President Donald Trump flew into Houston, Texas during the Labor Day holiday weekend to get a closer look at the massive damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August. This was Trump’s second visit to Texas communities affected by the devastating hurricane; earlier in the week, the President was in Corpus Christi, where he drew criticism for not meeting with flood survivors. On his visit to Houston, Trump tried a more personal approach as he traveled to NRG Stadium, one of the many large facilities that have been converted into emergency shelters across the city. At this shelter, Trump delivered many handshakes, smiles, and hugs; he perfectly played the part of a populist politician as he played with children who have been left homeless by the disastrous flooding, even serving boxed emergency snacks for lunch.
Trump bestowed compliments on all the emergency responders who have been conducting rescue and relief missions over the last few days. Helicopter crews from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and National Guard have rescued Texans from the roofs of their homes, the only dry spots they could find for miles. Trump also complimented Texas Governor Greg Abbott on his visit to a suburban Christian church that has also been converted to an emergency shelter. Senator Ted Cruz, a former presidential candidate who had a few unpleasant exchanges with Trump last year, accompanied the President on a tour of affected areas in Houston, at least the ones that can be reached by vehicles and not by small boats.
The most controversial and outrageous President in American history was mostly optimistic and upbeat in Houston; he was careful not to make his usual outlandish remarks, and he mostly made general promises to victims that the federal government will help them to recover as much as possible. Still, Trump could not resist the opportunity to take a shot at the news media, commenting that Coast Guard rescuers saved thousands by daring to enter areas that news journalists would not go into, when in actual fact, a few news crews have assisted in rescues even as they were reporting from various areas of Houston. For Trump, failing to deliver on the promises he has made in Texas could be the final straw that brings on the call for his impeachment. To this effect, he met with two Democrat members of Congress before leaving Houston: Al Green and Sheila Jackson Lee. These two politicians have called for Trump to step down from the White House.
In the end, the last thing the U.S. government wants is to revisit the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe of 2005, when former President George Bush was very late in responding to the catastrophe.