Katrina Five Years After

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Hurricane Devastated Political Futures as Well as New Orleans.

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf region, killing nearly 2,000 and displacing more than 250,000 others from Louisiana to Florida. This week, in a series titled "Hurricane Katrina: Five Years After," FoxNews.com looks back on the costliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States.

Hurricane Katrina flooded a city five years ago and took with it lives, property and dignity. It also threatened to sweep away the political reputations of nearly everyone it touched.

The roles of the key political figures associated with one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history are rarely discussed in a context of praise. In Katrina lore, the heroes were the citizens, the aid workers and those who opened their homes and cities to the de facto refugees in Texas, Georgia and elsewhere -- not the public officials.

A small handful escaped the storm with their reputations unscathed, but those closest to the action mostly could only apologize for a catastrophe that proved the limits of government.

"Is there anybody who people look at and say, 'You know what? That person really came through'? In terms of political figures, no," said Peter F. Burns, political science professor at Loyola University New Orleans....

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