And so what is a 'tour' of the hurricane damage going to accomplish?
By either one of them?
What is the concern here? Putting on shows of concern? Or providing help and assistance before, during, and after?
Under the president's direction, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have been on the ground in the Gulf region for over a
week, but "the hardest work is still ahead," Mr. Obama said.
"I'll continue to make sure the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare and recover from this dangerous
storm," the president said.
Mr. Obama on Monday approved a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana so it can get the resources it needs, particularly for evacuations
under way. Additionally, Mr. Obama noted Tuesday that there are response teams on the ground with supplies, ready to help communities expected to fall
in the path of the storm. He said that he received updates on the situation Tuesday morning from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA
head Craig Fugate and National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb.
Granted, Bobby Jindal was not satisfied with disaster declaration on the financial level...he wanted reimbursement for emergency preparedness actions
taken on the part of the state. Federal help was sent before the storm and not just to Louisiana but other states, too. The Federal government, by
law, can provide up to 75% of the expenses of disaster relief, with the state(s) being responsible for the other 25%. Not knowing the specifics of the
situation, though, makes it hard to say if Jindal's got a legitimate complaint or not.
It was Federal aid, specifically the Army Corps of Engineers, that built the new levees that protected New Orleans this time around...and Isaac was a
category 1, not 3, hurricane, also. Smaller neighboring communities have complained that the new levees that protected NOLA did it by shunting the
water to their now-flooded areas. But the water goes where the land is lower and that is one of the dangers of building in a flood plain...or, as in
the case of many parts of New Orleans, below the water level.
Also, it should be noted, when considering Governor Jindal's complaints...that he is a Republican. Reading articles that addressed concerns and
opinions expressed by the residents of NOLA, however, shows that they felt much more prepared before and safer during the long-lasting storm because
of the levees and also there were Army Reserve troops put in place to discourage/stop any potential looting which was a huge issue after Katrina. Most
of the 9th Ward was empty, anyway, because the residents there were, understandably, were feeling the most trepidation about the coming storm after
being the most devastated area after Katrina.
I'm not knocking Romney for going there...but I'm not knocking Obama for not being there any sooner than he will be...but the truth of the matter is
that Romney really can't do anything of any effect other than commiserate with the victims...unless, of course, he wanted to give a generous monetary
donation to Jindal on behalf of the victims...which might not be legal, anyway.
And the sitting President really can't do much, himself, either, except for making sure there is help sent and the right kind of help and plenty of
it. I think that was done...the ultimate point being that unlike Bush, Obama was concerned beforehand rather than afterward and much later afterward
as was the case after Katrina.
But that can all be chalked up to learning by experience...something we are all forced to do, no matter what the situation.