Free Markets, Free People

Polls show public unhappy with Obama’s leadership on oil spill

The ABC News/Washington Post poll is nothing to write home about if you’re the President of the United States – they guy in charge of the federal government’s response to disaster. Americans are beginning to understand the scope of the catastrophe, they hold the proper company responsible and culpable, but, that said, they’re not at all happy with the federal government’s response. Interestingly, the present effort gets worse reviews than Katrina.

By more than a 2-to-1 margin, Americans support the pursuit of criminal charges in the nation’s worst oil spill , with increasing numbers calling it a major environmental disaster. Eight in 10 criticize the way BP’s handled it – and more people give the federal government’s response a negative rating than did the response to Hurricane Katrina.

A month and a half after the spill began, 69 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll rate the federal response negatively. That compares with a 62 negative rating for the response to Katrina two weeks after the August 2005 hurricane.

The IBD/TIPP poll echoes the ABC poll:

The poll found that 30% rated Obama’s response as “unacceptable” and 22% rated it “poor.” Just 6% rated it “excellent” and 17% “good.” The rest gave him an average score.

Three-quarters of Republicans and one-third of Democrats disapprove of Obama on the issue. In an ominous sign for Democrats heading into midterm elections, just 18% of independents gave him favorable marks on the spill vs. 57% giving him failing grades.

The all important independent bloc gave him failing marks in an overwhelming majority (74% of independents viewed the federal effort negatively in the ABC poll).

And what do we get?

“I don’t sit around talking to experts because this is a college seminar,” Obama continued. “We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”

Given the polls, the size of the disaster and the poor federal response, most people, as the polls demonstrate, already know “whose ass to kick.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be having much of an effect.

I think Charlie Rangel may have summed it up best:

“I don’t think the administration has the slightest clue. We’re bringing in experts now, in and outside of government, to see whether or not BP will do more.”

America continues to be held hostage by a lack of leadership.



37 Responses to Polls show public unhappy with Obama’s leadership on oil spill

  • “I don’t think the administration has the slightest clue. We’re bringing in experts now, in and outside of government, to see whether or not BP will do more.”

    Well, I agree that the administration hasn’t got a clue.  When Imeme is reduced to acting macho (“so I know whose ass to kick”) to both put on an act that he cares and to cover his fecklessness, it’s a solid indication that he really doesn’t know what to do.

    As for bringing in experts to try to “see whether or not BP will do more”… What does that mean, exactly?  Is BP refusing to do what Imeme – who, as we know, is totally in charge of this whole thing – tell them to do?  Do we need experts to tell us what BP can do in addition to what they are already doing?  To tell BP to do something different?  To prepare to take BP to court?  And where the hell have these “experts” been for the past month and a half???  Who are they?  What makes them “experts”^? 

    Imeme would have us believe that he was on top of this thing from Day One.  Doing what?  Aside from standing out in the rain* chattin’ with fishermen, that is?


    (*) Good heavens, is he ADMITTING that he’s too dumb to get in out of the rain???

    (^) This is sadly a reasonable question to ask of a regime that put a kid whose sole achievement in life was ALMOST finishing law school in charge of the GM / Chrysler restructuring and whose idea of a crackerjack Supreme Court nominee is a woman whose career has pretty much been limited to being a college administrator and a government functionary.

    • After 45 days he still doesn’t know who’s ass to kick?  Wow, impressive.

  • “… so I know whose ass to kic

     So articulate. And so presidential.

    • Perhaps Obama missed the “Kick Me” sign that Bush pasted to his back … just wait till he sees it … he will kick his own ass … as soon as he catches himself

      • I was just thinking that Barry’s rejoinder reminds me of Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour” saying “Which one of you kicked me?” to a room full of thugs.

    • Hey!  the teleprompter made him say it…..
      He was channeling Bill Maher – they probably cut the film where he lifted up his shirt and showed everyone the 9 stuck in his waistband.

      • looker[T]hey probably cut the film where he lifted up his shirt and showed everyone the 9 stuck in his waistband.

        Don’t give the White House any ideas, or his next interview will be with him dressed like a gangsta threatenin’ to bus’ a cap in BP’s a**.  Come to think of it, I think Spike Lee has already suggested that.

  • No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

    … and so much for making BP pay more than the current cap. Never has Article 9 applied so clearly.

