May 10, 2011

WHEN HISTORY RHYMES: President Bush was pummeled by the left for his Katrina flyover moment in 2005; as Arianna Huffington wrote at the time:

The president’s 35-minute Air Force One flyover of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama was the perfect metaphor for his entire presidency: detached, disconnected, and disengaged. Preferring to take in America’s suffering — whether caused by the war in Iraq or Hurricane Katrina — from a distance. In this case, 2,500 feet.

Flash-forward to 2011 — veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler asks the current president, “What? Not Even a Look Out the Window?”

President Obama doesn’t seem to have even peered out his Air Force One window to view the swelling Mississippi, a minimal show of interest for which George W. Bush was pilloried when he took a peak at the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At least Bush bothered to look.

Obama is traveling today OVER the devastation being wrought by the Mississippi in order to get to events in Texas, where he will rally his Hispanic supporters with a speech on immigration in El Paso and then head to the Lone Star state’s liberal bastion of Austin for two fundraisers.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One, was asked whether Obama had bothered to get a view from above.

“I haven’t seen him do that but I haven’t been with him for the full flight so far,” Carney said.

Well, it certainly doesn’t sound like they were on the lookout for it, and it’s clear the plane is not intentionally headed over a particularly devastated area for a look-see.

Obama’s hopscotch over the Mississippi flooding is emblematic of his disaster no-show policy.

Fortunately, digging a nice, deep rhetorical moat should help the flood waters recede, if willing them back doesn’t work.

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