A once-in-a-century freezing winter storm swept across much of the South starting on Valentine’s Day, crippling energy grids, highways and natural gas delivery systems and plunging millions into frigid darkness for days. Pipes burst. Water supplies were contaminated. Food supplies ran low. At least 58 people died as a result.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of emergency. Coca-Cola alone reacted to the superstorm by rushing in 10 semi-truckloads of its Dasani purified water.
President Joe Biden, who spent that weekend with family playing at Camp David, was struck speechless. He had nothing to say about the first major crisis of his month-old administration, though aides did reveal Biden had defeated his granddaughter in Mario Kart games.
The administration made no statement. No FEMA briefing. No calls with affected governors. Nothing to show his involvement with the crisis.
Days later the 78-year-old Biden flew to Wisconsin for a CNN Townhall. As usual, he rambled, at times appeared confused and uttered some “misstatements” that even CNN could not ignore.
Biden said he was tired of talking about Donald Trump, but did anyway. He complained he had not received a congratulatory phone call from his election opponent.
But in the friendly 69-minute public appearance with a cooperative and understanding Anderson Cooper, Biden neglected to even mention the dire situation then gripping the South. Not even a sympathetic standard “thoughts and prayers” nod.
But Biden did tell the CNN audience, “I literally pray that I have the capacity to do for the country what you all deserve need be done.”
That TV appearance must also have been tiring. Next morning the White House called a lid on all presidential activities at 8 a.m.
Biden did sign a state of emergency declaration that the Republican Abbott had requested. But the Democratic president slashed the counties eligible for federal assistance by 75 percent.
Finally on Sunday, eight days into the crisis, his press secretary, Jen Psaki (shown here in fur hat with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov), said President Biden might visit the stricken state as early as late this week. That would be nearly two weeks after the fact.
Despite the appearance of nonchalance as his countrymen suffered, Biden, according to Psaki, is “eager to go down to Texas and show his support.” But she added he is worried that his presence might distract from recovery efforts.
You may recall during his infrequent campaign appearances last year, Biden and aides talked about flipping the strongly Republican state into the Democrat column come November. That did not happen. As he did in 2016, Trump defeated his Democrat opponent there by a good five points to easily reap the second-largest state’s 38 electoral votes.
Surely no president would retaliate later on a state that had not supported him
Mainstream media, of course, bought the phony explanation because, Democrats. Those news people have been consumed instead by an ill-timed, but ultimately non-lethal family trip to Mexico by Texas’ junior Sen. Ted Cruz because, Republican.
Some people may recall back in 2005 another president did not rush to a disaster site, Louisiana and Mississippi immediately after Hurricane Katrina.
George W. Bush said he was worried that the arrival of a large entourage would distract from recovery efforts. But he was crucified then by media as inept and uncaring because, Republican.