Condoleezza Rice responded to Hurricane Katrina by shopping for shoes. Did Dick Cheney respond by shopping for real estate?
It appears so. Word is that the vice president is purchasing a $2.9 million waterfront home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not far from Donald Rumsfeld's weekend estate there.
If the report is right, maybe it explains the vice president's total absence from the response to Hurricane Katrina. God knows, buying a house can be stressful, especially when the house in question is what the Associated Press describes as "a nine-acre estate with ornamental pools and extensive gardens." But still, amid all the haggling over the price and the closing date and all that, couldn't the vice president of the United States find a moment to say something -- anything -- about the worst natural disaster in American history?
Cheney was on vacation in Wyoming much of last week. And while he's apparently back at the White House now -- we saw a photo over the weekend of Cheney chatting with Karl Rove in the Rose Garden -- he still hasn't made any sort of public comment about Katrina. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers announced over the weekend that Cheney has canceled a trip to Calgary that was planned for Thursday, but the vice president's office wasn't available for comment. And if the White House Web site is any guide, the vice president's last public appearance came on Aug. 18, when he used the 73rd National Convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart as an opportunity to sell the war in Iraq.
Update: The White House says Cheney will visit the Gulf Coast on Thursday, a week and a half after Katrina struck. There's still no explanation from the White House as to what he's been doing or will be doing in the meantime or why -- just to choose one example -- the man in charge of the White House energy task force hasn't had a word to say about the price of gasoline or the effects of the hurricane thereon.