The Democrat gave his rival the chance to score points as the hurricane approached New Orleans
The Guardian, Saturday September 6 2008
"......Gustav should have been political rat poison for the Republicans, no matter how well it was managed. Yet, as Peter Baker noted in the New York Times, "rather than run away from the hurricane and its political risks, Mr McCain ran toward it". If this strategy worked, it was at least partly because Barack Obama has been running away from New Orleans for his entire campaign......
There are plenty of political reasons for this, of course. Obama's campaign is pitching itself to the middle class, not the class of discarded people New Orleans represents. The problem is that by remaining virtually silent about the most dramatic domestic outrage in modern US history, Obama created a political vacuum. When Gustav hit, all McCain needed to do to fill it was show up. Sure, it was cynical for McCain to claim the hurricane zone as a campaign backdrop; but it was Obama who left that potent terrain vacant......"