Look, I've lived in the south, near the Gulf or the Atlantic, for most of my life--thirty-four years of my nearly forty have been spent in some sort of hurricane zone, so I've got a fair idea of what's about to happen in south Louisiana over the next couple of weeks at least. So listen when I say this, Senator McCain--if you have an ounce of soul left in your body, don't go to the Gulf Coast next week. I'd say the same thing to Senator Obama, but he already gets this, so I don't have to.
Here's the general rule about the first few days after a hurricane hits. If you're not a first-responder, a member of the National Guard, a relief worker bringing in supplies, or someone working on the downed electrical lines, then you don't need to be in the area. Okay, media people probably ought to be there, but they better be ready to get kicked to the side for any of the above-mentioned groups.
You know who needs to be the last group in the area? Grandstanding politicians who aren't local, at least not until the first wave of cleanup is done. Bobby Jindal? Gets to stay--he's the governor. George W. Bush? Stay the hell out of the way. Ray Nagin needs to be all up in the middle of this thing. Presidential candidates with their entourages and media circuses need to be anywhere else. You take up resources that can better be spent on the locals.
So Senator McCain, I hear that you're considering accepting your nomination via satellite from the Gulf Coast. That's the kind of thing that a clueless idiot who doesn't understand the nature of hurricanes does. You know, like this guy.
Don't be that guy. I know it's tough, because you two have so much in common, but do us all a favor--do yourself a favor--don't be that guy. Go to Minneapolis and make the right noises. We'll all be better off for it.