Mr. Bush said the fact that the government provided the first images of him looking grave and engaged in the crisis even before Hurricane Rita slammed into the Texas and Louisiana coastline showed that it had learned the lessons of Hurricane Katrina.
"After Hurricane Katrina, it was hours before the American people saw the first photos of me furrowing my brow and looking serious," Mr. Bush said. "But with Rita, we had high-quality images of me looking worried right from the get-go."
While praising the swiftness of the government's photo-op response to Rita, the president said that "much work still needs to be done" to ensure that the government will produce high-quality post-disaster photo-ops even faster in the future.
To that end, he said he was creating a new government bureaucracy, the Federal Emergency Image Management Agency, which would provide the president with lighting, cameras and dramatic backdrops within minutes of any national emergency.
"In times of crisis, the president needs to send the American people the following message," the president concluded. "Message: I look like I care."
Elsewhere, First Lady Laura Bush announced that she would appear on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, while Vice President Dick Cheney said he would appear on Lost.