In an interview with CBS today, Barack Obama referred to himself (sort of) as the president, criticized Sen. McCain for visiting Mississippi, and channeled George W. Bush -- all in one fell swoop:
ANCHOR: Senator McCain and his running mate are going to be visiting Mississippi to check on hurricane preparations in Mississippi, do you have plans to come to this area.
SEN OBAMA: You know what I want to do is come after rather as opposed to before, and the reason is that there is a tendency when I make a visit these days or any president…either of the nominees make a visit, with secret service it can distract from law enforcement and the jobs that they need to do. I’m sure senator McCain’s team worked that through and made sure that that wasn’t going to be the case. But I don’t want to be a distraction, what I’m going to do is focus on what needs to happen after the hurricane strikes and to monitor it over the next 48 hours to make sure we are doing everything we can.
Two points ...
1). He obviously believes he is already the president.
2). More importantly, Obama is essentially making the exact same argument that got George W. Bush in so much trouble. Bush waited until after the hurricane to visit New Orleans, so he wouldn't "impede the rescue effort."
Bush from 2005:
"And now the best he can do is look out the window of his plane at the hurricane. His government says he'd like to visit—maybe even tomorrow—but the White House wants to make sure the president doesn't impede the rescue effort."
Obama from 2008:
But I don’t want to be a distraction, what I’m going to do is focus on what needs to happen after the hurricane strikes and to monitor it over the next 48 hours to make sure we are doing everything we can.