As John Dickerson recounts in his very readable The Hardest Job in the World, a series of tropical storms pounded the United States in 1955, doing more damage than had been inflicted during any hurricane season on record. Dwight Eisenhower was on vacation in Gettysburg and did not interrupt his family retreat. There was no public outcry or criticism — this was utterly normal. Vice President Richard Nixon joked that Washington staffers used President Eisenhower’s absence to catch up on their sleep. “He has the ungodly habit of getting up early,” Nixon said. The storms kept up: In 1957, Hurricane Audrey killed more than 600 people in Louisiana’s Cameron Parish. President Eisenhower was again nowhere to be seen. He did not visit Louisiana, did not make a heartfelt public speech, did not rush to put together a federal response. No one thought this was remarkable on his part.Read all of Kevin D. Williamson on The President as First Responder.