December 2012

Two hurricanes, two leaders, two approaches

With two different approaches, two different commanders in chief and two deadly storms — the contrast couldn’t be much greater. So far, our President Barack Obama has been managing the crisis caused by Hurricane Sandy responsibly. While, in 2005, our former President George W. Bush and his administration proved to the entire nation that slow and steady does not always win the race in response to a crisis such as Hurricane Katrina.

Republicans such as Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, both well known supporters of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, commended Obama and his Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their cooperation and attentiveness.

Christie said, “The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit.” McDonnell said the federal response was “incredibly fast and we’re very grateful.” He said Obama has been “direct and personal” in handing the crisis.

In contrary, the powerful Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and New Orleans in 2004 while Bush was on vacation at his Texas ranch, uninformed about the desolation this hurricane was causing. The devastating news cause him to cut short his vacation but belatedly; he seemed distant from the calamity.

Although Bush may never be able to recover is reputation as a successful crisis manager, Obama has exhibited numerous times that he is a man of empathy.

— Ranell Jenkins