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A presidential visit for Nashville?

By Ed O'Keefe
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said Thursday he would welcome a presidential visit his storm-devastated state soon but understands the commander in chief has had a lot on his plate this week. Weekend storms and flooding across Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky have killed at least 29 people and at least five people are still missing.

"This thing that happened in Tennessee got sandwiched between everything happening in the Gulf and everything happening up in New York," Bredesen said on a conference call with reporters this afternoon. Bredesen said he discussed a possible presidential visit earlier this week with President Obama and White House senior aide Valerie Jarrett.

"What I basically said is that first of all, he certainly would be welcomed, but during the first two or three days, it's sometimes counterproductive ... when a president comes," said Bredesen.

"At the point we're at now, if he wanted to do so he would be very welcomed," he later added.

"FEMA and the White House could not have been more helpful," he said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate traveled back to the region on Thursday after first visiting on Monday. His agency has received at least 8,500 requests for assistance from residents impacted by the floods, Fugate said.

"We were watching the risk of severe weather across the southeast as we went into the weekend, but I don't think anybody was prepared to look at how much rain fell over such a short period of time over a large area," Fugate said.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean also expressed satisfaction with the state and federal disaster assistance and noted that the city's airport and downtown areas are open for business.
"There's music there and beer there and barbecue," Dean said.

In addition to his conversations with Bredesen, Obama spoke earlier this week with the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas. He received another briefing on Thursday about the flooding response from his top homeland security adviser, John O. Brennan, the White House said.

By Ed O'Keefe  |  May 6, 2010; 5:41 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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I feel, with devastation of this magnitude, from a natural diaster, Mr. Obama should travel to Nashville. These people are citizens of the United States, aren't they? His not going there is disgraceful and shameful. Too many excuses and not enough action. Seems like that's all we get these days from Washington and any other seat of government.

Posted by: wilson0004 | May 12, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: ThomasSutton | May 10, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: ThomasSutton | May 10, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

He was there, 'from Day One!', didn't you see him there.

Posted by: RayOne | May 8, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Little late on that one Col. Custer!

Posted by: TexRancher | May 8, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Quality isn’t something that can be argued into an article or promised into it. It must be put there. If it isn’t put there, the finest sales talk in the world won’t act as a substitute.
-- C.G. Campbell
The bomb that was to go off saved by the NYPD is ought not of the FBI or CIA. Obama loses this term
I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

Posted by: flymulla | May 7, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The petulant, hating, racist Obama will spend his four years - if he makes it - making states pay for not carrying him.

Well, Dumbo - these are the states that are still functioning above the neck...we don't do the messiah thing. Freak. Failure.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | May 7, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I watched closely to see if blizzards in the NE, hurricanes in the Midwest, floods in TN, and now destruction in Ms, AL, and FL from oil spill (all involving deaths). After 13 days BH O'Carter made it to the oil. I was not really surpised at the total lack of interest in the above - until I calculated the percentage of African Americans in TN. I get it now - those who can walk and chew gum at the same time vs those who can't.

Posted by: IQ168 | May 7, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

No, Cryos, we're not all White in Nashville, but we White folks love our African-American & Latino neighbors here, and when the floods came, we didn't check their ethnic heritage before we offered a helping hand. If we could get a flood to wash away all the bigots, now THAT would be something.

Posted by: mlv1055 | May 6, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Too many white people affected and not enough latinos or blacks for Obama to visit I guess.

Posted by: Cryos | May 6, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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