Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has a test coming up very soon. It concerns how he handles Hurricane Ian.

If he keeps the emergency administrative wheels revolving smoothly he dodges a bullet and gets some credit. Screw up and he’ll watch his presidential ambitions deteriorate. Though, no matter what he does the leftist press are already planning to make him out to be a cold heartless buffoon responsible for the death of many because he couldn’t properly deal with the storm. They are trying to recreate what they did to Bush the Younger in Louisiana in 2005. How do I know this? I was there.

Air Force One In Baton Rouge, 9/05

I was at an impass personally and professionally in late August 05 when Katrina hit Louisiana. So, for a change of scenery, I volunteered to go with the first wave of American Red Cross workers into the storm area. Thousands of relief workers from all over America hit the state and some ended up with me in Baton Rouge.

The majority of my experience was spent at a shelter at Southern University. But before that I spent some time with the Red Cross government liaison office at Red Cross HQ in Cortana. That’s where I saw the politics play out. I was in Louisiana six weeks.

Refugee shelter at Southern University, Baton Rouge.

The two political players on the ground, Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans and Democrat Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco spent more time trying to get on the air than they did on the relief effort. It got to the point that both were so over the top that they were legitimately pilloried in the national press for their media obsession.

However, the press did not acquit themselves so well in regards to Dubya and the situation on the ground in Louisiana. Ticked off because he had just beat their boy John Kerry in the presidential election of 2004, the press came to the state determined to make Bush pay for his political success. They succeeded.

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Now Bush wasn’t blameless for the FEMA screwups. He had installed a crony as FEMA director and the guy choked when it came to his job during Katrina. It took FEMA weeks to get their act together. But the press, seeing the opportunity, blatantly exaggerated and lied about what was happening in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

We who were working on the ground at HQ marveled at press coverage that completely diverged from the facts we dealt with every day. The leftist press portrayed a heartless Bush leading a witless hurricane response. Well, there are unfavorable things one can say about George Bush, Jr. as president. Heartless is not one of them.

And the response, once private sector and civic groups picked up the slack, was operating well about a week or two after the storm abated. It wasn’t, as the press insisted, like conditions in a Third World hellhole.

This week and thereafter the leftist press will try to do the same to Ron DeSantis. CNN and MSNBC will feature coverage of destruction and damage and claim it’s all due to the incompetence of the DeSantis administration in Florida. It will very likely be a complete fabrication, as much of it was in Louisiana. But it won’t stop the press from doing it and thus attempting to hurt DeSantis about a year before the beginning of the 2024 race. The governor is a smart guy. Let’s hope he’s ready for them.