Over the past few weeks there have been a lot of people asking if the BP oil spill is 'Obama's Katrina'. They have it wrong; they have it reversed. This oil spill is not a Katrina repeat, it is the complete opposite.
People saw Katrina coming, and though people may not have known just how bad it would get the storm took no one paying attention by surprise. They knew they had to get out, evacuate, get to a safe place ... a decidedly local government issue. The local government is the first stop, if you are told to leave your home because a storm is coming no one should expect the president of the United States to be driving the bus. President of the PTA or some other local group, maybe. What happened in Katrina was a massive screw up on the local level. A screw up so monumental that the federal government had to step in. Despite the local screw up, and the federal save, it was President Bush that got most of the blame.
The BP oil spill is something that we may not have seen coming specifically, but something that there are plans for. More important for the comparison, this is decidedly a federal responsibility. What is happening now is that the federal response is so inept that the local and state governments are now stepping in. Despite the federal screw up, most of the blame has not been directed at Obama.
Just to recap:
Katrina -> Local problem/issue, local screw up, federal save, President gets blamed.
BP Oil Spill -> Federal problem/issue, federal screw up, locals stepping in, President not blamed.