As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

For Obama, The Perfect Storm

I’m wondering, was Hurricane Isaac spun up by Obama’s political operation? Are these people that good?

Okay, first of all, let’s pre-but all the accusations that I’m suggesting anyone is a monster. Or at least, that I’m suggesting they’re more of a monster than they actually are.

I don’t think anyone wants another hurricane to slam into the Gulf Coast. But if it has to happen, let’s face it, few natural disasters could politically benefit President Obama more.

Hurricane Isaac is going to hit New Orleans or close to it on exactly the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

I’m already seeing reporting suggesting a favorable contrast between Obama’s big government approach and the small government philosophy of George W. Bush, tying the latter to the crisis that engulfed New Orleans after the 2005 storm.

And both the storm and Obama’s reaction to it are distracting and will distract from the Romney-Paul coronation in Tampa, which, unfortunately for Republicans, is just a relative stone’s throw from New Orleans.

Every CNN story about Romney, for example, will be followed by video of wind-blown Anderson Cooper clinging for his life to a stop sign in New Orleans. Goodness knows, MSNBC may ignore Tampa altogether for the “human drama” developing in southern Louisiana.

Obama need do little more to benefit politically from all this than by being president. As president, he has no choice but to let the country know he is on top of the disaster, and I know he sincerely wants to ensure the response is as effective as possible.

But of course, his political advisers will be carefully choreographing and calibrating his every public move. And if they’re effective – and I know they will be – the press will be celebrating how “measured” his response is and how ardently he is trying to avoid seeming politically motivated.

Obama already appeared at the White House this morning to get the ball rolling on his public response, an appearance which indeed is something I’m confident he would have made under any circumstances.

But here’s the big question: What will he do Thursday?

The storm will hit the Gulf Coast late tonight or early Wednesday, inflicting its wrath during the day on the coast and parts directly inland during the lead up to Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech Wednesday night.

By Thursday, Isaac will be well inland, and the destruction it will have wrought on the coast will be evident, and response operations will be in full gear. Thursday night, Gov. Mitt Romney gives his acceptance speech.

There is absolutely no reason for Obama to go to Louisiana on Thursday. His presence will offer nothing but symbolic support, and possibly interfere with the response.

If he wants to go, he can go Friday. If he goes Thursday, it’s a political appearance, and should be paid for by the DNC.

83 Responses to For Obama, The Perfect Storm

  1. But he’s already blown off Gov Jindal so he’s not too worried unless it gets
    worse and he can make some traction off of a disaster. Truly I hate to be this
    cynical about a horrendous disaster but we’ve seen this man do these things
    for himself before and this close to the election during the RNC convention is
    a gift to him very sad.

    • Don’t worry about being cynical Lizzy. Let’s remind the voters how obama reacted to the gulf oil spill and contrast his reaction to this calamity. It’s all policial to him. He could care less about the citizens.

      Wouldn’t it be great to hear Kanye West say: “Obama Doesn’t Care About Black People”

    • you know, that is a good point. Now NO has a republican mayor and LA has a republican governor and they will handle the situation well and Obama will get the credit. Crap, life sucks. Yet some of the nasty tornadoes over recent years never got the coverage of how long it took for people to get assistance, the media totally ignored it just the same way the media totally ignores the soaring homeless rate in this country the last 4 years but you can bet 6 months into a Romney administration Newsweek/Time will have cover stories about the homeless.

      Sucks being a thinking conservative. So much easier being a feeling liberal.

      • Those poor people who were hit by the tornadoes; it was as if they didn’t even exist. I don’t think Obama ever visited until he gave a commencement speech at a rebuilt HS. Wow, thanks for showing up, buddy.

        The media is responsible in all of this also. They don’t report the news; they package stories for selective drama. Journalistic integrity is a thing of the past.

        Of course, Keith is exempted from my rant on the media.

          • It’s your own fault. Flyover state folks like yourselves tend to take care of your own and actually are willing to do the work of rebuilding and restoring your communities yourself. You are industrious and self-motivating, and therefore of no use or interest to the socialist in charge. Now if you were to curl up in the fetal position and whine about how the Government needs to make it all better, maybe Daddy would share some of his takings from the hard working folks…

  2. Even worse than juxtaposing the convention with Anderson would be a complete interuption of the convention for an “emergency interuption”. I could absolutely see Obama holding a press conference mid convention speech.

