Barack Obama has tried hard in recent days to be seen as fully engaged in the Gulf oil spill disaster. Unfortunately, his rhetoric doesn’t match his actions. Rick Klein at ABC’s The Note reported yesterday on how Obama has gotten forced into sounding as though he’s providing some leadership after clearly miscalculating in his response for the first several weeks of the disaster:
President Obama is now reacting to theBP oil mess in precisely the way he said he didn’t need to. After weeks of insisting that bringing rhetorical heat on BPexecutives wouldn’t get anything done, that’s just what he’s starting to do. …
Nearly two months into the environmental calamity in the region, he’s making his fourth visit to the Gulf region — this time, spending an overnight and the better part of two days. …
Why the shift? The White House is beginning to realize that the political fallout of the oil spill is very real — and holding office for a year and a half makes it harder to blame the previous administration for evident shortcomings.
Just as the president and his top aides didn’t fully grasp the scale of environmental fallout, they didn’t comprehend the degree to which the response to the incident has evolved into a test of presidential leadership.
They’re starting to figure it out, but they’re leaping from casual detachment to panicked hyperbole in nothing flat:
Obama — facing mounting criticism of his handling of the BP gusher, even from longtime allies — vowed to make a “bold” push for a new energy law even as the calamity continues to unfold. And he said he will use the rest of his presidency to try to put the United States on a course toward a “new way of doing business when it comes to energy.”
“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.”
After comparing the Gulf spill to 9/11, which “shaped our psyche” mainly because of the 3,000 people who got murdered, how did Barack Obama signal his newfound commitment to responding to the national catastrophe? Jim Hoft notices that Obama kicked some ass … on the golf course:
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.
Because after 9/11, this nation was inspired by a President who climbed on top of the hill on the 18th fairway and said, “Fore!”
If Obama wants to start impressing people, he needs to stop talking and start taking some action.
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