Baton Rouge, LA – It was clear this weekend that John Bel Edwards didn’t suspend his campaign, he just traded in the RV for a helicopter. And he made sure to save a seat on the helicopter for one of the reporters covering the Governor’s race. Before Barry even had a name, Governor Edwards announced that he would reschedule the rest of his campaign kickoff RV tour.
His campaign staff couldn’t help themselves. They immediately took to social media and started patting themselves on the back.
Their campaign team quickly handed the reins to the communications staff for the Governor’s Office, who kept right on campaigning. Trying to soak up all the free media coverage that comes with any natural disaster and taking to Twitter to celebrate their success.
Yes, while the residents of Louisiana were scrambling to prepare for inches of rain and storm damage, the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff is bragging about column inches and media coverage. Real classy. But it sure looks like that taxpayer funded helicopter ride paid off.
Those Louisiana residents, searching for the latest weather information, who grew tired of press conferences and staged photo-ops, turned to the Weather Channel for information or maybe their local news…where they were met with JBE’s campaign commercial.
When the Governor wasn’t flying members of the press to his staged photos-ops and wasn’t paying the Weather Channel to show his campaign commercial. He was holding press conferences where at times it appeared, he could barely contain his love for the media spotlight.
Between a press conferences, Governor Edwards was busy making sure he stayed in front the media, by calling into CNN and MSNBC multiple times over the weekend. How many Louisiana residents get their severe weather news from CNN and MSNBNC?
The Governor’s Office originally announced that he would be touring the impacted areas on Sunday but had to cancel those plans because it was too windy to take the helicopter.
Hey Governor, if you really wanted to tour the impacted areas on Sunday, we know where you can find a brand-new RV that isn’t being used.
Of course, this tour had little to do with surveying damage and everything to do with staying in front of the cameras for as long as they will let him. Which is exactly why a new member of the media got offered a free ride on today’s helicopter tour and “press gaggles” were pre-planned for every stop.
When severe weather strikes Louisiana, the real news story is the local men and women who brave the storm to help their neighbors. Not the guy in a different colored, custom embroidered fishing/disaster shirt thrusting himself in front of cameras and microphones from a secure location.
Thank you to the first responders. Thank you to the Louisiana National Guard. Thank you to the local city and parish workers. Thank you to the electrical lineworkers and pump operators. We appreciate the long hours you spent getting Louisiana ready for this weekend and the work you are doing this week to get our communities cleaned up.
Thank you for working when the cameras aren’t running.