The Gulf oil spill set off massive responses. No, not the ones to stop the leak or clean up the spill. The political responses: Republicans and the media trying to stick the gooey blame on President Obama – and the White House, to keep it away.
Sarah (“Drill, baby, drill”) Palin says the spill proves Obama is too close to Big Oil.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who used to say the federal government did too much, now says it isn’t doing enough.
The 24-hour media beast is in full frenzy. James Carville worked himself into a frothing diatribe about Obama’s response.
Obama – as usual – made a calm and reasonable defense of himself yesterday. You may have missed it in the N&O, as it was overshadowed by his visit with the Duke basketball team.
His handling of the spill fits the cool and somewhat distant approach he always seems to take in a crisis – going back to his campaign.
Obama operates at a different temperature level from most politicians. Bill Clinton would have been down there the first day hugging people and pelicans. George Bush – after spending the first few weeks clearing brush on his ranch – would be stumbling all over his tongue to make amends by now.
Obama is more like Ronald Reagan, keeping a somewhat-regal distance.
It’s no small matter cleaning up a catastrophe that looks like some kind of karmic message to us from Earth: “You want oil? Take this!”
The science and the consequences of all this are beyond me. The politics I can grasp. And if Obama keeps this mess from sticking to him, he will have pulled off an amazing feat.