Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This dispatch from the AP today:
President Obama met behind closed doors today with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and BP CEO Tony Hayward to discuss the ongoing crisis in the gulf. After emerging from the two-hour long meeting, the three held a joint press conference.

"I have just met with both Ken (Salazar) and Tony (Hayward) and we are united in our efforts to solve this complex problem," Obama said, standing between the two. Putting his arm around both, he said that the two would work together to solve issues and, when they couldn't agree, that he would intervene and make the difficult decisions.

"I have been out on the water and seen the devastation first-hand," the president said. The harm to the environment and the loss of life is unacceptable. Tony here has looked me in the eye and committed to me that he and BP are willing to do whatever it takes to clean this up.

"Also, I wasn't impressed with Ken's comment on how he was going to 'keep a boot on BP's throat'. Ken has sinced apologized to Tony and we have moved forward. That type of language has no place in my administration. We can't attack people and attack problems at the same time. Right now, we are attacking problems," Obama said.

After an initial reaction to the disaster that many in the press have labeled as slow, or unresponsive, Obama has sent up a command center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen briefs the president daily by phone.

"The president told me that it is important to him that he know what is going on on a daily basis," Allen said. "I know he can't be here every day. That is my job. But, he is using my briefings to make key decisions on cutting through the beauracracy that is holding up some of the most pressing relief efforts."

Since Obama received his first briefing, he phoned Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) and talked through some of the challenges facing the Bayou State. According to a Jindal aide, upon hearing some of Jindal's issues, the president called the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to order them to begin building berms.

The aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, "I don't know what who said to who, but the engineers can't build these berms fast enough now. The governor is very pleased with the Corps' response."

President Obama said that he speaks with Hayward every 'three or four days' to get an update from him on measures BP is taking to make fisheries and other businesses whole in the wake of the damage.

"He is really listening to what we are doing. He isn't happy about what we, and TransOcean have done, but he sees the action we are taking and is encouraging us to reach out more to help those in need," Hayward said.

Oh, wait. That isn't a real story. I made it up. It's just what I wanted to have seen from our President.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh My....that's stunning.