Harvey is a test. Can Texas handle this catastrophe? How will President Trump handle the first disaster of his young presidency?
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The state of Texas and the president will not want a repeat of Katrina, which was a physical and public relations disaster for New Orleans and President Bush.
First, Texas: Going into this, it had a reputation as a "can-do" state - dynamic, efficient, booming. So far, Governor Abbott has clearly been in charge and on top of the growing problem. He has marshalled resources, and liaised directly with the feds. Texas is a Republican state. The Democrats will be eager to find fault.
Now, the president: He has announced his intention to visit Texas tomorrow. That carries risk. He could easily be criticized for getting in the way by bringing all the baggage of the presidency right into the heart of the rescue and recovery operation. And if he does a fly-over, he risks looking like President Bush, who was savaged for "looking down" on the stricken New Orleans. No matter what he does, the left will surely find fault.
But the president does have an advantage. His chief of staff is General John Kelly, who until a few weeks ago was in charge of FEMA, which will be handling displaced people. And he's a general, who knows how to deploy the military.
So far, Texas is living up to its reputation as a state that can do what has to be done. And the president has been front and center, getting together all the federal help The Lone Star state requires.
Of course there is political risk, but if this is a demonstration of how America responds to disaster, we're doing ok.