Skip to comments.President Barack Obama 'furious' at oil spill, but won't vent
Posted on 06/04/2010 12:10:37 AM PDT by ketelone
President Barack Obama 'furious' at oil spill, but won't vent
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama insisted Thursday he was "furious" about the US oil disaster but that "yelling" would be pointless, as aides rejected claims he had shown insufficient emotion over the crisis.
The White House also disputed a media narrative that political trauma over America's worst environmental catastrophe would crimp Obama's agenda, even as doubts grew over his pending trip to Asia this month.
But as the White House fired its latest shots in the public relations battle over the spill, new video emerged of helpless sea birds coated in oil, likely to sharpen media anguish.
In a new attempt to demonstrate its engagement, the White House said Obama would make his third trip to the Gulf of Mexico coast on Friday, and he appeared on CNN talk show "Larry King Live" to discuss the catastrophe.
"I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people, but that is not what I was hired to do -- my job is to solve this problem," Obama said.
"I am furious at this entire situation. This is something where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions," he added.
Obama has been besieged on multiple fronts, and is dealing with the Gulf crisis, the Gaza flotilla raid and North Korea's belligerence, not to mention the slowly recovering economy.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs hit back at a growing media frenzy, along the lines that the president should simply "do something" to stop a gushing undersea well clogging the Gulf with a thick slick of oil.
"If jumping up and down and screaming would fix a hole in the ocean, we'd have done that five or six weeks ago," Gibbs said.
Gibbs has been peppered with questions in recent days over whether Obama, known for a cool, intellectual demeanor, is doing enough to convey anger and dismay over the disaster.
Some normally sympathetic commentators have also been tearing into him, frustrated at his "no drama" persona.
Comedy host Jon Stewart lampooned Obama for holding receptions for sports teams and interest groups at the White House while insisting the spill was his "top priority."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd also mocked Obama: "It's not a good narrative arc: The man who walked on water is now ensnared by a crisis under water," she wrote.
"Instead of buoyant, he seems put upon. Instead of the fairy dust of hopefulness, there's the bitter draught of helplessness."
Television pundits on round-the-clock cable television have also been piling on, adding up to a public relations headache for the White House.
The White House has at various times seemed to be trying to catch up to the momentum of disaster coverage.
Obama also risked looking impotent -- a dangerous political position for any president -- as the government does not possess either the expertise or equipment to plug the well.
Gibbs argued Obama would gain nothing by going on television and throwing a tantrum.
"Pounding on a podium isn't going to fix a hole in the ocean," he said.
Republicans and other Obama critics have portrayed the crisis as Obama's "Hurricane Katrina" noting the terrible damage the killer storm wrought on the presidency of George W. Bush.
But Gibbs insisted Obama was pushing forward on his agenda.
Obama expected the UN Security Council to vote on a top foreign policy priority -- toughened sanctions against Iran as early as next week, and was focused on the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gibbs said.
He was likely to sign a top priority financial reform bill into law by July, and was on track to get Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan confirmed as well, Gibbs said.
"I appreciate that sometimes you guys have one story and you do one story a day," Gibbs told reporters, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Gibbs said the president's trip to Indonesia and Australia in the middle of the month was still on the schedule, despite speculation it would be impossible for Obama to go abroad with the oil spill worsening.
The president has already cancelled the trip once, and risks annoying his hosts and damaging foreign policy priorities if he had to cry off again.
Asked on CNN if he still liked his job, despite all the challenges, Obama replied: "This is the best job on earth."
"It's an extraordinary privilege to be able to wake up every day and know that you have the opportunity to serve the American people and make their lives a little bit better," Obama said.
All together now: Obama is an Idiot.
Venting = going off teleprompter = another “spread the wealth” gaffe
I wish we had some adults in charge. Instead, we get small, silly people like this guy and his small, silly administration.
The neighbors are starting to notice.
He must have got his pants dirty on that beach.
You’re watching the chattering class at work, or at least what they call work. That doesn’t tell a lot concerning what the “average American” cares about.
Maybe he’ll just quit...
"Pounding on a podium isn't going to fix a hole in the ocean," he said.
Obama expected the UN Security Council to vote on a top foreign policy priority -- toughened sanctions against Iran as early as next week...
Do I really have to point out the utterly mind-blowing lack of self-awareness from people who think yelling and screaming won't solve problems whose big solution for a nuclear Iran is yelling and screaming in the UN?
Can’t we put a cap on this man-child, and stop the perpetual leak? Is he spewing (reading) again?
Most people would put a mirror on the headboard or over the bed if anything. Obama requires a teleprompter.
The only reason he has kids, is because he misread ‘of course’ and took the wrong action.
My Gawd - he's a petroleum engineer now too! This guy is the most inconsequential man to ever serve as president - he's The Man Who Wasn't There, The Nowhere Man, The Empty Suit, etc etc. But he's furious! Too bad the oil gushing from this well can't hear him - he would simply cow it into halting itself.
and I for one am frikkin’ sick and tired of the bamster telling the american people what his job is.
think about it-have you ever made an acquaintance with someone and you noticing that individual always telling other people that “this was his/her job” and yet actually did nothing...repeating this like a mantra?
if he’s not chewing himself out in public (blasting “the gov’t for not doing it’s job (oil spill) he continually re-iterates what his job is & isn’t.
i’m sure glad his only real job was dipping cones at Baskin & Robbins -imho if he ran a lemonade stand he’d tell his customers that it was his job -it’s just that he can’t/won’t squeeze the lemons.
what a pos
I hear ya, and I agree.
Harry Truman: The buck stops here.
Barack Obama: What buck?
They were getting grief from reporters that he was not involved enough emotionally. So “Shazam!!” all of a sudden we are hearing how furious the President is. This is all MSM spin. They are just taking a page out the Clinton's focus group book. Panel says he is not emotional enough and “Holy Mel Gibson Batman!! (from lethal Weapon 1)” Barry is mad. Suddenly stories that BO has been pissed from day one appear in the news. I am sure Gibbs will be telling us tomorrow how this crisis has so upset Obama so much he forced back to smoking 4 packs a day. There will be pictures of him sitting in Air Force 1 with a grimace on face, in a wrinkled shirt, and undone tie going over Oil slick photos with a caption underneath saying Oil Crisis Day One Obama hard at work on it. A Spin Doctor's work is never done.
Yet another MSM article attempting to assure us that Obama is really, really, really mad about this oil spill. Really, it has nothing to do with his diddling for week or his incompetance, he’s really mad!
You see with Liberals it always comes down to “feelings”. He’s really mad, which we’re suppose to understand as, “Obama really cares!”
The reality is that Obama is the Barney Fife of presidents.
oh dear... dear leader is repressing himself. oh the restraint. quick... give him a medal!
in reality, he doesn’t give a flying fig about anything that hurts this country. not one bit. that ‘cool’ exterior masks the ‘cool’ interior of a calculating anti-American
I suppose a massvie heart attack is too much to axe for.
Is he “furious” like Clinton was said to get “furious” but when video was shown he was far from it.
Being “furious” says he cares, right? Michelle, my Belle