The Great Hurrican Gustave – RNC Debate

There is this debate going on about why President Bush is so concerned about New Orleans this time when a hurricane is going to hit. I read one comment that said it was the Democrats who screwed up last time, another who blamed the residents, and third that said only Republicans know how to handle a crisis.

Those commentators are forgetting that despite the faults in the pre-hurricane preparedness, when the state failed, the federal government needed to step up but it didn’t. I don’t expect President Bush to get in a helicopter and pick people up off of roofs himself, but when he cancels a speech at the RNC out of concern for a city, which before he had told “Brownie” he was doing a great job of letting people die in chaos, it seems a little disingenuous and political.

One person who claimed he was a Republican said Bush and Cheney would only hurt McCain’s election chances if they were part of the convention, so he was glad they were not going to be there. I think he is right. The media might be making Hurricane Gustav bigger than it should be because as 21st century Americans, the best thing we seem to do is react after an event. Katrina wasn’t the first, you can include everything form 9/11 and terrorism, to how we deal with drugs, our education system, or our response to the 35W bridge collapse. We spend too many resources trying to rebuild something once it is broken, rather than reform, repair, or reorganize.

I do believe this is political. The RNC is “scaling things back” out of respect for those affected by the hurricane, however, with President Bush’s approval rating still in the twenties, and Cheney’s even lower, it really only helps McCain to shorten the convention. Add that to the fact that the DNC was a smash hit for those on the left and for independents. It would be really hard for RNC to compete against that electric event with headline speakers like Bush, Cheney, Joe Lieberman, Rudy Guiliani, Norm Coleman and Fred Thompson, wait let me rest, I’m getting bored just writing their names.

Despite my criticism, I think McCain is doing the right thing from a political standpoint. The Obama acceptance speech is fresh in the minds of independent voters, and responses were very high among that group. McCain’s speaking style and message will not resonate as much, so instead, he can demonstrate his leadership abilities compared to President Bush by taking charge of an event that the media is driving so hard.

By the way, I have to think George Bush’s approval rating has to be going up, I loved the fact that he hung out at the Olympics and relaxed and enjoyed himself, of course I guess that is what he does best.

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6 thoughts on “The Great Hurrican Gustave – RNC Debate”

  1. Clearly, McCain’s trip to the hurricane disaster areas is strictly political. He can’t fool people in New Orleans (many of whom are still in FEMA trailers) when he’s got 7 homes. I am concerned that some citizens will actually buy McCain’s “reform” ads without looking at his voting record. After voting with Bush 90% of the time, he’s speaking positively about the environment and unions. Unions?! He can’t call himself a reformer and a maverick after having such close ties to Bush. I don’t think McCain, and certainly Bush, understand what it’s like to be in the lower middle class (formerly the middle class).

  2. The first problem with Katrina was with the people who didn’t get out. The second was with the local government, led by a Democratic mayor. The third was the state government, led by a Democratic governor. And the fourth was federal, led by a Republican. There was plenty of blame to go around.

    And I’m not sure how much of a smash hit the DNC was considering that Obama and McCain are still tied in the polls. Everything went well for sure, but typically a convention results in a post-convention “bounce” in the polls, which didn’t happen (and probably won’t happen for McCain either…I think we have 2 years of campaigning to thank for that).

  3. I don’t know what polls you are looking at Joey, but Obama went from even to having a seven point lead as of 9/1 and took the lead in Florida, granted, only by a point, but after being down seven points last month.

    I listened to a right-wing radio guy say the same thing yesterday, are you reading the news, or just being fed information?

  4. Yes, I’m being fed information by CNN, which said the race went from 47-47 on Monday of the DNC to 49-48 (in favor of Obama) on Friday/Saturday of the DNC.

  5. I guess we are kind of picking the results we like.

    CNN: Obama 49-48 9/1/08
    Gallup: Obama 49-43 9/2/08
    USA Today: Obama 50-43 9/2/08
    CBS: Obama 48-40 9/2/08
    Rasmussen: Obama 50-45 9/3/08

    Those average out to be about a five point lead. I’m going to switch to the CBS Poll and say Obama has an eight point lead.

    This debate doesn’t mean much though because these are national polls, what matters are Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Nevada. For the most part, the rest of the states are pretty predictable. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

  6. Thanks for the other polls, I haven’t been keeping track of the others. And you’re absolutely right, the national poll is virtually meaningless.

    As for the battleground states, I don’t think we’re very far from taking Iowa off the battleground list and moving it squarely into Obama’s camp. I think 55-40 (based on the last poll I saw) is too big a margin for McCain to overcome with such limited resources on the ground there.

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