    • That was exactly what I was thinking. POTUS comes to TOTUS right as Romney is making his acceptance speech, and blathers on for 30 minutes on how “HE” has saved the Big Easy, all the while the GOP was partying in Tampa.

      Matthews will get such a tingle up his leg that he’ll think he sat on a 220 wire.

  3. Local news just announced Obama’s coming to Norfolk,VA next Tues with the location details to be announced later….. the locals are miffed as it’s the first day of school and road closures are always a headache when he visits town.

  4. I love how Obama became ‘America’s weatherman’ this morning. “By my order…blah, blah, blah…” Evidentally New Orleans is not as concerned – there are no evacuations.

    It’s impossible NOT to think the Obama campaign is behind the 24/7 coverage of Isaac. MSNBS has spent the last few days hyping it – ‘how bad it’s going to look if all those balloons are released at the Convention while hundreds are dying or losing their homes’.

    The truth is – Obama is PRAYING for a disaster between today and Friday. He proved how much he ‘cares’ after the Gulf spill. Hurricaine Issac is right up his alley – made to order.

      • Well, since Obama claims that even the weather is his to command, are we left to assume this is his doing? And, since the Dems were saying the hurricane was headed to the GOP convention as proof that God (who they only belive in when He serves their purposes) hates Republicans, does that mean that God changed his mind and now hates New Orleans?

        Intellectual inconsistency, thy name is Democrat.

    • Does everyone agree that if this hurricane were aimed at Texas, and not New Orleans, that no reporter, let alone the President, would care or be there to report?

  5. I still can’t believe the RNC cancelled Monday’s opening – it was supposed to be the ‘Bash Obama’ day. What a bunch of sissies!

  6. It is too early to know but I think the thing to be worried about is the heavy rains and resulting flooding. If the storm goes up the Mississippi it could bring some needed rains for the farmers in the Midwest although it is too late to help this year’s crop.

    • Yep, good catch. As long as the levies in NO hold, this is not going to be a bad hurricane, I’ve been thru a CAT1 before (Irene 1999) and it’s not a big deal. But when the storm moves inland, it’s going to provide a lot of drought areas of this country a lot of needed rain and will provide water for the Ol’ Miss and maybe get traffic flowing on the river again.

      I say GO ISAAC! Move quickly north and rain rain rain!!!

  7. Going back to the Katrina disaster brings up how PrezBush was slammed in the media for not…..not…doing something. but,.for having a stupid man at the head of FEMA. It was a ‘perfect storm’ of a natural disaster with a man-made catastrophe made worse by the stupidity of building a city below sea level in an area hit yearly with hurricanes.

    Americans cared about the victims of this disaster, up to a point. When FOX’s Rivera was standing outside the Astrodome complaining that no one inside had any water, Americans wondered how stupid the people inside were not to take care of their own needs as best they could.
    Then America wondered at the people who needed to be rescued from the roofs of their homes; when do you leave your home….when the water is at your ankles, or at your knees or when the couch is floating around the living room or do you just sit there and wait for help.

    None of these things were GWBush’s fault, nor could he have prevented any of it from happening. People died, were made homeless, but the POTUS doesn’t control MotherNature or the carelessness of people who live in the path of hurricanes.

    We’ve read and seen PrezObama criticized for not visiting different areas of our country where natural disasters have also claimed innocent lives and destroyed homes and businesses. That doesn’t mean he didn’t care anymore than PrezBush didn’t care about the Katrina tragedy.

    • Agreed with you up to the last paragraph. With the current preezy, it’s all political. If the disaster happens in a blue state/swing state, he’s there. Red state; not so much.

    • There’s a very old joke about a guy who’s told to evacuate his home due to impending floods. He tells them, “No, God will take care of me.” The floods come and his house has water to the first floor. A boat comes along and he tells them, “No, God will take care of me.” Same thing when he’s flooded to the second floor, and again when he’s sitting on his roof. The waters rise more and he drowns. He gets to the pearly gates and he is mad at God. “Why didn’t you take care of me?” God answers, “I sent three boats, what more did you want?”

