Obama golfs while Louisiana is drowning

President Obama is on vacation and apparently can't be bothered with mundane matters like the catastrophe occurring in Louisiana as record flood waters are finally beginning to recede.

In an anguished editorial, the Baton Rouge paper The Advocate begs President Obama to visit the flood-ravaged communities.  But so far, the president has shown little interest in interrupting his golfing and socializing to do his job:

Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected.

We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.

Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.

Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock. It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.

And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.

The optics of Obama golfing while Louisiana residents languished in flood waters was striking. It evoked the precedent of the passive federal response to the state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever repeat.

With Obama snoozing and Hillary resting, it has fallen to Donald Trump to be the one to act presidential.  He will visit Louisiana to tour the flooded areas today:

Trump addressed the flooding at a rally in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday night, calling Louisiana "a state that is very, very special to me."

"Though words cannot express the sadness one feels at times like this," Trump said, "I hope everyone in Louisiana knows that our country is praying for them, and standing with them to help them in these difficult hours."

However, a spokesman for Louisiana's governor said his office had not been contacted by the Trump campaign.

Richard Carbo, spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards, told the Associated Press Trump was welcome to Louisiana, "but not for a photo-op." Instead, Carbo proposed Trump "consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm."

A photo op is exactly what Louisiana needs.  Trump's visit will draw attention to the state, which will lead to more donations.  Edwards understands this but, as a Democrat, puts politics ahead of what's best for the state.

Trump could take advantage of this situation – if the media would allow it.  But you're not going to read much about an absent Obama or absent Hillary Clinton after Trump's visit.

President Obama is on vacation and apparently can't be bothered with mundane matters like the catastrophe occurring in Louisiana as record flood waters are finally beginning to recede.

In an anguished editorial, the Baton Rouge paper The Advocate begs President Obama to visit the flood-ravaged communities.  But so far, the president has shown little interest in interrupting his golfing and socializing to do his job:

Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected.

We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.

Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.

Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock. It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.

And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.

The optics of Obama golfing while Louisiana residents languished in flood waters was striking. It evoked the precedent of the passive federal response to the state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever repeat.

With Obama snoozing and Hillary resting, it has fallen to Donald Trump to be the one to act presidential.  He will visit Louisiana to tour the flooded areas today:

Trump addressed the flooding at a rally in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday night, calling Louisiana "a state that is very, very special to me."

"Though words cannot express the sadness one feels at times like this," Trump said, "I hope everyone in Louisiana knows that our country is praying for them, and standing with them to help them in these difficult hours."

However, a spokesman for Louisiana's governor said his office had not been contacted by the Trump campaign.

Richard Carbo, spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards, told the Associated Press Trump was welcome to Louisiana, "but not for a photo-op." Instead, Carbo proposed Trump "consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the LA Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of this storm."

A photo op is exactly what Louisiana needs.  Trump's visit will draw attention to the state, which will lead to more donations.  Edwards understands this but, as a Democrat, puts politics ahead of what's best for the state.

Trump could take advantage of this situation – if the media would allow it.  But you're not going to read much about an absent Obama or absent Hillary Clinton after Trump's visit.