Louisiana's largest newspaper on Friday blasted President Obama for not showing his face in the state after a flood that has killed 13 people and forced thousands of people out of their homes.
The Baton Rouge Advocate published an editorial titled "After Louisiana flood, President Obama goes AWOL" that said other presidents made a point of visiting the state after floods.
In 1965, for example, President Lyndon Johnson showed up after a flood and told people, "I am here to make sure you have the help you need," the paper said.
Obama has declared a federal emergency, and sent Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to the state. But Johnson said Thursday that Obama wouldn't be visiting the state because he "can't be everywhere," a line that didn't sit well with the Advocate because Obama is currently on vacation in Martha's Vineyard.
"Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha's Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected," the editorial board wrote Friday.
The board noted that Obama himself railed against President George W. Bush after Bush was criticized for neglecting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. But it said Obama so far has failed to act in the way he wanted Bush to act.
"Presidents don't always get these things right," it said. "President George W. Bush's reluctance to leave his Texas ranch after Hurricane Katrina is well known, but another instructive precedent was Calvin Coolidge's low profile after the Great Flood of 1927 submerged a large part Louisiana."
"Silent Cal, so nicknamed for his reticence, should have showed up quickly back then and spoken louder," the paper added. "Obama, for that matter, should have been here by now, too."