Saturday, August 20, 2016

Louisiana Flooding, and who turned out to be "Presidential"

By Douglas V. Gibbs, Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

As Louisiana is suffering through the worst flooding since Katrina, my mind has hearkened back to the time when Senator Barack Obama in 2005 gave a speech about how Bush failed citizens that depended upon him.  In 2008, Presidential Candidate Obama slammed Bush again over Katrina, accusing the President of only looking down out of the window of an airplane when he should have been on the ground helping the people.

Yet, as the devastating flooding in August of 2016 reached horrendous levels, President Obama couldn't tear himself away from rounds of golf at Martha's Vineyard.  He won't visit Louisiana until August 23 (Tuesday).

Hillary Clinton published a statement on Facebook about her response to the Louisiana flooding. The statement is a call to support charities doing relief work, and that she won't be visiting Louisiana anytime soon.  In 2005 she became a leading voice criticizing the Bush administration response to hurricane Katrina. “There was nobody in charge in the federal government, and there was nobody willing to take responsibility to work with state and local officials to make sure they were prepared,” she said at the time.

In 2007 when she was running for president the first time Hillary created a radio ad in which she intoned, “If you’re stuck on a rooftop or stranded at the Superdome during a hurricane, you’re invisible to this president, even when you’re on CNN.”

2016 Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and his running-mate Mike Pence are currently in Louisiana. Donald Trump landed on Friday to view the area in flood-ravaged Louisiana.  He consoled homeowners and toured devastated communities, telling one homeowner he is "going to rebuild."  As former Senator Mary Landrieu (note: a Democrat and big Clinton supporter) pointed out, Trump’s visit helps to bring attention to the state in the midst of a major disaster:

President George W. Bush was torn to shreds in 2005 by mainstream media commentators for his initial response to Hurricane Katrina – yet President Obama’s detached response to the recent Louisiana floods has been met with resounding silence from those same outlets.

Much of the media coverage in 2005 criticized Bush for the difficulties the federal government faced in responding to the disaster, and lambasted him for taking too long to return from vacation and to visit the site on the ground.  Mainstream media condemned Bush’s alleged lack of compassion, immediately predicting it would destroy his entire legacy, while Kanye West accused Bush of hating black people.

The Washington Post would later go on to brand Bush’s response the second worst moment of his entire presidency.

Such concerns have been almost entirely absent from media coverage of the Louisiana floods in recent days. During this 2016 disaster, at least 13 people have died, while at least 85,000 have registered for disaster aid.

Obama’s response has been significantly more tepid than Bush’s.  Obama has still not returned from his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.  So far, there have been no mainstream media outlets criticizing Obama’s apparent lack of response, nor have there been any celebrities claiming Obama doesn’t care about the people on the ground.

But, Trump is there.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


Alex. A. said...

You do realise he isn't just the president of Louisiana right? The POTUS, whether it be a hopeful, or current or past, whoever they are. They have duties and responsibilities beyond just any one state. And beyond that, them coming doesn't actually help anything. It pulls resources away from where they are needed and slows work on recovering and aid. Doesn't anyone in the precious south have the courtesy or perspective to understand that? So much for proper and hospitable.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

First of all, it was a golfing vacation Obama refused to cut short, and his criticism of Bush during Katrina was that Bush would not cut his vacation short. It's all about the hypocrisy, my friend.