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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Optics, Golfing, Yachting VS State Officials Begging Obama For Help

In discussions (listed at Memeorandum) about the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, I ran across a piece from Taylor Marsh, where "optics" were discussed heavily.

The optics of Obama golfing vs BP's Tony Hayward out yachting, but to me, those optics are the least important, the optics I see and equate and compare are Obama out golfing while State officials from Florida and Louisiana are on camera begging for help.

Tony Hayward, yachting or not, does not even register on my radar at the moment... we have a crisis to deal with and the likes of him and BP can be dealt with after we get the response and the damage control handled.

Obama, on the other hand, oh yeah, the optics of his outings, events, concerts and yes, golf days, register on my radar.

I started to delve into this on my last post about the new poll, where I said:

Since news is now hitting that Obama is refusing to arrange more skimmers for Florida, saying the additional ones "might" be needed for an oil spill (get the irony there?), his officials stopping Louisiana from dredging to protect their coast, the barges with vacuums that were sitting idle while his officials checked for life vests and the public outcry from state officials claiming they are getting no assistance but are, in fact, being hindered at every turn by the Obama administration, as they attempt to minimize the damage to their coasts, we can expect these numbers for Obama to lower even more.

Ok, before I start to go off on an "optics" rant, lets get back to the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll and save the rant for the next post.

Here are the optics I see:

May 24, 2010 video below: (Governor Bobby Jindal complains he is not getting the resources he needs to help minimize damage to Louisiana coast)

May 24, 2010- Photo of Obama hosting an Asian American celebration below:

June 17, 2010, video below: (Who is in charge)

June 17, 2010- Obama Meets with advisers to start lawsuit against Arizona

June 21, 2010- Senator George LeMieux tells Shark Tank Obama won't approve more skimmers be brought to Florida.

June 21, 2010- Obama Hosts a South Lawn barbecue

June 23, 2010- Governor Bobby Jindal and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser at wits end because officials impeding his efforts to save coast.

June 24, 2010- Obama at a burger joint — while oil gushes

This is a small sample of the optics I and every other American sees every day since the beginning of the disaster.

Hat Tip to PolitiPage for the photos and head over to see the others "Obama photo ops", starting from the beginning of the spill and update continuously.

Count so far, via PolitiPage:

By The Numbers
Rounds of golf: 8 – 4/23, 4/24, 5/8, 5/15, 5/16, 5/22, 6/13, 6/19
States visited before stepping foot in Louisiana: 6 – NC, NY, IL, CA, IA, MO
Concerts: 2 – 6/2 (McCartney), 6/6 (Kelly Clarkson)
Comedy shows: 2 - 5/1 (Leno), 6/6 (George Lopez)
Vacations: 2 – 4/23-4/25 (Asheville, NC), 5/28-5/31 (Chicago)

The vacations I do not see as a problem because every former President will tell you that vacations are a matter of geography, but Presidents can and do keep updated, go over data, teleconference and otherwise work during most of their vacations.

The rest though are bad optics overall during the worst man-made oil disaster to hit our country.

One specific email provided by Taylor Marsh should hit home to everyone:

I am sorry but I have to agree with those equating the BP Ceo going yachting with Obama playing fact I would go further ..he played golf ..walked in nature , had the NY Yankees to the White House and other athletes , and kept giving WH concerts..while we on the gulf were breathing air that was unbreahtable and exposed us to god knows what..while 300 miles away on the Gulf our air burned our eyes, throats and gave us horrible headaches, while feeling like a 10 ton elephant was sitting on our chests..when we culd get no answers from our government..none!!!!!!!!!!!! While BP took over our beaches, our air, our water, our coast guard, our national guard,.and refused help from Fla Scientists..maybe you don’t want to hold Obama accountable..but I damn sure do!! It was under Obama that BP submitted their “spill plan”…bullshot only goes so far. My back Yard is the Gulf..and I will forever hold Obama accountable for ignoring his responsibilities to we the people when we needed a damn leader the most and got nothing from him! Hope his golf game was worth all of us being exposed to horrible, toxins..and god know what! He did not protect we the people ..and that is his damn job! – Arlene

ABC News
quotes Obama as saying:

"Even though I’m President of the United States, my power is not limitless. So, I can’t dive down there and plug the hole. I can’t suck it up with a straw. All I can do is make sure that I put honest, hardworking, smart people in place."

No one expects Barack Obama to suck up the oil with a straw, but what people expect, rightly so, is for him to get off his ass and make sure state officials have what they ask for to try to minimize the damage this spill is causing them and their residents.

If a Senator asks for more skimmers, you don't tell him they might be needed for an oil spill, for heaven sake, you HAVE an oil spill. Instead you get on the phone, you get every single skimmer we have in the US, you beg, borrow or buy every skimmer you can from other countries.

If a Governor asks for more boom, you don't provide him with a portion of what he needs, you find him every single inch he needs and then send him more.

If a Governor is dredging dirt to stop the oil from destroying his coast, you don't stop him and say "move them" you allow them to continue while they set up the new site.

If a Governor is using vacuums on barges to suck up the tainted water, you don't stop those barges and have them sitting idle while the coast guard inspects them for life vests and fire extinguishers, you bring them life vests and extinguishers in case they don't have them. (For the record, those inspections showed they did have the equipment, so they were held idle for no reason)

Most importantly, Barack Obama claimed he was prepared to be the man sitting in the oval office when that 3 am call came in warning of a disaster, terrorist attack or any other crisis.

What the public does not want to see during that crisis, is the president taking a day off, feet on his desk and grinning like a fool.

DAY 47 – June 5, 2010- Obama Spends the day relaxing; no events scheduled

June 4, 2010, AP photographers video of oil spill damage below.

That Mr. President, is bad optics.

(This photo, video and written essay was updated and additions have been added)