I was hoping we could avoid a visit from President Obama, but apparently we won’t. The White House announced today that he will be coming in Louisiana to come take a look at the flood damage and do photo ops.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to view damage from flooding that has left 13 people dead and thousands more displaced from their homes.
“The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts,” the White House said in announcing the trip. “He is also eager to get a first-hand look at the impact of the devastating floods, hear from more officials about the response, including how the federal government can assist and tell the people of Louisiana that the American people will be with them as they rebuild their community and come back stronger than ever.”
Obama has come under fire in recent days for not visiting flood-ravaged Louisiana. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visited on Friday.
We’re not fans of the Trump visit, but it’s clear that his visit forced President Obama’s hand. Trump was smart enough to bring an 18-wheeler full of supplies to St. Amant and not use his visit to engage in over the top self-promotion. He won this news cycle, so credit where credit is due and all that.
Is Trump’s visit bringing more of a spotlight on Louisiana? So far, no. CNN is talking more about Trump firing Paul Manafort than his Louisiana visit. The national media is still garbage.
The problem with an Obama visit, other than the obvious logistical headaches, is that we need to get away from using the president as a “national daddy.”
The biggest reason President Obama should stay away, though, is because we need to get away from this mindset of having a mommy or daddy to comfort us when something goes wrong. Not everything bad that happens in this country should be a national crisis or tragedy. Washington, D.C. and politics itself will not be what fixes our country during this time of upheaval and divide. The only way to make things better is for Americans to pull together and save it themselves.
That is the real lesson out of Louisiana.
The Feds who can actually do something to ease Louisiana’s suffering, FEMA Director Craig Fulgate and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, are already in state. They’ve been working with state and local officials since early this week. There isn’t much of anything President Obama himself can do.
Let’s also be real here, President Obama isn’t exactly known for his ability to unite in a time of crisis. In fact, we’re almost hoping he doesn’t make a speech when he comes on Tuesday.
This Obama visit will quiet the political storm, but we’re not really sure what’s going to be accomplished in the end. But it’s clearly a political win for Donald Trump by being seen as forcing Obama’s hand.