Obama Panned In Response to Gulf Oil Crisis

Obama Panned In Response to Gulf Oil Crisis

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President Obama is learning an important lesson when it comes to handling a crisis: even your staunchest supporters may find your response lacking.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Obama’s speech to the nation on Tuesday night failed to demonstrate the leadership many have been desperately seeking from him since the now two-month long BP oil leak crisis began. Again, Obama was long on criticism of BP and short on solutions although he has since gotten the giant oil company to agree to setting up a $20 billion fund to compensate affected people in the Gulf region.

Actionless Plan

Most telling were the stinging remarks made from some on the political left including The Huffington Post’s political reporter, Jason Linkins, who said, “I am really not entirely sure what the point to this Oval Office address was! Were you looking for something that resembled a fully-realized action plan, describing a detailed approach to containment and clean up? Or perhaps a definitive statement, severing the command and control that BP has largely enjoyed, in favor of a structured, centralized federal response? Maybe you were looking for a roadmap-slash-timetable for putting America on a path to a clean energy future? Well, this speech was none of those things.”

Keith Olbermann, who has been criticized by many on the political right for his staunch support of Obama commented, “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.” Olbermann also observed that there was “…not even much of a pitch for his own energy bill which, as he mentioned, was passed by the House, which he did not mention was stalled in the Senate and still sits there.”

The normally talkative Chris Matthews offered, “I don’t sense executive command.”

Damaged Gulf

Meanwhile, down at the Gulf, the white sandy beaches are now covered in oil, sensitive marsh land is being threatened, untold numbers of pelicans, fish, and other beloved creatures are dead or dying and a way of life enjoyed for centuries seems to be passing away.

And yet the largest ecological disaster continues unabated with no real end in sight.

Yes, the oil leak was certainly not the president’s fault. BP made mistakes, some likely egregious, and must be held accountable. But the president’s posturing isn’t closing the hole which continues to pour tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day.

Obama Plays

Not helping the president is his decision to carry on with business as usual, making speeches, hosting musicians at the White House and playing golf. Though the president is entitled to take some R&R, those pictures do little to show that he is a man in command of a grave situation, forcing Gulf governors such as Bobby Jindal to take matters in their own hands.

The bloom is certainly off of the Obama rose, a presidency some are comparing to the failed one-term Carter administration. The prospect of a “one and done” Obama term looms large, but by then what will be left of the now polluted Gulf?

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