We’ve been commenting this week about President Obama’s typical-for-him behavior while the nation, quite literally, burns. Riots in Milwaukee set the city aflame, while floods put Louisiana under water. And the president? In addition to his usual golfing, appears to be late-night partying in Martha’s Vineyard.
Well, to be fair, he did interrupt his vacation for something rather important: raising money for Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. As we shared earlier this week, the president took time out of his vacation Monday evening to “headline a Democratic Party fundraising dinner Monday evening on Martha’s Vineyard, the island playground off the coast of Massachusetts where he’s in the midst of a two-week vacation…
The White House said Obama is eager to hit the campaign trail and be as helpful as possible to fellow Democrats. After the scheduling worked out, he agreed to interrupt his golf, beach and dinner outings to appear at the fundraiser and give Clinton a boost.”
If there’s one thing we can count on President Obama for in the wake of tragedy and disaster — in addition to golf — it’s fundraising (mixed in with the occasional Broadway show).
Meanwhile, Americans are dealing with this:
(Yes, tragically, those are caskets floating in Louisiana floodwaters.)
Well, as you can imagine, this is not sitting well with the people of Louisiana, and one of the state’s leading papers is asking Obama to do the (for him) unthinkable: Cut your vacation short.
The Baton Rouge Advocate writes:
Now that the flood waters ravaging Louisiana are receding, it’s time for President Barack Obama to visit the most anguished state in the union.
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.
But a disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the president at ground zero. In coming here, the president can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana’s recovery is a priority for his administration – and the United States of America.
The president’s vacation is scheduled to wrap up on Sunday. But he should pack his bags now, and pay a call on communities who need to know that in a national catastrophe, they are not alone.
Well, here’s a shocker: While the president reportedly has been briefed on the emergency situation in Louisiana, he is not planning to change his plans, nor has he even made so much as a statement.
Nothing like another round of golf — as of Wednesday, he’s played eight rounds since arriving on August 6th, while Louisiana residents endure untold misery — to show how “with” the American people this president really is.
Compare this to President Bush’s “flyover,” for which he received so much backlash. Is there even any comparison?
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]