    • the failures in Katrina lie at the feet of the mayor and governor, not the president. Remember the pictures of the parking lot with all the empty buses that could have been used to evacuate people but were left so they would be ruined and the school district could get new busses?

      The feds came in AFTER it became apparent that the local government was unable to act. And all those horror stories of what was happening in the superdome turned out to be false, but it made great news for a week.

      The media has an agenda. If it happens during a democratic admin, it’s not the democratic leaders fault. If it happens during a republican admin, it’s the republican leaders fault.

      If something goes bad in LA with this hurricane, you watch, it won’t be Obama, it will be the republican mayor and governor who will get all the blame by the media, this time. Even if they do everything possible.

  8. If I am correct, Bush was criticized for his “slow” response to Katrina because he followed protocol and waited for requests from the mayor and governor. Did obama follow this protocol or just jump in front of the mike to tell us what MY government and I will do?

  9. Long time lurker and fan, I just had to jump in and point this out. This line near the beginning of the post “And both the storm and Obama’s reaction to it are distracting and will distract from the Romney-Paul coronation in Tampa” was confusing at first – it could be read as “Mitt Romney – Ron Paul” which would certainly be an unlikely combo. I know Keith meant Paul Ryan, but the last name, first name change is confusing.

    Great blog, please keep up the terrific election coverage.

  10. …sticking to C-Span here. I only get mad watching the bloviates who never have sense enough to SHUT UP.
    I thought Priebus handled Matthews pretty well yesterday (speaking of bloviates). You can’t outshout a bully, no matter how old he, she, it is.
    And/but I did think Mika and Joe don’t mind losing control over their show. They’re fools.

  11. Why are hurricanes only news worthy when they hit NOLA? Florida gets hit but the difference is that the people prepare for it. So there’s not the drama and politicians can’t cash in on it.

    Bush got a bad rap for Katrina in Louisiana. The local and state politicians screwed up ROYALLY and then conveniently blamed Bush. I hope someone writes a book some day detailing the incompetence of the governor, state representatives and the mayor of NOLA at the time of Katrina.

    And if Obama comes off as looking good in all of this he can thank Gov. Jindal. Won’t hold my breath for that.

  12. Well it’s a good thing he doesn’t bother himself with a budget, so he’s free to throw millions of dollars to each “Isaac Victim”. Just more candy thrown at dumb people, buying him votes.

  13. gads, I hate the media. If Issac turns rough for NO stormwise, than mistakes that were LEARNED from Katrina will be applied for this storm.

    Any second grader could understand that.

    But Katrina was a failure on many levels, the least of which rest on Bush’s shoulders. Except, perhaps, he trusted that they had a measure of competence at the local level.

    • …dont tell Shep Smith that, he is in NOLA with his water-proof panties kinda ‘praying’ it will be “Katrina Redux” so he can rant-&-rave about those evil Republicans in Tampa, and how its all their fault…

      • Yes I’m glad he’s playing hurricane boy instead of going to the convention. He’s such a liberal he is far from fair or balanced. He’s better off in NOLA so he can blame Bush and be a diva getting his
        panties in a bunch he’s a real overpaid egomaniac.

  14. Any chance BHO would schedule a “primetime” address to the nation in an effort to overshadow Romney’s speech (under the guise of talking about the hurricane)? Wouldn’t put it past them!!!

  15. Any chance that BHO will demand to be put on in “primetime” to address the hurricane in an effort to overshadow Romney’s speech? Wouldn’t put it past them!

  16. I’m thinking Keith has been abducted by Obots on his vacation and they have taken over his computer, saying things to make us Romney voters rip out our hair.

  17. The most photographed President? Me thinks so! Everywhere I turn I see the losers smug smile and I wonder what in the world did I do to deserve this punishment.

  18. Speeches tonight. Love that Christie, a big future ahead for him.
    MrsRomney, charming and so down to earth. GovHaley of SC, sharp and tough and beautiful. Santorem, honest and speaks from the heart.
    Best, TedCruz from Texas speaking without a note or teleprompter hit just the right notes.

    They’re right; this is not my father’s Repub party. Impressive.

