Looks Like Republicans Are Attacking The Obama Administration Over The Oil Spill

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 28, 2010

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Oops, my bad. Actually, this post is about a Democrat attacking the Obama Administration over the oil spill:

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. “But he’s going down tomorrow, he’s made some good announcements today, and if he personally steps up his activity, I think that would be very helpful.”

[. . .]

. . . Landrieu, who is seeing her home state’s economy decimated by the spill, said she’s “absolutely not” satisfied with the administration’s response so far. She added, though, that Thad Allen, the former Coast Guard commandant who is overseeing the response to the spill, has support from Republicans and Democrats “across the board.”

Failing to call back a Representative whose district has been affected by the catastrophe does not help matters. Nor does the fact that the President is now losing the confidence of onetime fans like Peggy Noonan:

I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.

There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don’t see how you politically survive this.

[. . .]

The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.

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