Sounding reflective as he heads into a bruising electoral season, President Barack Obama told POLITICO columnist Roger Simon that the Gulf disaster “echoes 9/11” because it will change the nation’s psyche for years to come…

“In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11,” the president said in an Oval Office interview on Friday, “I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”…

“What the public wants to see is us solving this problem. And that may not make for good TV. Me sitting in a meeting with [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu and [Gulf national incident commander] Thad Allen and looking over maps and figuring out how boom gets someplace, that’s not something that is high theater. But ultimately that’s going to make the biggest difference in terms of whether or not the Gulf recovers.”

***
President Barack Obama spent four hours on the golf course Sunday in temperatures that peaked in the low 90s.

The White House pool reported that they left Andrews Air Force Base as it started to rain after 4 p.m.

***
[A] year and a half into this presidency, the contemplative nature that was so appealing in a candidate can seem indecisive in a president. His promise of bipartisanship seems naïve. His inclination to hold back, then ride to the rescue, has sometimes made problems worse.

It certainly should not have taken days for Mr. Obama to get publicly involved in the oil spill, or even longer for his administration to start putting the heat on BP for its inadequate response and failure to inform the public about the size of the spill. (Each day, it seems, brings new revelations about the scope of the disaster.) It took too long for Mr. Obama to say that the Coast Guard and not BP was in charge of operations in the gulf and it’s still not clear that is true…

These are matters of competence and leadership. This is a time for Mr. Obama to decisively show both.

***
The former constitutional lawyer now in the White House understands that the press has a role in the democracy. But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling. So he ends up regarding scribes as intrusive, conveying a distaste for what he sees as the fundamental unseriousness of a press driven by blog-around-the-clock deadlines…

But that’s the world we live in. It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the “old Washington game” for his own communication failures.

“On health care, Obama told single-payer liberals that they had to deal with the world as it is, not as they wanted it to be,” said Jonathan Alter, the author of “The Promise,” about Obama’s first year in office. “But he doesn’t take his own advice when it comes to the media. Obama refuses to deal with the media world as it is. He’s holding out for the media world that he wants. But that will never be. That disdainful attitude toward 24-hour cable culture is slowing his political reflexes. We’re seeing that in the oil spill. I don’t think it’s personal with him. It’s not that he despises reporters as human beings, like Nixon. He does scores of interviews and he doesn’t rage behind closed doors. But if he doesn’t make more concessions to Washington as it is, he’s going to hurt his presidency.”