Monday, June 14, 2010

"I Can't Suck It Up With A Straw"

The latest of the oratory brilliance from the smartest guy in the room came in this form: "I can't suck it up with a straw".

President Obama outlined the limits of his power to handle the oil spill in the latest episode of "West Wing Week," the casual weekly White House online show.

"Even though I'm president of the United States, my power is not limitless," he told Grand Isle, La., locals in the video, released Friday. "So I can't dive down there and plug the hole. I can't suck it up with a straw. All I can do is make sure that I put honest, hard-working smart people in place ... to implement this thing."

Here's a thought - less time spent on 'casual weekly online show', more time spent on the oil spill.

Enough with the posturing from Washington. Enough of the finger pointing and hearings. Enough of the commissions and panels. Get the leak plugged up first. Then do the rest. This administration claimed it could walk and chew gum at the same time. It can't.

Fifty days passed before Obama met with surviving family members of those eleven men who died in the oil rig explosion. If these workers were union members or in a more politically correct industry, wouldn't the visit have come sooner? And, the president didn't bother to attend the memorial in Jackson, Mississippi - a red state for the dead oil rig workers.

This week, Obama meets with the CEO and board members of BP at the White House. This week. How can this be? Obama has yet to talk to the CEO or anyone on the board of directors of BP. He is delegating the task of inviting them for a talk to Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander for the oil spill. Now we learn the letter states that the president will be present for some of the meeting. What is going on around there?

From Juan Williams, liberal commentator for NPR and Fox News: I think the problem here is this is an administration that, as Hillary Clinton famously pointed out, you may not want to have answer the 3:00 a.m. call. These are guys who have tremendous vision about legislative achievements and specific things like health care, going forward on immigration, those difficult issues. . . . But when it comes to the crisis, when it comes to the gulf oil spill, the wars, the recession, they feel as if it's being imposed upon them, rather than taking the helm. That's what Americans are sensing right here. . . . Are you able to handle a crisis in a convincing way that inspires confidence? And so far, the president hasn't done that.

That sums it up completely - we have the impression that when a crisis pops up, it is an imposition on Team Obama. They appear to have been elected only to push through huge pieces of legislation, mostly against the will of the majority of Americans. They are not able to transition to governing from campaigning and that is hindering actually leadership in times of crisis. In today's world, crisis is a given. Why aren't they better prepared, even well into the second year of the term?

On day 57, Tuesday, Obama will address the nation on television and talk about the oil spill. Day 57. This will be a conclusion of a two day effort to shore up some public relations support for Team Obama. A two day trek to the Gulf coast with visits to the other states involved - not Louisiana this time - and then a meeting with BP big shots. Unbelieveable.

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