Dear President Trump:
With Hurricane Irma nearing the Florida coast, you may be a getting a mulligan to display your presidential demeanor and leadership in the wake of a hurricane. And so this would be a good time to review your response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and fine-tune your actions should you have to come to Florida after this weekend.
Here are six tips to keep in mind:
1. Crowd size isn’t relevant during speeches you make at emergency management centers.
Refrain from saying, “What a crowd! What a turnout!” when you speak. Nobody’s impressed that storm victims congregate where free water is handed out.
2. Hurricanes should not be an opportunity to sell your campaign merchandise.
During Harvey, you showed up with your $40 campaign hat, the one that reads USA on the front and “Trump” on the back. Your former ethics chief viewed this as a crass attempt to use the hurricane to pad your future campaign coffers.
If you come to Florida after Hurricane Irma, you might try a cap that says “Florida” on it. Remember: It’s not about you.
3. Hurricanes should not be described in the same way you refer to your election victory.
You called Harvey “epic” and said the response was “better than ever before,” which sounds oddly like the way you boasted about winning the Electoral College votes of Wisconsin.
If you find yourself talking about a hurricane, it’s better to think of the adjectives children of undocumented immigrants would use to describe your new plan to deport them.
For example, “devastating” and “heartbreaking.”
4. Being at a hurricane shelter is awful.
So if you breeze by for a photo op, don’t tell the people there to “have a good time” as you did after Hurricane Harvey. You’re not playing host at a Mar-a-Lago dinner-dance.
And refrain from saying that you see “a lot of happiness” in people who have been displaced from their homes by a storm, or promise them more than you can deliver, as you did with, “We’re going to get you back and operating immediately.”
Remember, cutting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget was how you were going to be able to partially pay for your border wall.
5. Don’t blame the media for not being the Coast Guard.
After Harvey, you praised the Coast Guard for “going into winds that the media would not go into … unless it was a really big story.”
In other news, the Coast Guard does a lousy job of providing crossword puzzles, courtroom stories and restaurant reviews.
And in the big scheme of things, 63 journalists were killed while covering the war in Vietnam, the war you avoided by claiming a sudden eruption of bone spurs in your feet.
6. If you’re going to console the nation via Twitter, console us first by learning the language.
“Texas is heeling fast,” you wrote after Harvey.
Remember, you’re the president who once said, “I know all the big words.” At this point, we’d be thrilled if you knew most of the small words. There are only four letters in the word “heal,” which shouldn’t be confused with its homophone, “heel.”
And this wasn’t the first time you bungled this one. After the protests in Boston last month, you used the wrong word again by tweeting, “Sometimes protest is needed to heel, and heel we will.”
Before you tweet about us having to “heel” after Hurricane Irma, let’s go through a quick lesson:
“Heel” used correctly in a sentence: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pretends to be his own man, but when it comes to action, he is routinely brought to heel by Trump.
“Heal” used correctly in a sentence: If President Trump sabotages Obamacare, sick Americans will have to heal themselves.