As Democrats such as former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm try to exploit Tropical Storm Isaac, happy that it has disrupted the Republican National Convention (RNC) and eager to remind voters of Hurricane Katrina, Republican governors from the Gulf are putting politics aside to prepare their states for the impending storm.
With weather forecasters predicting early Monday that Isaac will strengthen to a category 2 or 3 hurricane before making landfall anywhere from Pensacola, Florida west to Lake Charles, Louisiana, some of the GOP's best and brightest sprang into action, preparing emergency services and urging residents to secure property and evacuate. Governor Bobby Jindal, who replaced Democrat Kathleen Blanco in 2008, was to have been one of the key speakers at the RNC in Tampa, but looks likely to miss the convention entirely--just as he had done in 2008, when Hurricane Gustav likewise arrived in the Gulf at the beginning of the RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi likewise delayed his departure for the RNC, while his predecessor, Haley Barbour, who managed the impact and cleanup of Gustav in 2008, told viewers of Fox News that Gulf states would "pray for the best and prepare for the worst." Florida's Governor Rick Scott canceled his convention speech and declared a state of emergency in advance of Isaac's landfall in the Florida keys on Sunday.
With Democrats eager to trivialize tragedy, and to seize on bad weather to resurrect bad political memories of the administration of George W. Bush, Republican governors are under even more pressure than usual to show they are competent and ready for what Isaac will bring. Thus far, they are succeeding beyond expectations.
Photo credit: Patrick Dennis, TheAdvocate.com