Monday, May 31, 2010


This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

The oil leak from a deep-sea BP well in the Gulf of Mexico is quickly becoming Barack Obama’s Hurricane Katrina. And it’s no thanks to the President’s erstwhile political friends. Democrat opinionator James Carville, who used to work for Bill Clinton, appeared on television to blast Obama for not doing more—more visibly—to address the disaster in the Gulf, which has now officially surpassed the Exxon Valdez spill as the worst oil-related disaster in US history. Carville said the President was not being seen enough in the disaster zone, and was missing a huge opportunity to boost his popularity by being the voice and defender of the people in a time of crisis. Instead, “we are dying down here,” Carville practically screamed to interviewer George Stephanopoulos. Clearly the Administration heard him. Within hours, Obama jumped to his own defence, allowing that he made a mistake in believing oil companies could handle such crises, but declaring that the government was in charge of the response. And by week’s end, there he was—making the rounds and the media appearances in Louisiana. Fair enough. But this might be too much, too late. After all, who wants ownership of a cleanup that is now widely seen to be ineffective and marred by bureaucratic bungling? There may be opportunity in every crisis, but the timing is all. Fumble, Barack Obama.

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