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This is Leadership?

“We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.” – President Obama

“He [BP CEO] wouldn’t be working for me.”
– President Obama

“Bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe.”
– President Obama

I could go on, but instead, I ask: how are these comments by the President helping stop a huge oil leak that is devastating our waters, endangering our wildlife, and negatively impacting the economy of the Gulf region, as well as hurting the people there, again?

There will be plenty of time for the President to investigate, potentially prosecute, talk tough and play the blame game AFTER the oil leak is stopped. Right now, the immediate focus of the President should be cooperating with everyone to stop the leak. We’ve learned from the past that cooperation is key.

It came as a complete shock to me when I heard the President say on June 8, DAY FIFTY of the oil spill, “I have not spoken to him [BP CEO] directly … Because my experience is, when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s going to say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions.”


Speaking of words, in his May 27 press conference, the President said, “My job is to get this fixed… in case you were wondering who’s responsible, I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.”

And speaking of actions, in that same press conference, the President also admitted, “When it comes to stopping the leak down below, the federal government does not possess superior technology to BP.”

BP and the government need each other. So, I question again, how is the President publically chastising and threatening BP with criminal actions – a company that has pledged to pay for the damage caused by the oil spill accident and who likely wants this resolved more than anyone– helping to stop the oil? How is that finding a workable solution so we don’t see more economic loss? How is that encouraging cooperation between BP and the Obama Administration to get the job done?

And how do you get the actions the President says he’s so interested in, given he’s the one taking responsibility, when we are 50+ days into this spill and President Obama still hasn’t had a direct discussion with the CEO of BP?

Former President Harry S. Truman once said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Perhaps, it’d be more appropriate to share a modified version of this quote with President Obama: “It is amazing what you can accomplish TOGETHER if you do not care who gets the credit OR THE BLAME.”

It’s time the President stopped speaking out of both sides of his mouth and started being the leader. Take action, not just talk tough. Once the President can “plug the damn hole,” then he is more than welcome to find “whose ass to kick.”

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