Coming back from summer holidays, I’m reading, just like many of us, articles and news about hurricane Gustav and how it is has a (stormy) impact on the Republican National Convention.
This is a dramatic illustration, in my opinion, of how politicians have to be able to cope with crisis communication. In the opposite of Bush’s absence of reaction when Katarina hit New Orleans, McCain has to move fast from celebrating Republican Ambitions to showing support to people from Louisiana.
With television tracking the storm’s approach and showing images of an emptying New Orleans, it was hard for voters to escape reminders of how Mr. Bush had emerged from Hurricane Katrina severely wounded by judgments of incompetence and lack of empathy.
This is (another) turning point in the presidential campaign as McCain has the pressure to match the Democrat Convention media cover and Obama’s historical speech.
“There are two sides to the coin,” said Joe Gaylord, who was a top adviser to Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker. “On the one hand, you’d like the time to be able to present your message to the public. On the other hand, when the country’s going through something like this — and remember just how searing Hurricane Katrina really was for the country — to have that happen almost on the anniversary in almost the exact location, to not pay attention would be a huge mistake.”
It will be interesting to see what’s going to be remembered from this hectic period in a (already) historical presidential campaign in America and how spin doctors from both sides are able to make the best of a crisis…