Now that he's presided over the worst spill in American history and done nothing for over five week, that could be the next question Obama pretends his daughter asked him. Today he interrupts his basketball viewing to go down to the Gulf to pretend he's doing something. But it's all just a photo op before he traipses off on vacation.
He's way too late to get into the game.
It's now Day 40 in the BP oil spill. An estimated 18 million-39 million barrels of oil have spewed into the Gulf, poisoning fish and birds, destroying lives and businesses, ruining fragile marshlands and eocsystems for generations, the worst spill in U.S. history. With a fix uncertain, scientists estimate that the oil already spilled now covers 30,000 square miles, the size of South Carolina. Which means that the oil spill is now larger than 10 states.Thursday he managed to take responsibility for being so gosh-darned awesome.
Politically, the fallout could be even worse. Like George W. Bush, whose lethargy in responding to Hurricane Katrina made him a political lame duck, President Obama is now being battered by critics on both sides who think he still does not seem engaged in unleashing the huge powers of the federal government to cap the spill and try to wall off the muck that's heading for the shores. Exhibit A among critics: Obama didn't know if Minerals Management Service head Elizabeth Birnbaum was fired or resigned.
It was yet another perform ance of the "full responsibility" flimflam.Ouch.
In a rare appearance before his adoring fans in the press corps yesterday, President Obama repeatedly took "full responsibility" for the blundering efforts to clog up the geyser of crude oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico coating everything in sight.
At the same time, Obama repeatedly denied that his administration was complicit in allowing the catastrophe to happen in the first place, slow to realize the devastating nature of it, or ham-handed in the five-week effort to try to stem the toxic tide.
In other words, Obama -- as he often does -- took "full responsibility" for being awesome.
He took "full responsibility" for being, well, nearly perfect.
From the first day, Obama said it has been his "highest priority" and that his administration has been "singularly focused" on the leak.
"Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don't know the facts," he sniffed.
Again and again, Obama disputed charges made by people on the ground that his administration has bollixed things up pretty badly.
Realizing that even his biggest, hand-picked fan club couldn't swallow what he was peddling, Obama came up with a question of his own that he was a little more comfortable answering.
"If the question is, are we doing everything perfectly out there, then the answer is 'No.' We could always do better," he said, bearing his trademark modesty.