Looks like the Republicans and President George W. Bush might not get a break from the storm season. Hurricane Gustav might plow into New Orleans on Monday. That's the day the GOP convention opens in St. Paul, Minnesota. So much for owning the airwaves.
For a president whose popularity was bookended by disasters that raised (9/11) and then thrashed his profile (Hurricane Katrina), Bush could face the prospect of once again looking like he forgot to care about the City that Care Forgot. But then, this could be the opportunity to do a heckuva job helping people out.
If Gustav is like many of these storms, it'll probably arrive a little later than forecast. So Bush'll get that break. Or maybe not. The threat of a storm just brewing out in the Gulf and threatening New Orleans allows for the Remember Katrina story line to creep into the RNC script for longer than Republicans would like.
Disasters always have a political aspect to them. For Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, the eight hurricanes that whacked the state in 2004-05 actually boosted his poll numbers because he was on-scene, on-hand and refused to let the state or federal government fail. The president toured Florida for every storm in 04 (a presidential election year) but was a no show for the first 05 storm, Hurricane Dennis.