I never thought I’d have significant props for any news conference Obama would give, but his conference today gave me a little (don’t get too excited, just a little) bit of respect for him. I could only watch a few minutes and I’m going off of memory here, so forgive me if I misrepresent something.
1. Obama not only admitted his administration shares the blame for the spill response in the Gulf of Mexico (which is much larger than previously estimated and is now the worst in US history), but also admitted that his administration did not act fast enough to counter the prolific corruption in the Minerals Management Service throughout most of the past ten years that he was fully aware of.
2. Obama was careful to give BP the benefit of the doubt with respect to their handling of the situation considering its unprecedented nature. Interestingly, he also said that if the Federal Government is going to charge BP for the cleanup effort, then the Federal Government has to step up its efforts.
3. Obama acknowledged that deep sea oil drilling is costly and dangerous. I think this means we might finally see real progress in the development of ANWR and other land-based oil/gas/coal prospects.
4. He also appropriately defended his efforts in the war in Afghanistan. Agree with the war or not, it’s exceedingly important to the Nation, Soldiers, and our international image that our Commander in Chief not present as a wishy-washy pansy militarily when we are at war.
5. He stressed that he neither endorses nor condemns boycotting efforts against Arizona for SB1070 (though he thinks the law is “misguided”- whatever) and stressed that the Federal government has not done its job in enforcing the law after fielding a question regarding his decision to send additional National Guard troops to the Mexican border.***It’s here that I believe he did not and has not gone far enough. That any other US government at any level (city, county, or state) criticizes and boycotts Arizona can be and MUST be condemned by the President to maintain order and proper leadership.
The level of candor and humility that I saw in the few minutes I watched was pleasantly surprising. Of course, the situation in the Gulf is becoming a nightmare and with elections coming up he might just be trying a new political tactic since the usual “my way or the highway” and “duck and role” is not working for the Democrat party.
This press conference, of course, is just a moment in time. Politicians, by nature, can provide inspiring words, but actions are where the money lies.