Hello, I'm Mike Pearson. Hurricane Isaac came ashore through New Orleans this week, exactly seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. But the outcomes were decidedly different.
Isaac brought with it heavy rains, high winds, and high water. While over 1 million residents in Louisiana and Mississippi are still without power, while less than ten people are known to have been killed by the storm. When Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region nearly a decade ago, more than 1800 people lost their lives and billions of dollars worth of damage was left in her wake. The brunt of Isaac bypassed the newly hurricane-fortified city of New Orleans but cities to the north and south of the Big Easy experienced some flooding. As the storm moved farther inland the weather brought welcome rains to drought-stricken states already taking it on the chin.
As the Category 1 hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression, a storm of a different kind was brewing east of the heavy weather in Tampa, Florida.
A temporary weather delay at the beginning of the week didn’t seem to put a damper on the Republican National Convention.
Gov. Chris Christie, R-New Jersey: “We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction. And now we have a running mate who will do the same. We have Gov. Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan and we must make them our next president and vice president.”
As the prospective candidate officially became the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, came out swinging.
Gov. Mitt Romney: Mr. Chairman, I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America.”
For those watching from rural America, the gauntlet has clearly been thrown down in front of the Democratic Party.
Gov. Mitt Romney: “Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!”
While House Republicans blocked progress of the Farm Bill, Governor Romney favors several policies friendly to rural America.
Gov. Mitt Romney: “And unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.”
He supports ethanol as part of an energy mix that includes increased domestic drilling and nuclear power.
Gov. Mitt Romney: “First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.”
A staunch supporter of free-trade, Romney’s priorities include opening new markets to American products and ensure that the Chinese adhere to existing agreements.
Gov. Mitt Romney: “Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.”
Calling himself pro-jobs, pro-market and pro-American, he would reduce the size of government, curtail federal regulatory demands and permanently eliminate estate taxes.
Gov. Mitt Romney: “And fifth, we will champion small businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.”
Despite the ground swell of post-convention support, it remains to be seen what will happen on the first Tuesday in November. With the general election a little more than two months away, pollsters from Gallup to Rasmussen see the race as too close to call.