In Harvey coverage, Trump emerges as a man of contradictions
The New York Times reports that President Trump “has seldom been more engaged in the details of any issue as he is with Harvey.” He “appears to be handling the federal response to Hurricane Harvey actively and aggressively,” according to U.S. News & World Report.
But the Times-Picayune of New Orleans, a city all too familiar with hurricane damage, noted that when the president spoke at a fire station in Corpus Christi, Tex., on Tuesday, he “remarked on the size of the crowd as if he were at a rally.” Trump, the Atlantic asserted, “has not shown much in the way of sympathy.”
In coverage of his response to Harvey, Trump emerges as a man of contradictions — a take-charge leader who struggles to strike the right tone. He resembles a skilled surgeon lacking in bedside manner.
Virtually every news outlet agrees that Trump is in the midst of a defining moment. Appraisals of his early performance vary widely, however.
Politico’s Josh Dawsey began his dispatch from Corpus Christi like this:
It was a presidential trip to a deluged state where the president didn’t meet a single storm victim, see an inch of rain or get near a flooded street.
But the day-long visit, during which President Donald Trump spent far more time in the air than on the ground, gave the optics-obsessed president some of the visuals he wanted, as he checked in on the government apparatus working on relief efforts and was buoyed by a roaring crowd of locals.
The implication here is that Trump wasn’t interested in getting a true feel for the situation; he just wanted a few photo ops.Contrast that take on the president’s arms-length approach during Tuesday’s visit with what the Christian Science Monitor’s Linda Feldmann wrote:
In visiting Texas on Tuesday, Trump’s goal was to engage with events but not interfere with rescue and relief. Presidential travel always entails massive security, including involvement of local law enforcement. He and his wife did not travel to Houston, but instead visited Corpus Christi, where Harvey made landfall last Friday, and the state capital, Austin, for briefings with state leaders.
Here, Trump’s decision to remain on the periphery is presented as an attempt to keep valuable public resources on relief efforts, rather than presidential security. Viewed that way, Trump’s distance looks like a product of thoughtfulness, not aloofness.
Trump certainly cares about his crisis-management grade. “We want to be looked at in five years and 10 years from now as this is the way to do it,” he said on Tuesday.
Notably, Matt Drudge, the influential news aggregator whose opinion the president values, appears to be reserving judgment. The headline at the top of the Drudge Report on Wednesday morning was about as vanilla as they come: “Trump tours Texas devastation.”The accompanying link brought readers to a Daily Mail report that offered what I would describe as a neutral account of the president’s visit, free of praise or criticism.
Fonte: The Washington Post