Leaving The PR To BP
Mark Warren wants the president to be more visible during the clean-up effort:
[He should] give the appearance of taking charge of the disaster, while operationally doing no such thing. The White House is coordinating the federal disaster effort with the Interior Department and the U.S. Coast Guard, and it is dutifully listing the burgeoning list of government actions to combat the spill on the White House blog. Now, some of our best friends are bloggers, but seriously, on a blog?
Former Shell president John Hofmeister, interviewed by Warren, disagrees:
I think the more this is politicized, the worse it gets. And I think the White House and the Interior Department and others have been prudent and practical and reasonable thus far in the way they've been managing it. Letting BP continue to manage the process is far better than the government trying to take it over. And in any case, they have the Coast Guard, they have the Interior Department, the MMS, they have all the resources they need, but somebody has to actually make operational decisions without bureaucracy, and BP can do that, because they're trained to do it a whole lot better than government officials. Government is paid to debate and regulate serious matters over time. They're not paid to execute in an emergency. And we saw FEMA, in Katrina, make a complete hash of Katrina response.