This is a political post.
Obama is staring down the field at what is gonna be a long moment in his legacy.
And it's happening in the Gulf.
Not the Arabian Gulf, where we all expected. End the war, troops coming home all that, campaign rah rah rah. No, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The one nobody was looking at until last month.
The Army Corp of Engineers is on the case and I'm waiting to see which Republican is suddenly going to turn against the "troops" now. It's funny how they support the troops but hate the government...basically the same folks. And since short of nukes, there isn't anything the government can do that BP isn't already trying in an effort to cap that hole a mile below the waves, other than it just magically be fixed, what else do they expect the President to do? There is a lot of money...er, oil.. flowing out of that hole and everyday costs BP a few million they could have been doing something else, and in this vengeful political climate, they want to cut their losses as quickly as possible. How much oil, what exactly it's doing to the ocean, how long this is gonna be an issue in the Gulf all need to be explored, then explained. In detail. Truthfully. They might want to get Morgan Freeman or James Earl to narrate the DVD.
And then, at the next phase, the Justice Department needs to, on behalf of the citizens, bring a massive public nuisance case against BP. One of the great folly's of the free market is that you're free to sue to recoup losses, but as most of the people who would sue don't have the pockets deep enough for a lengthy...possibly decades long ...legal battle, BP will pay out little or nothing comparatively in restitution. An iffy class action situation would only enrich the attorneys. Which is in my opinion, not good. The age of accountability needs to start here, and now. We won't even discuss how the free market corrupted the administrative agency handling its oversight, which contributed greatly to the basis of this mess. We can discuss the pluses and minuses of the system later.
I watched part of Obama's press conference, I do have chickens to pluck after all, and looking at him, unless he got the questions in advance...and maybe he did, I don't know...he answered the question in an informed, though long winded, but very informed manner. I mean long freaking winded, mentioning names (I swear he kept saying Fat Allen, not Thad), giving fix ideas that had been thrown up and discarded, talking like someone who was actively involved. He even, as is becoming his trademark, tried to personalize it by saying even his kids had checked him on it.
When the reporter questioned him if they were really doing everything they could, giving examples of international help we hadn't accepted, Obama explained the whole process, in effect saying that much like crowding 50 people around to dig a six foot grave, sometimes everybody doesn't need to show up at once. He owned up to his statements from before this happened about oil drilling, and admitted he was wrong - something our former President couldn't do - about some of his beliefs. He answered some terrorist and immigration issue questions out of left field without blinking. Then he said in the end, the whole thing is his responsibility, and pretty much nobody would be happy until it was fixed. And he did it for thirty minutes or more without a teleprompter! (they were in retract mode, check the tape!)
Not a horrible press conference, but then you really don't want to have to even hold these. And they did it in one of the big rooms of the White House proper, not in that little press room off the West Wing, so you know it was important.
Now, and this is the important part. Bush found this out and Obama is about to as well. If you're going to tell the story, make sure the facts back you up. As Bush found out, a great tale doesn't work if the "facts are biased against the chosen reality".
Oh yeah, and I think he's coloring his hair. Where did the grey go?