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Kathleen Blanco And The Katrina Blame Game

Illustration by Jasper Means
Kathleen Blanco

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco: a carpet cleaner’s daughter from New Iberia turned school teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned…Louisiana's first female governor. In 2003, her focus was on education reform, juvenile justice, and economic development. And halfway into her first and only term, it looked like she had a good chance at re-election. But that all changed, with Hurricane Katrina. 

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On top of the sheer devastation and loss of life, the first few weeks following one of this country’s worst catastrophes saw ugly battles between state and federal government, between democrats and republicans, and between a woman in the governor’s mansion and the men in the white house. All of which was put on display by a frenzied media caught up in the spectacle. How did Louisiana’s first female governor fare in that glaring national spotlight? And what does she think about this experience, all these years later?

Listen to Episode 1 of Sticky Wicket about former Louisiana Governor Huey Long.

Listen to Episode 2 of Sticky Wicket about former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison.

Listen to Episode 3of Sticky Wicket about former New Orleans Mayor Dutch Morial.

Read Jeremy Alford's article on Blanco in 64 Parishes Magazine. 

Follow Sticky Wicket on instagram at @stickywicketpod.


Sticky Wicket is part of the “Democracy and the Informed Citizen” Initiative administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities thanks The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership. This radio series and podcast runs in tandem with four articles written in the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ 64 Parishes magazine, and is also in partnership with Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Communication.