After wrapping up his family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Monday, Obama visited Louisiana Tuesday, to inspect the flood damage.
He said sometimes after the floodwaters pass, people’s attention spans pass, and reminded Americans to stay focused and find out how they can help.
“This is not a photo-opp issue,” Obama said, speaking from his presidential lectern that was brought along for the occasion.
Obama said when disaster strikes is one of the few times Washington tends to not get political. However, after the flood, his administration quickly pushed out a 16-page document warning Louisiana of “unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin,” in the recovery efforts, which many found highly offensive.
Republican running mates Donald Trump and Mike Pence flew to Louisiana last Friday, August 19, and unloaded a truck load of supplies for the victims that Trump had donated.
Criticizing Trump’s visit, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “President is used to people trying to score political points even in situations where they shouldn’t.”
Hillary Clinton has stated that she will visit Louisiana at an unspecified time in the future. “This month’s floods in Louisiana are a crisis that demand a national response,” she said. “I am committed to visiting communities affected by these floods, at a time when the presence of a political campaign will not disrupt the response, to discuss how we can and will rebuild together.”
While residents such as Baton Rouge’s Marie Sibley pleaded to Obama “to just help us,” others like Albany’s Catherine Murphy were less optimistic.
“There ain’t nothing he can do for us that Louisiana ain’t done for ourselves,” Murphy said. “I’ve got no help from the federal government. I ain’t asking for help from the government. Baby, let me tell you my community has come through.”
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