My understanding was that the Governor of Louisiana asked the federal government for food and supplies, but did not ask for help evacuating the people, nor did she ask for the National Guard to stand by. My impression is that she thought they would be ok despite the warning of a CLASS 5 hurricane.
On the other hand, the president and his cabinet should have know that being president is 99% PR, and that despite symantec's and the chain of command, the Federal Government should have been at the ready in case the emergency got out of hand - which it did. If the President had swooped in at a timely matter and showed his support sooner, people probably would think differently. Instead he was caught off guard by the media while on vacation and made to look like he doesn't care. He should have been smarter and been at the ready.
By proposing an $80 billion dollar bill for support, he is doing the right thing at least. New Orleans needs to be rebuilt. I don't think Bush is a bad person, I just think he is not very smart. Everything was handled poorly, and a lot of people and organizations are to blame.
I am a registered Republican by the way.