There is something wrong with this picture.
Hurricane Katrina is now being called one of the worst, if not the worst, disaster in US history. Instead of focusing on this growing tragedy in the southeast, you are at this moment giving a speech in California about World War II and Iraq. Yes, you devoted one minute of that speech to the hurricane, but now it’s been 20 minutes and you are still talking about WWII and Iraq.
Mr. President, the entire nation is focused on one issue today, and it is not WWII. We are fixated by the images we’re seeing on TV. The images of uncontrollable fires blazing across New Orleans. The images of people stranded on their rooftops waving white t-shirts for help. And as I write this, the water levels are still rising in New Orleans and the situation is getting desperate.
In the face of this tragedy, rather than call off your vacation days ago and head back home to coordinate the relief, but even more importantly, to show the American people that you care and are in charge, you did not fly east to Washington. You flew west to Arizona and to California. While New Orleans and the south was in the process of being destroyed yesterday, you flew west and devoted the day to Medicare. While the death toll for the hurricane increases by the hour, and even FOX News has just now cut away from your live WWII speech in order to return their coverage to New Orleans, you continue to babble on about WWII and Iraq.
Mr. President, you should consider yourself lucky. By ignoring this hurricane and remaining on vacation all weekend, and by continuing to ignore this hurricane and travel out west doing stump speeches instead of focusing on the growing tragedy, you handed the Democrats in Congress a golden opportunity to paint you as out of touch, uncaring, and embattled. The Democrats chose to ignore this opportunity and have remained silent about your complacency in the face of disaster. That is unfortunately what Democrats do; they miss opportunities and sit back quietly while Republicans stumble over themselves with their incompetence.
But we’re not your typical Democrats, and we see that you’re hiding from the hurricane, and we can’t understand why. Canceling your vacation this weekend, canceling your trips to Arizona and California the past two days, were not only the right thing to do, they were the politically smart thing to do. Your approval ratings are at 40% and falling. Mourning mom Cindy Sheehan’s ongoing protest at your ranch has made you look a fool. You need whatever you can to get the media and public attention off of the disaster in Iraq. The hurricane was that opportunity. So what did you do when faced with this impending doom? You called off your vacation and went to California to talk about Iraq.
Mr. President, go to Washington TODAY and show the country you’re in charge. Go to New Orleans TODAY and show the country that you care. While you ramble on in California about Iraq, FOX News anchor Shepard Smith is flying over New Orleans in a helicopter to survey the damage and report to the nation. Have things gotten that bad in our nation that a reporter for a biased news outlet is acting more presidential than the president himself?
Mr. President, you should have canceled your vacation and your political stump speeches days ago. Blow out the candles, put away the birthday cakes, and come home to Washington today – not tomorrow after you finish all your politicking in California over the next 24 hours, but TODAY.
Politics can wait. Your country needs you.