Pres. Obama’s Press Conference On The Oil Spill

In any crisis you can be sure that the opposition party will be critical of the President. But you know the President has a bigger problem when those in his own party start criticizing him:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said Thursday that President Barack Obama will pay a political price for his lack of visibility in the Gulf region during the catastrophic BP oil spill.

“The president has not been as visible as he should have been on this, and he’s going to pay a political price for it, unfortunately,” Landrieu told POLITICO.

This from Democratic political strategist James Carville:

James Carville, a resident of Louisiana, slammed President Obama this morning for the “political stupidity” of his response to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The president doesn’t get down here in the middle of this… I have no idea of why they didn’t seize this thing,” Carville said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I have no idea of why their attitude was so hands off here.”

Oh, it gets worse:

“The president of the United States could’ve come down here, he could’ve been involved with the families of these 11 people” who died in the explosion, Carville said. “He could’ve demanded a plan in anticipation of this.”

He added, “It just looks like he’s not involved in this. Man, you got to get down here and take control of this.”

It looks like the President was listening. Not only did he finally have a press conference, his first since July, but he is heading down there tomorrow.

What I don’t understand is why Pres. Obama didn’t go full force on giving any help needed for the disaster at the shore. Even if it was flying down there earlier and often, and demanding more while standing side by side those dealing with it. And why didn’t he have some newsworthy contact with the families of the people who were killed on the oil rig?

I have to add Sarah Palin’s facebook page response. She has several questions as well. It’s pretty brutal. Here’s a taste:

If the President really was fully focused on this issue from day one, why did it take nine whole days before the administration asked the Department of Defense for help in deploying equipment needed for the extreme depth spill site?

Why was the expert group assembled by Energy Commissioner Steven Chu only set up three weeks after the start of this disaster?

Why was Governor Jindal forced more than a month after the start of the disaster to go on national television to beg for materials needed to tackle the oil spill and for federal approval to build offshore sand barriers that are imperative to protect his state’s coastline?

Why was no mention of the spill made by our President for days on end while Americans waited to hear if he grasped the import of his leadership on this energy issue?

Why have several countries and competent organizations who offered help or expertise in dealing with the spill not even received a response back from the Unified Area Command to this day?

Good questions.

Let me say one thing about Pres. Obama’s press conference and his story about his daughter Malia asking, ‘Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?'” to show how worried he has been about the oil spill. Many people are critical of him using his child to make himself seem more human at a time he really needed to. But not me. Children are a big part of our lives. They define us in so many ways. I have no doubt that Malia did ask that. Children know what we worry about. So it doesn’t bother me in the least. I just hope that this can end the left’s mantra of accusing Sarah Palin of using her kids as “props.” Politicians use many things in their quest for power, but even they don’t use their children. Palin or Obama.

No one is blaming Obama for the oil spill. It’s clear that BP is soley responsible for that. The blame is about the reaction to preventing or helping with this terrible environmental disaster from reaching the shore, and affecting wildlife and the lives of people who make a living on the coast.

This is now a far greater environmental disaster than the Exxon Valez disaster. The worst in U.S. history. This is why James Carville was so upset.

The most astonishing thing in the press conference was the fact that the President didn’t seem to have a clue about Elizabeth Birnbaum, the head of Minerals Management Service resignation:

Elizabeth Birnbaum’s departure was first reported as a “firing.” Later, a “resignation.” When asked for clarity, President Obama told the press corps today he had no idea.

“Did she resign,” asked CBS White House Correspondent Chip Reid. “Was she fired? Was she forced out? And if so, why?”

“I found out about her resignation today,” the president answered, “so I don’t know the circumstances in which this occurred.”

An incredulous press corps followed up.

“How is it that you didn’t know about Ms. Birnbaum’s resignation/firing before?” asked another reporter.

Mr. Obama: “Well, you’re assuming it was a firing. If it was a resignation, then she would have submitted a letter to Mr. Salazar this morning at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on… Come on, I don’t know. I’m telling you I found out about it this morning. So I don’t yet know the circumstances, and Ken Salazar has been in testimony on the Hill.”

Why was it first reported as a firing? That might have been an interesting question to ask. And how could a President not be aware of that during this critical time? Did someone fire her without informing him? That’s the feeling one gets here.

Pres. Obama wanted everyone to know this: “But there shouldn’t be any confusion here: The federal government is fully engaged. And I’m fully engaged.”

The problem is that you shouldn’t have to tell people your fully engaged. That should be obvious if you are.

It hasn’t been.

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