by Lauren Wynn
As Texas continues to battle Hurricane Harvey, the President and First Lady flew in for a
photo op briefing. It was an impressive collection of federal, state, and local officials who all stopped their critical missions to travel to Corpus Christi, make posters, develop talking points and then smile for the cameras.
Every administration walks a fine line of public perception when it comes to natural disasters (did they do enough? did they really care?); however, when emergency responders are in the midst of an ongoing, fluid situation where human lives still hang in the balance, the last thing they want to do–SHOULD do–is to stop for activities that don’t further their critical mission.
It’s abundantly clear from listening to the leaders of the various agencies that communication with the White House has been constant and complete. What purpose did this visit serve?
First, it served as an opportunity for the Governor to praise the President – which he did profusely.
“What I have learned is we can count on the President of the United States and his staff for helping Texas. Texas has been tested, but our response to this challenge has been made much more effective because of the very effective way the President and his staff has helped Texas respond to this challenge.”
Second, as we’ve come to expect, it served as an opportunity for the President to make this about him. In true Trump fashion, the President gave us the bottom line:
We want to do it better than ever before. We want to be looked at in five years–ten years–as this is the way to do it.
I’m certain that this tragedy of epic proportions will now become a new talking point in the ever-growing list of Trump’s greatest achievements. However, for now, let’s keep the focus where it should be: on the people still in harm’s way.
Prayers continue to go out for our friends in the impact zone. Neighbor helping neighbor should be the face of this tragedy, not a dog and pony show orchestrated by a carnival barker.
Please consider making a donation to the Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey Relief.