The Houston Chronicle’s Julie Mason provides some insight into how the White House advance team prepared for Bush’s visit to the Gulf Coast today:
One thing Bush likes to do in the Gulf Coast is hand out American flags to families rebuilding their houses. Long before he shows up, Bush’s advance team scouts the non-hostile property owners in a neighborhood, and later, the president drops by and gives the family a flag. The White House thinks this makes for good pictures — and maybe it did, a month after the storm. But a year and half later, with the region still a mess and so many people displaced, it seems a little tone-deaf to be handing out flags — politically, it does invite comparisons to what Bush isn’t doing in the region.