Last week, as conservative media pounced on the liberal media and the president for not visiting Louisiana in the wake of the devastating flooding that has ruined hundreds of thousands of lives, Donald Trump made a surprise visit to the state with a truckload of supplies for the people of Baton Rouge. Even former Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu and current Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards have said Trump’s visit was a good thing.
Barack Obama was content to ignore Louisiana, even after he trashed George W. Bush for not visiting the state quicker after Katrina. However, the media attention Trump got after his initial visit has forced Obama to schedule a trip to Louisiana today. In short, Donald Trump has scored a pretty good PR victory.
Hillary Clinton has no plans to visit the state at all, and has chosen to continue fundraising instead. She is far enough ahead in the polls that she believes she can withstand a Trump bounce from this, but that Obama is coming is very telling. Here is a president that claimed his administration cared about optics, and he is being shown-up by a man he views as beneath him and the office he holds. But, now he has to make an appearance.
Trump’s victory is his first, and it’s a sign that the new leadership in the form of Kellyanne Conway is actually doing some good. She is, according to sources, talking to Trump in terms he understands – namely, ratings. Showing up in Louisiana before the Democratic president and the Democratic nominee for president is great for his ratings. It gets him positive airtime, something he’s needed for a while.
It’s not enough to get him ahead in the polls, but it actually is a great first victory. He gets to overshadow Obama’s visit to Louisiana. He’s lingering in the state, making appearances and touring the flooded areas. Obama is here just to say he came. Now, Trump has to follow this up with more positive PR, something that he struggles with. A lot.
Don’t worry. I’m not in any danger of suddenly becoming a supporter of Trump. But I don’t necessarily mind when Obama and Hillary are made to look like fools. So, thanks, Mr. Trump.