The Great Flood of 2016 has devastated 40,000 homes across the state of Louisiana. Sadly, 13 people have lost their lives in this historic storm, which produced up to 31 inches of rainfall in some areas over the course of four days. This is more rainfall that Los Angeles experiences in four years. It was a storm that was so intense that it only happens once every one thousand years.
Emergency officials claim that the Great Flood of 2016 is the worst natural disaster in this country since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Despite the magnitude of the disaster, President Obama has not visited the region. In fact, he has not even stopped his vacation or playing golf. The images of our golf obsessed President enjoying his favorite pastime while his fellow citizens are in such pain is quite troubling.
Over the course of almost two terms, Obama has played more than 300 rounds of golf. This compares to President George W. Bush who played only two dozen rounds of golf during his two terms in office.
In 2005, Bush was roundly criticized for his tardy response to the disastrous Hurricane Katrina. No one can forget the images of Bush looking out of the window of Air Force One at the devastation below. However, at least he flew over the region and eventually visited the area multiple times before the end of his presidency. In contrast, Obama has not even ended his vacation.
The media crucified Bush for his delayed response in 2005, but are giving Obama a pass this year. Even Democrat Governor of Louisiana John Bel Edwards had to cover for Obama claiming in an interview on MSNBC that he did not want a presidential visit at this time. He claimed it would divert resources that were needed for the recovery.
Back in 2005, during an even worse disaster, no one came to Bush's defense. He was pilloried mercilessly.
An Obama visit would have been helpful because it would have highlighted the needs of the region. This area has suffered a tremendous blow considering that so many of the victims did not have flood insurance as their houses had never flooded before.
At least Donald Trump and Mike Pence are visiting today and giving the victims some much-needed attention. Even with the incredible magnitude of the disaster the national media has moved on from Louisiana and the story is not generating headlines any longer. With Trump and his running mate in the state, it will be back on the front pages once again.
Trump's visit will also spur more donations to the agencies that are helping the thousands of victims who need help. By expressing his sympathy and personal concern, he is also giving a boost to people who have lost everything and are in tremendous pain.
Unfortunately, our President chose to continue playing golf and not give this region the attention it deserves. He was also criticized for a slow response to the BP oil spill in 2010. Some even speculate that the President would show more interest in local disasters if this was a "blue state."
Who knows the real motivation for his inattention, but at least we do know the good news is that Obama is leaving office in five months.