With the news that BP has at least temporarily capped the Deepwater Horizon well, we can hopefully focus on the cleanup and mitigating the damage from 87 days of leadership failures, disengagement, and lack of action. It will take longer than that to cap the damage from the blowout in Barack Obama’s polling, as two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez depicts in his entry for today. In fact, the Gulf crisis may be the least of Obama’s worries as the economy spins downward into stagnation:
As always, Ramirez leaves a treasure or two to those who pay attention to the details. Obama holds a polling chart in his hand, but pay attention to the pictures on the Oval Office desk. It’s all about The One, after all.
Will the end of the spill — if it’s indeed over — help bolster his polling? I’d say doubtful, for a couple of reasons. The demonstrable lack of leadership in the Gulf has stained Obama worse than the beaches of Louisiana and other states, and the problems in the cleanup are continuing. Having the illusion of leadership stripped by this crisis doesn’t mean that the illusion returns at the end of it. But mostly, the performance of the economy and the desperation of Recovery Summer has probably overtaken the Gulf crisis as the driver of his numbers. Unless he plans to transform himself into the free-market, laissez-faire policymaker that will be needed to spark significant growth in the economy, even this cap won’t contain the suck of his downward trajectory.
Ramirez has a terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.