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Obama a No-Show on the Drought

A drought that has spread its misery over more than half the nation, decimating crops and driving up food prices, has failed to attract the public presence of President Obama, who has not visited a drought-stricken area to show his support even as he has traveled widely for his own political benefit.

Though the plague of drought has been spreading for months, Obama’s public involvement has been nonexistent.

Obama has not spoken to the public about the matter. A search of the White House website turns up only a single mention of the word “drought” – from a briefing aboard Air Force One Tuesday by an Obama spokesman who said the president had had a “conversation” with someone about the topic.

Obama today will publicly address the drought for the first time, staging a photo op with his Secretary of Agriculture at the White House. The two men will meet and presumably make statements to the press.

But out in the hinterland, where massive suffering continues, there’s been no sign of the president.

Obama this week has already twice been to the Midwest – ground zero for the drought – collecting money at two fundraisers Monday in Cincinnati and four Tuesday in Texas.

Ironically, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney last week, in seeking to emphasize that the president is actively involved with his job, claimed that campaign events are sometimes cancelled when presidential duty calls:

There will be times, I’m sure, when a planned stop on a campaign — for a campaign event has to be delayed or postponed or cancelled because of some pressing business of the presidency.  And that’s just how it is.

But not for the drought.

The failure to pay sustained attention to the drought is also a political mistake by the president. Food prices may soar before the election, adding a new source of hardship to a nation already gripped by eight percent unemployment and a stumbling economy.

42 Responses to Obama a No-Show on the Drought

  1. Obama’s response to the drought reminds me of his much delayed response to the BP oil spill. I wonder if he’s going to be looking to kick God’s ass for this disaster?

  2. Now he can add one more reason his brilliant policies have been stymied – the tsunami, Bush 43 and now the drought. Don’t worry, as soon as they realize they can blame the drought for higher food prices, he will be in front of a parched field in Iowa with his podium and teleprompter.

  3. Well, he does have 90 minutes on the schedule today to meet with Vilsack about the drought. I just wonder how late he’ll be for the meeting and how quickly he’ll want to wrap it up…

  4. Delayed response to BP – delayed response to opposing states during crippling snowstorms, delayed response to fires in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, delayed response to recent severe weather storms even in Washington and surrounding states where thousands lost power. Did he even respond to some of these? Delayed responses to victims of tornadoes. No response to the thousands of military that have died on his watch. No response to the recent shots fired by a Naval vessel.

    The only rapid response has been to anyone who did not want to follow his plans in lock step or has disagreed with his vision of himself.

    • His only response to the Texas wildfires was to deny them Federal Disaster Area status which then prevented those Texans who suffered catastrophic property losses to qualify for low-interest loans.

  5. His comments today about the drought will go something like this “I’ve been there….Sometimes the Howard Johnsons we stayed at on (uh) vacation would (uh) not have running water and…..Thank you….(uh) This drought I have inherited..(uh) can’t be overcome by the private (uh) sector…Thank you….(uh) ” etc etc etc.

  6. The drought will provide Obama to do more ‘told you so’ blathering as in, ‘Climate change is responsible for the drought… More green jobs… More solar… More wind… More stimulus to fund our green economy for the future.

  7. A parched and dying corn field is not a good background for a photo op–no obvious victims to hug in front of the cameras. . .

  8. You can be certain if it is a celebration or photo op for a sports event — He will definitely show.

    Didn’t miss that basketball game, now did he?

  9. Um, not sure where you buy groceries, but the food inflation has been around for quite a while. The most obvious ploy is the smaller packaging, same price variety. We haven’t been able to grill steaks this summer. Eating lots of chicken and hamburgers and pasta salad. Can’t wait til the effects of the drought hit us.

    But they will continue to waste corn on the ethanol boondoggle, saying it will somehow save the earth and return the rains. We’ll all be starving by then, but hey, what’s more important?

  10. Yes, grain prices will increase yet beef prices should go down. Ranchers are selling off their herds which will create a surplus of beef currently thus lower prices of beef at the supermarket. Then in the 2014-2015 time period expect higher beef prices because the herd inventory was sold off in 2012. It will takes time for the ranchers to rebuild their herds.

    Now would be a good time to have a discussion about why is corn used for making ethanol instead of being used for food. When converting corn to ethanol basically all you are doing is trading BTUs. You spend about one gallon of petroleum and get back 1.3 gallons of ethanol.. The Brazilians do a better job. Their rate of return is using 1 gallon and getting back 8 gallons. They use sugar cane.

  11. I’d just as soon not depend on President Kardashian to cure drought conditions. That is in God’s domain. Obama’s cure can only mean more government regulations and less freedom for us all.

  12. Not going to make food any cheaper for anyone. Gas prices rising again. This is not going to help the country to ignore the drought.

    However, where I live, we don’t have a drought and the corn is looking awesome here. Those farmers are going to make some good money.

