In the end, speeches will make no difference. If BP can cap the well in time to prevent an absolute calamity in the gulf, the president will escape politically. If it doesn’t — if the gusher isn’t stopped before the relief wells are completed in August — it will become Obama’s Katrina.
That will be unfair, because Obama is no more responsible for the damage caused by this than Bush was for the damage caused by Katrina. But that’s the nature of American politics and its presidential cult of personality: We expect our presidents to play Superman. Helplessness, however undeniable, is no defense.
This has been an absolute PR nightmare for the Obama administration, one of their own making. There is the issue of his own administration issuing that particular rig a safety award, there is his BP donations which the media has largely been silent about, but the worst thing is that he appears to be asleep at the switch. Well Candidate Obama was quick to criticize the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, but doesn’t seem to accept that he is guilty of the very same thing.
Look at Nashville flooding – slow response, and now the Gulf Oil Spill, his Administration’s response has been lax. He seems to be content with finger pointing. Well, as Sarah Palin pointed out yesterday that finger pointing doesn’t in the President’s own words, “plug the damn hole.”
Why was Governor Jindal forced more than a month after the start of the disaster to go on national television to beg for materials needed to tackle the oil spill and for federal approval to build offshore sand barriers that are imperative to protect his state’s coastline?
Why was no mention of the spill made by our President for days on end while Americans waited to hear if he grasped the import of his leadership on this energy issue?
Why have several countries and competent organizations who offered help or expertise in dealing with the spill not even received a response back from the Unified Area Command to this day?
The President claimed that “this notion that somehow the federal government is somehow sitting on the sidelines and for the last three or four or five weeks we’ve just been letting BP make a whole bunch of decisions is simply not true.” But, in fact, that is how U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen described the Obama administration’s approach to this crisis: “We keep a close watch.”
Listening to the President, you get the impression he is continually surprised by the inability of various centralized government agencies to get more involved and help solve problems. His lack of executive experience might explain this because he is apparently unaware that it’s his job as a chief executive to make sure they do their jobs and help solve problems.
The fundamental problem at the core of this crisis is a lack of responsibility. (I risk the President taking my comments personally, but they’re not intended to be personal; my comments reflect what many others feel, and we just want to help him tackle this enormous spill problem.) There’s a culture of buck-passing at the heart of this administration that has caused the tragedy of a sunken oil rig to turn into a potential disaster. (emphasis mine)
He simply doesn’t know how to lead which again reinforces in my mind why people with no executive experience are not the best candidates for President. The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a video which demonstrates how bad this situation is for President Obama – liberals are now criticizing him.
Should we expect our Presidents to be "Superman"? No, but we should expect better leadership.