As Mitt Romney dodged questions about whether he would eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency, its former director, Michael Brown, shared some thoughts on how President Obama handled the most recent natural disaster to darken our shores.
In an interview with the Denver Westword (h/t: Think Progress), Brown said the President may have been a bit premature in holding a press conference at FEMA on Sunday afternoon when the most serious impacts of Hurricane Sandy were not expected until Monday evening:
“People in the northeast are already beginning to blow it off…. [New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg has shut down the subway…[launched] evacuations…. I don’t object…they should be doing all of that. But in the meantime, various news commentators…[and others] in New York are shrugging their shoulders, saying, ‘What’s this all about?’ It’s premature [when] the brunt of the storm won’t happen until later….”
Brown, who tendered his resignation from FEMA shortly after the Bush administration’s harshly criticized slow response to Hurricane Katrina, then goes on to draw comparison to Hurricane Sandy and the terrorist attack in Libya:
“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” BroWhy was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”
Well, Brown is right. At some point, somebody is going to ask that question, and who else would it be:
The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer also weighed in:
“It’s hard to look at this, playing the president, playing the commander-in-chief in what’s a natural disaster that really doesn’t a lot of leadership from the White House. It’s up to the governors mostly. The White House and the governors release money. That’s about all that they do. And he’s really good at releasing money and pretending it’s not about politics. He wants to use this to show himself in command and I think he might actually be the beneficiary of the fact that all national attention is drawn away for three days.”
To think, the President acting like the President. Of all the concepts. Also, barring the fact that it’s just good tact to suspend a campaign (which Romney also did) once a natural disaster strikes that affects multiple states and millions of people, nothing will draw attention away from this election because there are always talking heads willing to politicize anything.