Posted by: SWL | September 3, 2012

Hurricane Isaac & Presidential Politics

Yahoo! News’ Washington Bureau Chief, David Chalian, was fired last week after making a comment (which he did not think would be public) that Republicans do not care about Hurricane Isaac victims since they continued their convention in Tampa. (Chalian did apologize later.)

Chalian did not make a similar criticism of President Obama for continuing to campaign as the hurricane came ashore.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal reportedly invited both GOP candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama to visit areas affected by the storm. When Romney accepted Jindal’s invitation and toured the area the day after the Republican National Convention ended, he was accused of trying to upstage the President! If he did upstage Mr. Obama, it was because the President was too busy promoting himself in nearby Texas to visit Louisiana immediately after the storm.

Mr. Obama could easily have traveled to New Orleans on his way back to DC after his speech at Fort Bliss. Instead the White House made a big deal of pointing out that the President would “cut short” a campaign stop in Ohio today to see the damage from Hurricane Isaac.

Thoughts and questions about the President’s delay in visiting New Orleans:
* If Mr. Obama were truly concerned about the environment, he would have went to Louisiana from Texas, rather than from Ohio.
* Does the Obama campaign think cutting short a campaign stop makes the President look more compassionate?
* Will traveling to New Orleans on “official business” directly from a campaign stop allow the campaign to avoid paying for the Ohio trip?
* Was the timing of today’s visit thought to be a good fit with the start of the Democratic National Convention tomorrow?

Too cynical??? It is hard not to be after more than half a year of campaigning already. We have to put up with this for 64 more days.

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