Among all the meaningless, pointless, and irrelevant things that politicians do, this has to be on the top of the list. How has anything been improved by visiting a disaster? Will the actions of the government be changed at all by the visit? Did the politician learn anything useful?
The fact is that the only one who benefits from these disaster tourism events is the politician himself. Just once I'd like to hear about a governor or the president declining to visit the latest disaster, saying "While I appreciate and sympathize with the suffering of the victims, my time is better spent here in my office where I can better uses my time to help the people affected, and I have complete confidence with the people running the rescue and relief efforts on site."
Heh that won't happen. Neither will politicians ever stop bloviating about the blindingly obvious. "PRESIDENT BUSH SAYS AIDS IS BAD," "CONGRESSMAN BLOWHARD DELIVERS HARD HITTING SPEECH CONDEMNING CHILD ABUSE."
I guess I'm a hopeless idealist, but it would be nice for once to see these guys actually use the power and resources of the government to improve the world, instead of using the misfortunes of others as a pretext to suck their own dicks in public.