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OpinionOpEd

President Obama should have stopped playing golf, gone to Louisiana sooner

President Barack Obama reacts after putting on the

President Barack Obama reacts after putting on the first green as he plays golf at Farm Neck Golf Course in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Martha's Vineyard, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. The president and his family are vacationing on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. Photo Credit: AP

Republicans are overly quick to blame President Barack Obama for everything. Anything bad that happens anywhere in the world is immediately Obama’s fault.

This one time, the Republicans are right to take Obama to task.

The president finally got to flood-ravaged Louisiana today, several days after Donald Trump made the trip in an obvious attempt to shame Obama. But Obama should have cut short his golfing vacation and made it to Baton Rouge sooner.

Obama has to know the optics are poor when we see pictures of him playing golf, and then see photos of the flooding in Louisiana.

When a disaster strikes, the nation has a right to expect the president to make his presence felt. That would lead the news, and bring attention to the disaster.

If Obama had been somewhere else in the world on critical business, his delay would have been easier to understand. But the fact he was on vacation and was playing golf with celebrities had to gall the people in Louisiana and elsewhere.

The Baton Rouge Advocate, the city’s newspaper, asked for Obama to get to the area quicker.

“A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the president at ground zero,” an editorial in the Advocate read.

The president can play golf whenever he wants. When a disaster strikes, he needs to be on the scene.

Gary Stein is a columnist for the Sun Sentinel.

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