NASHVILLE -- For about an hour this morning starting at about 10:30, two members of President Obama's Cabinet -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke -- toured parts of downtown Nashville that were submerged by last week's floods. This afternoon, they toured flood-stricken areas of Memphis
On Saturday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano toured Nashville's flood zones. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited the Naval Air Station at Millington for briefings on the flooding there. FEMA Director Craig Fugate has spent more time in Tennessee since the flooding began than he has in Washington.
In addition to those appointed federal officials, U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and individual congressmen have crisscrossed Middle and West Tennessee visiting Tennesseans still trying to clean out their homes and businesses of flood debris.
By mid-day today, $28 million in federal disaster assistance has been approved for individual Tennessee residents harmed by last week's weather.
At 11:22 a.m. today, state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey -- a Republican candidate for governor -- issued an email to his campaign supporters under the subject line, "Join with me to give Washington the boot!"
It said, "Dear Friends, I hope you will join with me to give Washington the boot! Let's stand together to send a strong message to Washington that we're going run our state the Tennessee way and not the Washington way. We are gathering Tennesseans from across the entire state to help in this effort. Please call, email and talk to your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to join us on May 15 when we unveil our plans to give Washington the boot!"
For the good of the more than 18,000 Tennesseans who have registered with FEMA -- the first step in receiving disaster assistance -- it might have been good that the Speaker wasn't touring the flooded areas while the visiting Washingtonians were around. He might have been wearing his black boots.