With Hurricane Dorian increasing in strength and set to very likely hit the United States this weekend, Donald Trump has canceled his planned visit to Poland, sending Mike Pence in his place. This is according to Bloomberg and other news outlets. That sounds like a reasonable move, as the president should remain home on the eve of a potential domestic crisis. But here’s the thing.
It’s been clear for a few days that Dorian was going to hit the United States, and that it was going to be ugly. It’s just that the forecasts had been pointing to Dorian hitting Puerto Rico. Donald Trump didn’t care about that at all, unless you count his openly annoyed tweet about how much money the recovery was going to cost. But see, now things have changed.
The forecasts now point to Dorian hitting Florida. That’s a swing state, one which Donald Trump absolutely must win in 2020 in order to have any shot at reelection. More to the point, as of today, the forecasts are increasingly placing Trump’s Florida home of Mar-a-Lago directly in Dorian’s path. So now suddenly Trump is canceling his trip to Poland.
Sure, perhaps that’s just a coincidence. Maybe Donald Trump would have ended up canceling his Poland trip even if Dorian had remained on track to hit Puerto Rico, instead of hitting Florida and Mar-a-Lago. We’ll never know for certain. But this sure does look bad. When you consider Trump’s consistent history of only caring about natural disasters in states that he thinks he can win, it looks even worse.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report