“One of the creepier vanities of most political leaders is the private yearning to be tested on a historical scale,” writes David Remnick in this week’s New Yorker, in a piece about Bush’s response to the New Orleans-Katrina disaster. “Bill Clinton used to confide that, no matter what else he did as President, without a major war to fight he could never join the ranks of Lincoln and F.D.R. During the Presidential debates in 2000, George W. Bush informed his opponent, Al Gore, that natural catastrophes are ‘a time to test your mettle.’ Bush had seen his father falter after a hurricane in South Florida. But now he has done far worse. Over five days last week, from the onset of the hurricane on the Gulf Coast on Monday morning to his belated visit to the region on Friday, Bush’s mettle was tested — and he failed in almost every respect.”