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LTE: Hurricane Isaac Poses Issues for Romney

Falls Church City Republican Committee chairman believes Romney’s best chance to reach voters is over.

To the editor:

As delegates and others gather for the delayed Republican convention, an undercurrent of concern is dampening the usual high spirits. Isaac is on most minds.

A Colorado delegate who is attending his sixth convention says that Mitt and Ann Romney should go to New Orleans instead of Tampa. "He should put that picture of "W" (President George W. Bush surveying Katrina's damage from 5,000 feet) behind everybody," he says. A veteran Ohio GOP official says that most delegates are worried about the Gulf Coast: "They are shaking their heads at Romney's bad luck to have the hurricane at the same time as the convention."

"This is eerie," a woman from New York says. "Seven years to the day after Katrina hit and Romney has a decision to make. There's no good option. Cancel everything and party activists are unhappy. Keep to the schedule and risk punishing publicity by the networks. Do a partial convention and maybe have Isaac competing with what's happening in the arena."

Meantime, party officials, larger contributors, elected officials and candidates continue their pace of strategy meetings and fundraising without interruption. Across Tampa Bay in Clearwater, the head of a government relations firm from Washington, D.C. says, "Isaac is a non-event here in the Tampa area but an important event along other parts of the Gulf Coast and in the news. There are no easy decisions right now for the Romney people."

Most of the real activity at conventions happens outside the formal sessions in the hall. That will happen in Tampa. But people are worrying that Romney's best chance to reach voters may be ruined. Could Romney be Isaac's only victim in Tampa?

By Ken Feltman

Feltman is the chair of the Falls Church City Republican Committee.

Chuck Stein August 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I think there has been a little too much bed-wetting over this storm, which is not even at hurricane strength. If New Orleans, following hundreds of millions of dollars in post-Katrina flood-prevention efforts, is as seriously threatened from this storm the way the media has made out, then perhaps we should consider razing the place and sparing us this repeated drama every time a tropical disturbance pops up in the Gulf. Plus, the GOP should take their cues from the President, who will continue campaigning -- he has a scheduled stop here in Virginia tomorrow. If the President can continue with his political schedule, then so should the GOP.
Ken Feltman August 29, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Mr. Stein, You make some good points but I hope you appreciate that New Orleans is not just any city that can be razed to "spare us this repeated drama every time a tropical disturbance pops up in the Gulf." New Orleans and its people are more than an inconvenience. Throughout our history, New Orleans has been exactly where we needed it to be and the United States might not be the nation that we are if New Orleans were not where it is. I wrote about some of its extraordinary contributions to the U.S. when Katrina flooded the city - http://radnorreports.com/2005/09/01/new-orleans-will-recover-what-about-bush/ - and I stand by that assessment now. When a soldier is too old to fight, we do not cast him out. We honor him. Should we do less with a city that has contributed so much to the rest of us? I am not from New Orleans but I have studied its contribution. If we raze New Orleans, then what will we do when we need it? New Orleans - right where it is - is one of the most consequential cities in our country. If New Orleans is inconvenient, it is a necessary inconvenience. Ken Feltman

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