On Sunday, the news networks were all agog over the fact that BP CEO Tony Hayward spent the weekend yachting — even though BP’s chair had already announced that Hayward has been relieved of his duties regarding the spill, and almost certainly everything else soon enough. As Noel Sheppard notes, though, none of them bothered to mention the weekend activities of the one man who’s still supposedly “fully engaged” in responding to the Gulf spill. However, Michael Steele managed to notice what Barack Obama did this weekend:
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele demanded President Barack Obama cease leisure activities until the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis is resolved.
Steele criticized Obama for his activities this weekend, which included a trip to a Washington Nationals game on Friday versus his hometown Chicago White Sox, and a round of golf on Saturday.
“While it is fitting and appropriate to look at the yachting activities of the BP CEO, with incredulity, it is equally incredible that President Obama finds himself on yet another golf course as oil continues to spew into the Gulf,” Steele said in a statement. “Until this problem is fixed, no more golf outings, no more baseball games, no more Beatle concerts, Mr. President. The stakes are too high for President Obama’s lackadaisical approach to both his responsibilities and the challenges we face.”
Normally, I’d say that Presidents deserve their occasional down time, especially considering the enormous pressures that come with the office. However, Obama himself put the Gulf spill on the level of 9/11 in terms of its impact on the US. If he wants to make that argument, then the President needs to act like he believes it. Golfing more days than Gulfing looks just as bad as yachting while others attempt to stop the damage.
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