Aug 23, 2016

Delicate Mix of Compassion and Politics as Obama Heads to Louisiana Floods

Baton Rouge, LA
USA
by
Michael D. Shear
,
The New York Times
President Obama and his family returned to the White House on Sunday after a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts. He plans to visit Louisiana flood victims on Tuesday. Photo: Al Drago/The New York Times
President Obama and his family returned to the White House on Sunday after a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts. He plans to visit Louisiana flood victims on Tuesday. Photo: Al Drago/The New York Times

Nearly 11 years to the day after a hurricane devastated New Orleans, a president will visit flood victims in Louisiana — once again at a fraught political moment.

President Obama will travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to see the devastation left by historic flooding in the past week, and to demonstrate, in part by his presence, that the federal government will deliver help to those who lost everything.

Local and state officials from both political parties have praised the federal response in Baton Rouge, drawing a sharp contrast with the much-criticized delays by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser of Louisiana, a Republican who frequently criticizes Mr. Obama, told National Public Radio over the weekend that there had been “a whole huge change since Katrina"