The Washington Times - August 31, 2012, 01:32PM

Mitt Romney may have beat President Obama to the punch by rearranging his post-convention schedule Friday to fit in a trip to Louisiana to survey the damage from Hurricane Isaac, but President Obama will create some lasting presidential images of his own with a visit to the state Monday.

Mr. Obama will squeeze in a trip to Louisiana on Labor Day, the day before the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. officially kicks off, part of five straight days of campaigning in battleground states before he accepts his party’s renomination Thursday.


The White House didn’t announce the schedule change until Friday afternoon, after Mr. Romney, fresh from receiving his party’s official presidential nod, made headlines that morning by announcing a surprise trip Louisiana to see the storm damage along the Gulf Coast. He originally planned to take a three-state swing through the battleground states of Florida, Virginia and Ohio.

As the storm grew more intense over the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Louisiana earlier this week, the press peppered White House aides with questions about whether Mr. Obama would fit in a trip to see the areas affected by widespread flooding and wind damage.

The president is traveling to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas to mark the second anniversary of the end of the war in Iraq Friday, and it was already on his schedule early this week. On Saturday, Mr. Obama will campaign in Iowa, where his lead in the polls over Mr. Romney has diminished in recent weeks, making the race a dead heat.

On Sunday, the president will fly to Colorado, and on Labor Day was originally scheduled to visit two cities in Ohio. It is now unclear whether he will truncate his trip to Ohio to accommodate the stop in Louisiana.

On Tuesday, Mr. Obama plans to travel to Norfolk, Va., for a campaign event before arriving at the Democratic convention on Wednesday.