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RNC and Issac: The PR Imperfect Storm
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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(DISCLAIMER: For those who love reading between lines that aren't really there...stop. This is not a political editorial.) 

This week, the Republican National Convention traipses onto the shores of Tampa, Fla. Thousands of amped electorates will be there, with buttons emblazoned on jackets made of Old Glory and party favors that play "(It's a) Grand Old Flag." They will be giddy with expectation to hear Mitt Romney's name officially registered as the man designated to beat President Obama in November. 

However, is that cantankerous old broad Mother Nature a Democrat? Seen the weather reports lately? 

Tropical Storm Issac was headed toward the Gulf Shores as a possible Category 1 hurricane in the making. That was last week as it was creating havoc over the Virgin Islands. The NOAA and the National Hurricane Center say that Issac is supposed to build to a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday and is set to crash into New Orleans. Do you know what else happens on Wednesday?

Yes, the RNC will be up in hoopla at that time, but I wasn't talking about that. 

No, it was seven years ago to the day that Hurricane Katrina knocked New Orleans back two decades with its devastation and carnage. 

No one planned this. No one assumed this. No one even saw it coming before it was too late. The show will go on in Tampa and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has already (and smartly) cancelled his travel plans and declared a state of emergency for President Obama. 

Is it possible that this potential tragedy will become a PR hit for the Republican National Convention? I read an article in Forbes that echoes that sentiment: 

It is the last thing the Republicans need for the public to be reminded of the Bush administration's inaction during the Katrina crisis as they are nominating Mitt Romney. 

For the record, I love politics and I loathe the actions of politicians at the same time. And I completely see this happening, even if the Democrats choose to stay classy and not even mention this "imperfect storm." I'm sure there will be some who will connect the dots and trace an arrow aimed right the heart of the RNC hullabaloo. 

Will it be cheap to bring up the tragic state of affairs seven years ago in light of this incident? Yes. 

Will it be awful to use a potential loss of life for political speech fodder? Without a doubt. 

Do I think it's beyond anyone of either party to do it? Not for one second. 

This election is arguably one of the most important in this generation for many reasons. However, if the Weather Channel is right and Wednesday is a terrible day for the working-so-hard-but-not-even-close-to-being-restored Gulf Shores, let's just keep this away from the donkeys and elephants. You know, so they all don't make an "ass" out of themselves.

P.S. Pray for New Orleans.


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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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