    • There were times that I jumped up and cheered, the speeches were that great! I missed Ted Cruz, darn. But the others you mentioned, in total agreement. I also loved Nikki Haley’s speech, good digs at Obama for his Boeing fiasco. I was not enamored with Artur Davis’s speech. I wasn’t sure what he was hoping to get across.

      I can not wait to have White House residents who appreciate 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and who understand and respect the privilege of the office, and who love America. I have goosebumps.

    • Your simile is OK, but a litte flawed in one respect.

      While Issac will bring limited damage to a limited area, it will also bring needed rain to a parched country as it moves inland.

      Obama, on the other hand, has done and is continuing to do massive damage on a global scale, and has no beneficial effects whatsoever for any part of the country.

      Other than that, you are correct. He’s a small candle with a short wick that is maginfied into a lighthouse lamp by those whose purposes he serves. Obama himself is merely a tool, although I seriously doubt his narcissim allows him to contemplate that fact.

  19. Many in the media overestimate their ability to control people’s thinking. Despite overweening propaganda and chronic occlusion of Truth, a critical mass of “Obama” supporters can no longer stand the sight or sound of him.

    So let him go. Let him. The more the sickened see him, the more sickened they are. By his appearances, he’s actually campaigning for Governor Romney.

  20. Like many people who have experienced horrific hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters the possibility of a repeat of Katrina by Isaac had to terrify many people in the Gulf. That does not justify, however, the MSM overly hyped, 24/7 coverage of Isaac. If one were cynical one might think MSM did this to distract from the Republican alternative to Barack Obama. But the MSM did cover some of the Convention — and the pathetic, selective coverage replete with bias and snarky comments confirms that these people are absolutely in the tank for Barack Obama and fearful that a change in the Administration could adversely affect their personal power and privilege. Not even the errant moment of professional journalism can save them. And finally it’s about time that Juan Williams take his political coverage back to NPR or whatever factory of cheap shots will take him. Many of these people have spent years building their reputations and the fact that they are willing to so demean themselves and their profession at the altar of Barack Obama is just pathetic. Junkyard dogs.

  21. Keith, This is a terrific blog and I am pleased to be able to participate from time to time. It is knowledgeable, clever and even handed. So where does it say that the Republican Convention assembled for a Romney/Ryan “coronation”?

  22. Junkyard dogs – well said, gracepmc. I just happened to switch to CNN in between speeches and there was Soledad O’Brien trying to find rain puddles…and Anderson Cooper standing under what appeared to be a water spout to give the impression of a torrential downpour. Journalistic mal-practice to the nth degree!

    The Two Million Dollar man, Juan Williams. absolutely should be shipped back to NPR! I always change channels when he appears on the panels – but this was over the top. Glad to see he was booted off immediately after his remarks. FOX is putting way too many Liberals on the panels! Brett Baier has the only palatable panel left on FOX.

    Obama’s shameless attempt to carpet bomb the Republican convention (Isaac, Biden, Villaraigosa, Gibbs, MSNBS, CNN) is proof positive that he has no class whatsoever. The WH will need rodent exterminators when they are ousted in January.

    • I declare, Keith’s gaggle of commenters need their own all-Nobama TV channel. You guys are the only ones who tell it like it really is. Awesome.

      I had to scream at the TV screen last night, post-speech, I watched Chris Matthew’s and Rachel Maddow fight over each other to see who could say the meanest worst things about Ann Romney. No more cruel and angry people on the planet than those two. Don’t you wonder what kind of sick and demented people LIKE them? No one I’d like to be in a room with, ever.

    • I agree re. Brett Baier and his panel. The best on Fox. Fox is choosing to go a bit overboard on their liberal staffing. That’s fine — their choice, just as it is mine to pick and choose. What bothered me the most about Juan Williams’ comment was that it was unnecessary. It truly was just a “cheap shot” and like so many cheap shots, it demeaned Juan way more than Ann Romney. I know that’s pretty simplistic and I should rephrase it to meet the accepted journalistic and political commentary standards of the MSM and say we all “know” that “corporate wife” is just a “dog whistle” for “rich, white woman”. Forward!

  23. Given that he can’t get off the campaign trail for even one day I suspect people already know how much he cares about the residents of the Gulf Coast.