It's also become a political lightning rod. Thanks to Donald Trump.
As far as anyone can tell, Trump took the initiative to head to Louisiana on his own along with Indiana Governor Mike Pence to hand out supplies and meet with victims of the flooding. It's his right to do so.
Turns out Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards had specifically requested that President Barack Obama hold off before visiting the flooded state. Hillary Clinton also honored the request. When Trump barged in, it forced the entire situation into the political realm. Some on the right were also attempting to draw parallels between Obama's response to the flooding and George W. Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina flooding in New Orleans. The two don't quite match up as FEMA and the feds have been responding to the Baton Rouge situation from the start.
Were the optics bad for President Obama? You could argue that. I tend not to parse the President's daily schedule or activities given the stress of the position. It's one of the main reasons you really haven't seen much criticism of President Bush and his vacations over time. As evidenced by the past, the President is in a situation to respond to any circumstance that arrives no matter where he or she may be. If World War III breaks out while Obama is putting on the 17th hole, he is instantly able to connect with the government via one of those people in his entourage.
Here in good ole Indiana, we have an honest to goodness flooding situation to deal with as well.
The City of South Bend is certainly well-led by Pete Buttigieg, but the residents of South Bend won't be seeing their Governor like the people of Baton Rouge did. Apparently, according to WRTV, Governor Pence has no plans to visit South Bend and tour the flooded areas. Now, I'm sure he'll be signing a disaster declaration if he hasn't already, but I'm sure those folks would love to see their Governor to know their state government cares about them. Baton Rouge has been hit harder, but South Bend is part of the state Pence calls home.
If you want to help victims of natural disasters, you can always contact he Red Cross. Find out how you can help at the American Red Cross's website at www.redcross.org.
My friend Abdul-Hakim Shabazz pointed me to this Tweet exchange. Take it for what it's worth.
@GovPenceIN South Bend appreciates the responsiveness and professionalism of @IDHS and the attention & concern you and your team have shown.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 22, 2016