Presidents visit disaster sites. It’s one of the things they do. Do they accomplish anything, physically? Of course not, that’s not why they’re there. They’re there for several reasons that all serve one purpose. Is it symbolic? Of course. Does it matter? Of course it does.
- Clinton visited Arkadelphia, Ark., after a tornado
- Clinton visited Del City, Ok., after the horrific tornado in Moore Ok.
- Bush visited New Orleans and Biloxi after hurricane Katrina.
- Bush went t0 Americus, Georgia, after a tornado ripped through that town.
- Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush visited Galveston, Texas after hurricane Ike.
- President Obama visited fire-damaged homes in Mountain Shadow of Colorado Springs, Col. after wildfires there.
- President Obama visited New Jersey after hurricane Sandy.
- Of course, who can forget when George W. Bush visited Ground Zero after 9/11. Regardless about what you think of the rest of his presidency, those words spoken that day lifted us and gave us hope.
The list would go on and on. I know this is different, but it’s a crisis, and people are suffering.
I remember the picture of George W. Bush in the plane after hurricane Katrina, looking out the window, and how much grief he took for that picture. People said it showed him being disconnected and aloof. That mattered to people, and he even visited the place later.
They visit these places because they are the leaders of our country. It shows interest, engagement, involvement. It shows people that they are there, ready to lead and help the country work through the problems. To some, it provides solace, to others it shows the commitment of the government that the leader is there, interested and ready to play a part in the solution. No one thinks he’s going to start digging ditches or picking up boards.
Some of those in your own party have practically begged you to go.
Your speech about it basically amounted to “Tell Congress to approve the money and this goes away.” Really? You simply want 3.8 billion dollars, and you won’t take a few hours to even visit? Well, I have no trust that you even have a clue how to go about it. Your administration has shown no administrative skill in problem solving to this point.
A huge humanitarian crisis, and he won’t go. In his comments about it, he says “it’s not about a photo op.” Well, Mr. President, yes it is, that’s a big part of it. And this is coming from a President who’s never, ever, shied away from a photo op. He appears on TV more than “Law and Order.” All this on top of the fact that You’re In the State Fundraising!! Yes, you’re right there, dude. A couple hours away. You know, playing pool, having fun. Take a couple of hours and show the rest of the country you give a damn. People are suffering.
His failure to go there is duplicitous. I don’t know how or why, but I know it when I see it.
It’s called leadership. Show some.
On the other hand, why would you start now.