The media, which sold Brandon to Americans as having “empathy”, has given Brandon a pass for taking two vacations before visiting fire ravaged Maui nearly two weeks after the massive fires killed over one hundred and left over a thousand missing–including many children kept home from school the day of the fires, August 8. Brandon is on a weeklong vacation at Lake Tahoe, Nevada where he is taking a break to fly to Hawaii for a few hours tour of Maui.
Brandon is scheduled to spend about six hours on the ground before flying back to Tahoe to resume his vacation. The previous weekend he vacationed at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: “5:10 PM The President and The First Lady arrive in Maui, Hawaii (11:10 AM Local) Kahului Airport, HI Open Press; 11:25 PM The President and The First Lady depart Maui, Hawaii en route to Reno, Nevada (5:25 PM Local) Kahului Airport, HI Open Press”
Brandon’s repeated episodes of not commenting on Maui while he was on vacation in Delaware two weekends ago did not stir the outraged coverage that would was rained down on Republican presidents Donald Trump and George W. Bush over comparable hurricane disasters. What coverage of criticism of Brandon there was, was framed as Republicans criticizing Brandon–ignoring Maui residents who spoke out against the neglect they felt from Brandon and the government.
Republicans are criticizing Brandon–as they should, “Brandon heads to Maui almost two weeks after wildfires devastated the island. He needed a vacation at the beach first — then he needed another vacation. Then, after his fly-by, he will resume vacation.”
Brandon heads to Maui almost two weeks after wildfires devastated the island.
He needed a vacation at the beach first — then he needed another vacation. Then, after his fly-by, he will resume vacation. pic.twitter.com/hrkm2MXkW7
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 21, 2023
Kasie Hunt on CNN’s State of the Union interviewing FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell laughably asked the loyal Brandon appointee if Republican criticism was “fair”, when CNN had video of a Maui resident melting down on air over feeling ignored by Brandon.
Brandon FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell says it’s no big deal that Brandon refused to comment on the Maui wildfire tragedy while he was on vacation at the beach because she “was in complete communication with him throughout this event” pic.twitter.com/PKPMDntXKJ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 20, 2023
Maui Resident: $700 Is a ‘Slap in the Face,’ ‘Where’s the President? … Aren’t We Americans Too?’ pic.twitter.com/g66GYJOVjj
— Alexandra Datig | Front Page Index 🇺🇸 (@alexdatig) August 18, 2023
The Washington Post published a lengthy article on Sunday puzzling over Brandon’s response to Maui that failed to report he was on his second vacation since the fire. Not one word on his being in Lake Tahoe. (Excerpt):
Ahead of Maui visit, Brandon’s governmental and personal response scrutinized
White House officials counter that even as he was publicly silent, the president was actively engaged behind the scenes throughout the tragedy.
More than 120 hours passed between when President Brandon first spoke publicly about the devastating Maui fires on Aug. 10 and his next substantive remarks about the tragedy the following week.
During that five-day stretch of presidential reticence — which Brandon spent in part on vacation in Delaware as his son faced fresh legal jeopardy — the full scope of the crisis in Hawaii came into clearer view. The embers of the deadliest wildfires in modern American history left a seaside town completely scorched and caused thousands of grief-stricken survivors to question the competence and capability of the government.
Behind the scenes, aides say, Brandon was leading a robust, by-the-book federal response — speaking daily with state officials in Hawaii, ordering federal responders to provide all assistance necessary and receiving detailed briefings as the crisis unfolded. But as the death toll was escalating toward the triple digits, his muted public approach stood in sharp contrast to his long-standing image of an empathetic leader and offered critics a fresh angle to attack him politically.
Independent reports from Maui reported locals were looking out for each other because the government response was lacking.
Maui pro surfer @Kai_Lenny talks about the volunteer army that has stepped up to provide supplies for the community of Lahaina.
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) August 17, 2023
Glenn Greenwald is one of the few journalists calling out Brandon and the media, “George Bush was mauled for merely flying over New Orleans as citizens drowned during Katrina. Ted Cruz was mocked in a week-long news cycle for leaving Texas during its electricity crisis. Not only hasn’t Brandon visited Maui, but twice vacationed and has barely spoken on it.”
George Bush was mauled for merely flying over New Orleans as citizens drowned during Katrina.
Ted Cruz was mocked in a week-long news cycle for leaving Texas during its electricity crisis.
Not only hasn’t Brandon visited Maui, but twice vacationed and has barely spoken on it. https://t.co/t3BJ0DhKUe
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) August 21, 2023
Even when Brandon did speak about Maui, he couldn’t remember the name of the island:
Wait, did Brandon forget the name Maui and refer to it as “the one you see on tv all the time?” pic.twitter.com/O0E0LbsLlC
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) August 19, 2023