    • I live around St.Louis and the corn around here is burning up in the field. Even fields in the bottoms, usually more drought resistant, are turning brown. I’ve seen a lot of fields that I don’t think will get 25 bushels to the acre where they normally push 150+. It’s going to really hurt at the market, egss, milk, beef, chicken, you name it, it uses corn for feed. This is shaping up to be a disaster of unbelievable proportions.

      • Yep . . . and then add the additional costs from energy costs rising and regulations that hurt farmers . . . food is going to get a lot more expensive.

  13. Actually, the drought started 3 1/2 years ago. If you are familiar with the condition known as dry rot, then you can see why the White House fungi has only gotten worse with time. Sadly, even a good gully washer couldn’t cure the current dry rot dilemma. Only the voters can effect a positive cure.

  14. The last couple of days (because of the drought) they have been talking about increasing food costs. I told my husband – the only reason they can say food prices haven’t gone up (despite what they say – they have) is because the packaging is smaller. No longer a 5 lb bag of sugar, no longer a 1/2 gallon of ice cream – the list goes on. Gasoline at my local station was $3.69 last Thursday morning; when I got gas Friday morning it was $3.73 and this morning (Wednesday) it is $3.79. President Obama has been awol on just about everything. I am not naive enough to think that he can change everything, but a true leader would be motivating and inspiring and front and center on all of these things. For goodness sakes, his Senate can’t even pass a budget.

  15. My observation is that President Obama tends to have a certain viewpoint that I guess comes from Chicago politics.

    It runs like this, “The people in your state aren’t going to vote for me (or booed MIchelle or have expressed dislike of my policies), so I’m not going to comment when you burn or freeze or are covered by oil or water.”

    One example is that after criticism of his National Day of Prayer remarks, he just stopped making any acknowledgement of the day — until he needed a Christian posture for his campaigning.

    So, which states are in trouble? Red states?

    Also, being a city dweller, he may just not understand that food comes from the earth before it hits the store shelves and therefore may think that drought only means more clear days for golfing.

  16. Need to show a picture of Obama getting drenched and joking about the ladies
    hairdo’s next to a picture of the dead and dying corn fields in the drought
    stricken areas. He’s not aware I guess that the USA is the largest exporter of
    corn in the world. Also they just said if it doesn’t rain like today prices for consumers will likely go up 10 to 15%. This I the worst in a decade but hey
    it’s in states he won’t carry so who cares obviously not Barry and his organic

  17. Now, Keith, be fair. The WH is working and thinking hard about the drought and just as soon as they can figure out how to blame the drought on Bush, Bain, Limbaugh, or Hoover, he will be making a statement. Remember, the dust bowl started after Hoover left office. Just saying.

  18. Has Obama asked his daughters yet what they think he should do about the drought? Maybe if he would ask them, he would know what to do.

    I bet Malaria asks her daddy everyday, “Daddy, have your fixed the drought yet?”

  19. What do you want him to do, pray to the rain gods for you? Or maybe you are a socialist who wants the government to make it aww betto? Obama may be an idiot but I’m sure that even he can reasonably assume what dead crops look like, and I doubt him taking a ride in a helicopter will bring them back to life.

    The rabbits just ate my tomato plants, where is Obama to help meeee!

    • Oh, he doesn’t have to go look at the dead corn. I think there is little to be gained in Presidents flying around to disasters of any sort. It would be nice if he had mentioned it a little sooner.

    • I think we are thinking that maybe crop disaster needs to be declared so that the farmers can get the assistance they need for next years crops. They get a certain amount for crop insurance, but it does not always cover the loss.

      And there is no such thing as loss insurance for cattle. Cattlemen are going to have to dump their cattle due to lack of feed for the animals. In the short term, cheaper meat. In the long term, much costlier meat.

  20. I dare someone to name one “campaign event, re: $$$” that has been ‘cancelled’ because of “Presidential work”? -LOL

  21. Drought! All the more reason for QE3 (or is it 4, 5, or 6). Obama needs one more gigantic Stimulus ‘push’ to spread the wealth around to combat the dreaded global warming boogie-man. More green jobs, solar panels and wind mills. Bernanke has been keeping the financial markets on edge for the past few months – look for an October surprise! The DEMS are clamoring for it!

  22. hey Keith–as a Michigander, I have to tell you that Texas is NOT IN THE MIDWEST.

    great post otherwise.

    but look, guys: those farmers who are being hurt by the drought are just a bunch of old white guys. they probably even cling to their guns and their religion! you know very well Obama doesn’t care about those people, or notice what’s going on with them.


  23. ETHANOL by law gets the FIRST 5 BILLION Bushels of Corn, off the TOP. OBAMA refuses to HALT ethanol, thus driving up feed and food costs. OBAMA and the DEMOCRATS want you to starve… A VOTE for OBAMA and the Democrats is a VOTE, for $10 gas and way higher food prices…Throw in OBAMA care, the largest TAX increase in the HISTORY of mankind, within 24-36 months nobody is going to have any money or food….EXPECT MASS RIOTS and protests….