I have no doubt that Mitt Romney is genuinely concerned about the damage caused to property and people’s lives as a result of hurricane Isaac’s destructive path through Louisiana. I also have no doubt that he knows that traveling to the storm ravaged state in the immediate aftermath of the convention is very good politics.
In fact, it’s so good that he has forced president Obama to schedule a visit to the state on Monday. The Obama campaign announced they were cancelling an event in Cleveland on Monday so that the president can also tour the disaster area.
President Barack Obama was today forced to announce he will fly to storm-hit Louisiana on Monday – hours after Mitt Romney beat him to the punch by deciding to head there this afternoon.
After it emerged that Obama was still taking time to fit in a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio before checking out how clean-up operations are proceeding in the Bayou state, the Obama campaign abruptly cancelled that event.
‘In light of the President’s travel to Louisiana to meet with local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac, President Obama will no longer travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, September 3,’ the campaign said in a terse statement.
Romney had changed his schedule to head to an affected town outside New Orleans while Obama, who has yet to visit the Tropical Storm Isaac zone, headed off to Texas to campaign.
Romney’s last-minute trip to New Orleans came as his wife Ann told CNN that swing women voters in particular had told her that ‘it’s time for the grown-up to come, the man that’s going to take this very seriously and the future of our children very, very seriously’.
He opted out of a joint campaign appearance in Richmond, Virginia with Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential running mate, to head to Louisiana
Even if Romney had no political intent whatsoever in visiting Louisiana — a doubtful proposition — the press and the Obama campaign would frame the visit that way anyway. At this point, there is no such thing as an unscripted moment; every act, every word uttered by both candidates will be framed by its political value and given political context.