Originally posted by zeeblebot
‘President Yucks It Up At White House Press Dinner While Disaster Heads for Gulf Coast’
Posted by John Romano in Politics on May 2, 2010
“President Yucks It Up At White House Press Dinner While Disaster Heads for Gulf Coast” – That would have been the media angle if this were May 2007. Not tod ...[text shortened]... been “President Shows Lighter Side, Seeks to Calm Nation on Eve of Ecological Disaster.”
Bush was excoriated for years over not immediately jumping on Air Force One and parachuting into New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I don’t mean after, actually during the middle of the hurricane. If he had, I still think the press would have slammed him: “Bush Parachutes into Hurricane, Still Republican.”
The goal of the post-Katrina coverage wasn’t to shine a light on how we deal with natural disasters in America, it was to hurt Bush. Paving the way for a Democrat in 2008 was the real goal of the Katrina coverage, and it worked.
In reality, there is only so much a President can really do during a crisis like Katrina or the oil spill of 2010. Whether they are George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter or even, yes, Barack Obama. Whatever apparatus a government, as a whole, has in place before a natural disaster is much more consequential to the outcome of the disaster than anything an individual President says or does afterward. Calmer folks among us know that.
If the narrative starts to focus on the limits of what a President can actually accomplish in the middle of a natural disaster, some may start asking exactly why Bush was hammered so badly after Katrina. That would be a disaster the press would really like to avoid.
Most likely, if the oil spill ends as badly as most think it will, the press will find a way to say that Bush flubbed Katrina, however nothing could be done in this case. Or better yet, let’s just blame British Petroleum in full for the disaster. Obama still greatest, oil still evil, and Bush still worst leader in recorded history, nothing will have changed. So it goes, so it goes.