WASHINGTON: George W. Bush never recovered from his flyover of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Barack Obama got a bipartisan boost late in his re-election campaign for his handling of Superstorm Sandy.

Now, President Donald Trump confronts the political risks and potential gains that come with leading the federal government’s response to a deadly and destructive natural disaster. Hurricane Harvey, the massive storm that has dumped torrents of rain across Texas — flooding Houston and other cities — is the first major natural disaster of Trump’s presidency, and the yet-to-be-determined scope of the damage appears likely to require a years-long federal project.

Trump, who is suffering through a long stretch of low approval ratings, has been particularly eager to seize the moment. He will visit Texas on Tuesday — and may return to the region again on Saturday. The White House announced the first visit even before Harvey made landfall. Monday, Trump promised Texans will “have what you need” and that federal funding would come “fast.”

“We will come out stronger and believe me, we will be bigger, better stronger than ever before,” Trump said Monday during a White House news conference.

Trump has sent about two dozen tweets about the storm since Friday, marveling at the size of the hurricane and cheering on emergency responders — “You are doing a great job — the world is watching!”

He argued Monday he specifically timed his controversial pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to capitalize on all the viewers tuned into storm coverage. The Friday night pardon wasn’t an attempt to hide the news, he said: “I assumed the ratings would be higher.”

Administrations often tread carefully in planning visits to disaster-ravaged areas. Mobilizing a president, his staff and his security is an enormous logistical undertaking and can pull local law enforcement resources away from the disaster recovery efforts. But Trump hasn’t been cowed.

Aides said it was Trump who pushed for the White House to make his desire to travel to Texas known early. The exact location of his stops is unknown, though he’s all but certain to avoid Houston, where flooding has wreaked havoc on the nation’s fourth-largest city.

“Conditions haven’t cleared in Houston yet so probably not appropriate for him to go up there, probably not safe for him to go up there,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. “But I do think having your own eyes on the devastation that I have seen is important.”

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Rick Perry has canceled a planned visit to Kazakhstan and Ukraine because of Hurricane Harvey. U.S. companies are major investors in oil-rich Kazazhstan, and Perry recently celebrated a Pennsylvania-based company’s deal to supply coal to Ukraine.

Perry was governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015.