Commentary: Trump’s hurricane response: So far, so good

Trump is under the microscope of the biased media, and they’re eager to pounce on any flaws in his response to Harvey. For now, the most credible critique comes from Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who said: “I give FEMA a grade of A+, all the way from the president down.”

But the question on everyone’s mind is how long will the president be able to maintain his poise. Will Trump pull a Trump and spoil the moment? Will he tweet something wildly inappropriate? Will he spit out a jaw-dropping, demoralizing non sequitur insult at exactly the wrong time? Whom will he pick a fight with? Hmmm.

Anyway, I thought this might be a good time to consult my friend and business partner, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who was one of the heroes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. In his book “America’s Great Storm,” Barbour details Mississippi’s immediate response to Katrina and the years of recovery that followed.

When I asked him about some of the most important lessons learned, one of Barbour’s first thoughts was that “Texas will be recovering from this storm for years to come. The state and local governments have to work together and the governor has to lead. Nobody else can lead.” And with respect to the White House’s response, he said: “The federal government has to be a good partner to Texas just like they were after Katrina and Sandy. The federal government won’t do everything perfectly, but it must be there and for the long haul.”

Chicago Tribute Op-Ed
8/29/17