Even though Hurricane Irene turned out to be more bark than bite, some thought it was going to be the first big natural-disaster test for President Barack Obama. And the natural inclination was to compare Obama’s performance to his predecessor’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Over the weekend, the White House released a few photos of Obama to the public, showing the president in action as the events unfolded. One of those photos caught the eye of syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. On Monday’s “Special Report” on Fox News Channel, Krauthammer asked what exactly Obama was doing in a photo of him at a desk alongside Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
“You watch him sitting at a desk at NOAA in the middle of a hurricane. I said, ‘What exactly is he doing?’” Krauthammer said. “And I know you’re not supposed to ask questions like that. The picture is supposed to speak for itself. But you have to wonder what kind of extraordinary intellectual powers is he applying?”
“But remember on the night he won the nomination in 2008, he promised that that night would be remembered as the night at which the earth began to heal and the rise of the oceans began to slow,” Krauthammer said. “So I guess he was fulfilling a campaign promise that he slowed the rise of the oceans and you really have to give him all the credit for that.”