Is This Obama’s Katrina Moment?

The following letter to the NYT sparks an interesting column from Frank Rich. First, the letter:

President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.

This is a defining moment for his presidency, and how he responds will determine the trajectory of his term. He needs to deal with the excesses within the financial industry with the same toughness and conviction that President Ronald Reagan brought to bear during the air traffic controllers’ strike. To date, he is sorely wanting.

We are not interested in the level of outrage the administration is feeling, but in the effectiveness of its response. So far, it has come across as hapless and completely ineffectual. This Obama voter would like to be spared the speeches and the posturing on the Sunday morning shows — action is what is needed.

And then Rich’s column:

A CHARMING visit with Jay Leno won’t fix it. A 90 percent tax on bankers’ bonuses won’t fix it. Firing Timothy Geithner won’t fix it. Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts, his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed.

…To get ahead of the anger, Obama must do what he has repeatedly promised but not always done: make everything about his economic policies transparent and hold every player accountable. His administration must start actually answering the questions that officials like Geithner and Summers routinely duck.

Read the rest here.