What’s up with the Republican Party and hurricanes? After all the hand wringing and rearranging of events, Tampa has been largely spared the wrath of Isaac. Aside from the sweltering humidity and occasional rainstorm that is to some part of just another day in paradise, it’s a perfect day for a convention.
Meanwhile, Isaac is making its thunderous way toward Louisiana, and could hit New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was set to address the convention Wednesday night, has canceled his trip.
“There is no time for politics here in Louisiana,” he said at a Monday press conference.
Jindal had to scrap plans to attend the 2008 convention, too, thanks to Hurricane Gustav. In an act of solidarity and to not appear insensitive, the GOP delayed the start of its convention in Minneapolis.
Journalists are a jaded lot and on what was supposed to be the first day of this year’s confab, we find ourselves with a bit of time on our hands to speculate: Did the GOP jump the gun this year? And while understandable, it’s a move Republican leaders could regret.
Few people will likely ever erase from their memory the visual of Katrina’s thousands of mostly African-American victims stranded on rooftops, the football stadium and other places. And no matter how many thoughts and prayers everyone in Tampa sends to Louisiana on Wednesday or Thursday night, the visual of the party fêting itself juxtaposed against victims of another potentially devastating storm is also a sight many Americans won’t likely forget.