Obama Expects Frustration Over Oil Spill to Continue

President Obama traveled to Louisiana today to address the nation on BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, appearing with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, and other government officials on the Gulf shore, sea birds chirping behind him.


He did so as the spill continues unabated, and the public continues to ask why. As reporters question the White House on its response to the spill--the full severity of which wasn't known until well after the Deepwater Horizon well exploded--the spill has become a political question.

Obama's visit was not a political one, but one salient political point did emerge: Obama expects public frustration to continue.

"We expect that frustration and anger to continue until we actually solve this problem," Obama said.

The scene was typical of presidential visits to disaster areas, including President Bush's trip to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina: the president stood at a podium in the open air, his sleeves rolled up, no suit jacket or tie, state and local politicians and career public officials standing behind him.

It was clear that Obama wanted to assure the public that the government is functioning efficiently and that he himself is accountable. "I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis. I'm the president, and the buck stops with me," he said, giving "the people of this community and the entire Gulf" his word that the government will do all it can.

To the local government officials and responders to the spill, Obama said, "If something is not going right down here, then they need to talk to [Coast Guad Adm.] Thad Allen, and if they're not getting satisfaction from Thad Allen, then they can talk to me."

It was the language of a president who knows that nothing feeds frustration like bureaucratic confusion and red tape.
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Politics

Just In