Ever since Hurricane Katrina was ruthlessly and diabolically politicized to make President George ush look uncaring, incompetent and even racist, major storm events have been subject to some of the worst kind of shameless political shenanigans in recent memory. All while politicians accuse their opponents of politicizing the event.
Hurricane Matthew will surely be treated in a similar fashion, considering this is a presidential election year. But so far, only Hillary Clinton appears to be taking advantage of the storm.
It actually began last year when Hurricane Hermine steered toward Florida. According to Clinton, Hermine, a Cat 1 hurricane, was the result of global warming and only she could save our nation from its threat. The hurricane also presented Mrs. Clinton an opportunity to attack Donald Trump as “unfit.”
“Another threat to our country is climate change. 2015 was the hottest year on record and the science is clear: it’s real, it’s wreaking havoc on communities across America. Last week’s hurricane was another reminder of the devastation that extreme weather can cause and I send my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by Hermine. But, this is not the last one that’s going to hit Florida given what’s happening in the climate. […] If it affects people who lose their homes or their businesses that took a lifetime to build, it doesn’t matter to him. When it comes to protecting our country against natural disasters and the threat of climate change, once again, Donald Trump is totally unfit and unqualified to be our President.”
So there she was laying the narrative last year. Fast-forward to yesterday when it was revealed that Clinton’s campaign has made a major ad purchase on the Weather Channel to take advantage of the increased interest in Matthew.
Hillary’s campaign will run $63,000 worth of ads on the Weather Channel as Hurricane Matthew hits Florida https://t.co/0MAlkGGk9L
— New York Post (@nypost) October 6, 2016
The move garnered immediate ridicule and political blow-back and announced they were putting the Weather Channel purchase “on hold.”
Couldn't let this crisis go to waste? Shameful @HillaryClinton's campaign even considered exploiting Hurricane Matthew for political gain
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) October 6, 2016
On Special Report Thursday night, Charles Krauthammer hammered Clinton for the clumsy political move:
On the issue of the ads, I mean, I can’t believe sometimes how ham handed the clinton campaign is. As you said, you get a lot of eyeballs on the weather channel but if you are running around, trying to find the kids in the middle of a hurricane, those are going to be angry eyeballs. And, secondly, there is a national effect. Her reputation as somebody unbridled ambition, everything has to fall in the path of her ambition to ascend. And to be talking about ad buys on a weather channel in a situation like this only reinforces that. That there is nothing there except ambition. It’s a small item. It will be done by tomorrow. But, none the less, why would you even think about this?
And, get this, when asked about the decision to place the ads and then to pull the ads, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook accused the Republicans of politicizing the storm!
“It is unfortunate that Chairman Priebus is trying to politicize the hurricane,” he told reporters on a conference call.
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign also tried to take advantage of Hurricane Matthew by boxing Republican Governor Rick Scott into extending voter registration in the Sunshine State because they felt their efforts were being hampered by the pending storm. This obviously political maneuver was meant to put Scott in the position of denying the request and then face attacks from political opponents over voting rights issues.
Scott has, in fact, declined the Clinton campaign’s request last night.
So, if you’re keeping score (and aren’t we all?) so far it’s the Clinton campaign with three direct political moves (climate change, ad buys and voter registration maneuver) plus one reverse charge of politicizing the storm.
Meanwhile, after Matthew passes through Florida, we should expect Donald Trump to visit the area. Why? because he is a part-time resident of the state. He spends much of his time there and he owns tons of property there. It’s not only natural as a part-time Floridian for him to go to survey the damage, but as a candidate he will surely participate in the clean-up effort in much the same way he did in Baton Rouge earlier this year.
And just wait and see how he will be accused by Clinton of politicizing the storm. Just wait.