Here’s what a 2008 USA Today column said about George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina:
President Bush has shown that he can be empathetic, sensitive and decisive. But those qualities eluded him for days after Hurricane Katrina, and the lapse could become a defining moment of his White House tenure.
The most stirring image of Bush’s presidency came when he spontaneously grabbed a bullhorn at Ground Zero and vowed retribution against 9/11 terrorists. Tears filled his eyes when he took the oath of office in 2001, and he has wept publicly when talking about U.S. troops slain in battle and his respect for his father. He has hugged countless victims of fires, hurricanes and other tragedies. During his 2000 campaign, he told recovering teen addicts, “I used to drink too much. … I want you to know that your life’s walk is shared by a lot of other people.”
Now, compare it to what POLITICO reported this past week:
Baton Rouge’s The Advocate newspaper unloaded on Obama with an editorial published Thursday night, drawing a historical comparison to George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
“Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good,” the editorial said. “But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.”
The Advocate called the “optics of Obama golfing while Louisiana residents languished in flood waters was striking” and evocative of “the precedent of the passive federal response to the state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever repeat.”