A New York Times article actually gave President Trump a heaping helping of praise on Sunday for his response to catastrophic flooding and torrential rain that has inundated portions of Texas and Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which first hit the region on Friday.

Flooding is expected to last for several more days, but President Trump plans to visit the region as the disaster continues to unfold. The Times noted that a presidential visit could cause additional logistical issues, but that Trump’s plans were tentative and subject to change, as is appropriate.

“But his Twitter feed and the photos and statements released by the White House indicated that Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath had energized Mr. Trump, giving him the first major external crisis of a presidency that has manufactured most of its own upheavals,” commented longtime New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler, dishing out the first backhanded compliment to the President even as he gave him kudos for keeping on top of the situation.

Landler recounted how Trump began keeping his eye on the storm as it roared into Texas on Friday, posted updates and “lavished praise on the government’s response. He held two teleconferences over the weekend with members of his cabinet and signed a federal disaster proclamation for Texas.”

He then let loose with several tricky moves, stating, “It was a calculated display of energetic presidential leadership,” before noting, “— one hardly unique to the Trump administration.” He went on to praise the fact that Trump was “genuinely riveted by the drama unfolding in Texas,” before adding, “certainly more so than he has been by other pressing issues facing his administration, like tax reform or a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

Landler speculated that President Trump “also used the hurricane to soft-pedal a bit of unrelated political business, announcing late on Friday night that he had pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff. The timing seemed anything but coincidental: With cable news channels switching to wall-to-wall storm coverage, the fierce criticism of Mr. Trump’s action, from Republicans as well as Democrats, was largely lost in the howling winds.”

He also blasted Trump for having “conveyed an unabashed excitement about the historic nature of the storm” in the midst of what was a serious life-and-death crisis.

“Wow,” Trump tweeted on Sunday morning. “Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood! We have an all out effort going, and going well!”

Prior to that, he issued the following tweet: “Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is that we have great talent on the ground.”

Landler apparently didn’t approve of the President’s initial tweets, but he predicted a bad outcome after noticing Trump’s message to the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, “You are doing a great job — the world is watching! Be safe.”

Landler compared that tweet to the time when President George W. Bush’s prematurely praised FEMA chief, Michael Brown — “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” — after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans in August 2005. “The government’s relief effort, of course, was subsequently botched, and Mr. Bush’s atta boy came back to haunt him,” he noted.

However, he did make mention of the fact that others were warning Trump to be careful of making mistakes of hurricanes past. And Trump acknowledged that he was aware of the pitfalls. When Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, warned Mr. Trump not to repeat the mistakes of Katrina, the president fired back on Twitter, “@Chuck Grassley — got your message loud and clear.”

“We have fantastic people on the ground,” he added, “got there long before #Harvey. So far, so good!”

The reporter also mentioned the fact that some in Trump’s administration learned from Katrina firsthand. “Thomas P. Bossert was working for FEMA when the hurricane struck, and later ran Mr. Bush’s emergency preparedness office. The agency’s current administrator, Mr. Long, was head of FEMA’s hurricane program at the time of Katrina,” he pointed out, adding Bossert’s comments on Friday: “That experience is still in their memory,” he told reporters. “It’s still in their experience, their muscle memory. And what we’ve done has gotten a lot better as a government.”

Bossert added, “This is right up President Trump’s alley. His questions weren’t about geopolitical issues or about large political consequences. His questions were about, ‘Are you doing what it takes to help the people who are going to be affected by this storm?’”

The Times article even went so far as to recall Obama’s “slow-footed response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” before noting, “Mr. Trump’s presidency has been unusual so far in the lack of major external crises, either at home or abroad. Critics have questioned how he would handle a major test, and his response to Hurricane Harvey may offer a blueprint.”