McCain chose to not go to the Republican National Convention after the first news about Gustav possibly hitting the Gulf Coast came out. The convention was used as a platform to ask for support for the relief effort. McCain's wife and the first lady both appealed to people watching the convention to help support the victims of the hurricane. McCain went to a disaster relief center in Ohio to help pack supplies to be sent to the Gulf Coast. Republicans were criticizing Obama for continuing to campaign while the storm was approaching. However Obama wasn't oblivious to the storm, he via text and email urged his supporters to donate to the relief for the storm, and scaled back his speeches to return to Chicago and monitor Gustav and then decide what to do for the rest of the week. Obama also asked for people to pray for the victims of the storm. Both candidates are at least showing more thought for the people in the Gulf Coast than Bush showed 3 years ago.
This is one of the biggest tests the candidates are going to face over the next few months, so far they're both doing well, but there's a lot to be seen in the days to follow after this storm, and the rest of the storms to follow. Hurricane Hanna and Tropical Storm Ike are on the horizon, and they both pose a threat to this country.
The response to this storm was much better than it was to Katrina. Preparations were made way before the storm, and the evacuations of over 2 million people seem to have gone very smoothly. While no one will forget what happened during and after Katrina, it's nice to know that we've learned from the mistakes that we made then. Over 1,600 people died during Katrina, it appears that this time around the fatality rates will be substantially lower. And thankfully this time it looks as though New Orleans dodged a bullet.
It looks like we might be having another very active storm year, which brings up global warming once more to the front of the political atmosphere (pardon the pun). From what I know on global warming, it does exist, whether it's something that threatens us in the very near future has yet to be seen. The last 2 hurricane seasons were supposed to be very active, but they were rather dormant compared to 2005. It could be that this is just a cycle, but global warming might be effecting the temperature enough to where when an active season comes up it causes it to be even more than just "active", but like I say I'm not very sure on the topic.
I would like to ask for any of you reading this to donate to the Red Cross or any other organization currently helping hurricane victims (as I have done), during this time of need. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this storm, and to the families that have lost their loved ones.