roll up his sleeves, climb one of those piles of rubble on the Seawall and plant the American flag on top.
We planned to follow him through the rest of his baby-kissing campaign but we figured the six Suburbans full of our brethren DHS "journalists" would do such a great job, why bother… Right?
-- Brett Koshkin