LA Paper: Obama Must Leave Martha's Vineyard & Visit the Flood Zone
A Louisiana newspaper called on President Obama to cut short his summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard and visit the flood-ravaged areas in and around Baton Rouge.
In an editorial published last night, The Advocate argued that Obama's current vacation is akin to President George W. Bush's lackluster response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected.
We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The current president was among those making political hay out of Bush’s aloofness.
But the writers also called out Obama for leaving from his vacation spot to attend a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on Monday.
The paper did note that Obama moved swiftly to declare a state of emergency, which opens the flow of federal aid. The editorial also explained that the FEMA director arrived in the area immediately, "a far cry from FEMA’s hapless Michael Brown in the days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita."
The editorial concluded:
But a disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the president at ground zero. In coming here, the president can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana’s recovery is a priority for his administration – and the United States of America.
The president’s vacation is scheduled to wrap up on Sunday. But he should pack his bags now, and pay a call on communities who need to know that in a national catastrophe, they are not alone.
The president’s presence is already late to this crisis, but it’s better later than never.
Fox News correspondent Casey Stegall reported today from Denham Springs, La., explaining that the same sentiments have been expressed by locals.
The state could now be looking at its biggest housing crisis since Katrina, with an estimated 40,000 homes damaged.
Officials estimated that 90% of the homes and businesses in Denham Springs were impacted.
Locals are dealing with a heat index of 100 degrees as they clean up and assess the damages.
More than 80,000 people have signed up for federal disaster aid, Stegall reported. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson is in the area today.
Watch the report above.