President Obama’s critics have jumped on his lack of an appearance to the flood zone in Louisiana. They compare his lack of visiting to President George W. Bush’s inaction to Hurricane Katrina. They’re wrong though in some ways they’re right.
Bush was heavily criticized partly for not going to Louisiana, but most of that came from him not ending his 30-day vacation a few days early and his inept response to Katrina. Obama on the other hand has done a good job providing federal aid to the state.
Trump visiting the state was positive in that it did bring attention to the flood which has ruined thousands of homes and killed at least 13 people. Other than that is was just a photo op for Trump to hand out Play-Doh for 49 seconds (which was about as long as I could make it through his speech last Saturday) and make cracks about Obama’s golf game.
If Obama had visited the state in the early stages it wouldn’t have accomplished much and probably had diverted resources away from helping those in need. He will be in Louisiana this Tuesday. The state’s governor asked that Trump, Obama, and Hillary Clinton stay away for a few days.
What doesn’t help the president are images of playing golf and telling reporters he’s having a great time in Martha’s Vineyard contrasted to footage of a woman being saved from drowning. He’s either tone deaf or really doesn’t care about the perception. Maybe he doesn’t care what the critics say. It’s not like they can hurt him. It’s difficult to differentiate between serious criticism of Obama like deals with Iran and disaster response to the ridiculousness of mom pants.
Perhaps the contrast should be that neither Obama or Hillary Clinton has attempted to use the tragedy and suffering in Louisiana to score political points as Trump did. It’s not that I think Trump doesn’t care about those affected by the flood. I don’t think Trump cares about anything but Trump.
Trump donated some money to the relief effort and brought attention to the issue. But handing out Play-Doh with Mike Pence for less than a minute doesn’t help anyone.
Though the Play-Doh may explain what’s going on with Trump’s hair.
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