UPDATE: Obama has acknowledged that he is aware of Tennessee’s existence… to Gov. Bredesen at least. Point stands – he has said nothing publicly. And the crumbling HOPE house is still a good metaphor.
This weekend, Nashville received around 10 inches of rain – a record breaking rain fall that has caused an astounding amount of flooding. The surrounding rivers swelled and as of this afternoon have yet to crest, so water continues to rush through the streets and into buildings. Thousands have lost their homes. The Opryland Hotel is holding 8-10 feet of water. Businesses have lost everything.
President Obama has yet to acknowledge that anything has even happened in Middle Tennessee… most likely because he’s in damage control mode, trying to salvage a response to the LAST disaster. Time is reporting that Gibbs addressed the emergency in today’s briefing. From George Scoville at IntelligencePlease.com:
TIME.com is reporting that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the flood situation in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky in his briefing this morning, and that “[the] FEMA Director [is] headed to the region today.” I’m not sure if this means Administrator Craig Fugate, or Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery Bill Carwile, or even Director Ted Monette from the Office of Federal Coordinating Officer Operations, under A/A Carwile’s office.
Obama himself still had nothing to say regarding the catastrophe. “It’s embarrassing that caring either depends on your electoral prospects or has to wait for the news cycle,” says Scoville.
To quote The One himself, let me be clear: Tennessee seems to be handling this disaster quite well. This is not a call for Federal aid to rush in and start to screw things up – it’s the symbolism attached to knowing the President of your country is aware of what your state is going through.
This footage below the fold is from Antioch, just southeast of Nashville.
Note the “HOPE” banner on the side of the building. And note how it drifts along, holding it together for as long as possible… until it hits a snag and crumbles like a Coke can in about 7 seconds. Pretty solid illustration of the White House disaster response… and the Presidency.