Bush says Ala gov first used `Heck of a job’ line

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Former President George W. Bush says a phrase that haunted him after Hurricane Katrina – “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” – was inspired by a statement of praise for his embattled FEMA chief from Alabama’s governor.

“I never imagined those words would become an infamous entry in the political lexicon,” Bush writes in his new memoir, “Decision Points.”

According to Bush, he had asked Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour if they were getting the federal support they needed when he met with them on the Gulf Coast five days after Katrina’s devastating blow. Both said ‘yes,’ and Riley commented that “Mike Brown is doing a heck of a job.”