“The President does not want to immediately visit the typhoon-struck areas because he does not want to become the focus or the center of attraction when he visits. He prefers to wait until the situation has stabilized and until assistance has been extended before he visits.” – Abigail Valte, Palace spokesperson
Political leadership in times of crisis is a delicate thing.
“You have to be frank about the fix you’re in without being demoralizing.
You have to seem confident without seeming out of touch with reality. You have to be human without indulging all your very human emotions.
Rudy Giuliani set the modern standard on 9/11, and in a way that is not remarked upon. All his public statements were brilliantly specific. He told you exactly what resources were on their way to do what and where and why.
That he had the facts at his command left people feeling: Thank God, someone’s in charge, I can take care of me while he takes care of the city. That’s what people want in a time of crisis.” – Peggy Noonan
It doesn’t help to stay away from the action. It doesn’t look good to stay on dry land.
In a time of crisis, people need the affirmation that things will work themselves out, no matter how badly things get. It is leadership that provides the basis for that confidence.
(P.S. Ms. Valte… the President will ALWAYS be the center of attention – whether he’s talking to separatist rebels… eating hotdog in Manhattan… or buying new software in Megamall.)