    • Well-owner BP PLC, meanwhile, faces penalties “in the many billions of dollars,” for the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster that has been spewing an estimated minimum 12,000 to 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf, said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. The costs of the spill will “greatly exceed” the amount BP could recoup by selling any of the captured oil on the market, he said Monday.

      The White House also said Monday that it supported lifting the cap on liability damages altogether for any oil companies drilling offshore. The cap is $75 million unless the government can show criminal negligence.

      So the White House is calling BP a “criminal”

        Well, Holder went down to La. to look for felony violations.  I am sure that is helping BP focus solely on the oil leaking out.   If the administration did nothing, it would be less dumb than the harm they are doing trying to look as if they are doing something.

  • Well, you can skip right over Katrina, because that was nothing compared to this. This is a vapor lock along the lines of the Iran hostage crisis, but even worse. You have the White House both depending on and trying to intimidate-to-control the message coming out of BP. You have a fundamentally confused president who couldn’t lead a Boy Scout troop to the hamburger grill. If there are competent people anywhere in the administration in any positions where it counted it would have to be by accident and they would be ignored in any case. You still have a political malignancy, Rahm Emanuel, running the everyday ops of the Executive Office of the President. Even this Coast Guard guy who just retired who is staying on to handle the spill, who was supposed to be such an ace, has turned out to be an excuse-making bureaucrat.

    These are not people who solve problems. They are people who try to wish them away while they are trying to find fall guys who can take the blame. They make the Clintons look like honest people, and the Clintons were psychopaths.

    • … wait a minute … there are unicorns massing near the Gulf of Mexico … Developing

  • Iv never known anyone who wanted to work harder just because you kick him in the ass. Usually its exactly the opposite. Outside of literal ass kicking that is.

  • Now I learn (perhaps I’m late to the game?) that Imeme HASN’T EVEN SPOKEN TO THE HEAD OF BP since April 20.  Not once.  Not even so much as a, “Hey, Tony, if you need me to do something to help out in this, give me a buzz” or even, “Tell ME what your plan is.” Nada.  Zip.  Not a single f*cking word. 

    BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward hasn’t spoken directly to President Barack Obama since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20.
    “There is no need for that,” Hayward told the British Broadcasting Corp. in a live interview in London today. “I have spoken to his key lieutenants.”

    Key lieutenants???  Oh, good grief!  Would that be Plugs?  Boots Salazar?  JaNo?  Dead Fish Emmanuel?  Astro-rod?  The kids’ nanny?

    I realize that the president has to delegate various responsibilities.  He can’t run the entire show by himself, nor should he because nobody can possibly be an expert in everything.  But to not talk personally EVEN ONCE to the head of BP… Outrageous.  We can say with absolute confidence that Imeme spent more time talking to Paul McCartney – or his f*cking GOLF CADDY – than he has to the man ultimately responsible for BP’s containment and cleanup efforts.  Unbelievable.  Absolutely unbelievable.

    • “Tony, whatever you need from us, we’re more than ready to help I can assure you, because we both know we need to get this under control yesterday, the environmental damage, the impact to the businesses and citizens who’s livelihood is being affected and destroyed,  the cost of clean up, not to mention the financial loss to your own company.    Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to ask and we’ll do our damnedest to make it happen as swiftly as possible….you know we’ll be having the “how are we going to pay for this talk later”, but for right now, let’s just get the damned thing closed up.  Quicker we do that, the less it will cost everyone all around.  You can count on us, can we count on BP Tony?”

      • Probably more like, “The people who caused this problem don’t need to do a lot of talking.”

        • Nah, that was my pseudo fantastical phone call that happened once they had a clue about how bad this thing was.  You know, sometime after the rig exploded and before 45 days had elapsed.
          The phone call that actually happened was “Give me the head of the Secret Service detail – uh yeah Special Agent Schlepper, this is Messiah, I’m feeling like a round of golf is in order, if it’s not too much trouble get the links cleared for me to play tomorrow”.

  • They have a problem, they need to solve it.  Instead of worrying about who’s ass they are going to kick over it.
    But he thinks leading the lynch mob will make people like him again, so lynch mob it is.   Besides it’s sort of like community organizing (apparently not the same as community accomplishment….) so he understands it.
    God knows it won’t be him leading the group that solves the problem.

  • He’s officially passed Jimmy Carter as “Most Implausible President Ever”. I had a lot of complaints about Jimmy Carter, but at least the man had dignity. Leaders don’t voice frustration, they voice impatience.

  • Polls show public unhappy with Obama’s leadership on oil spill

    WHAT LEADERSHIP??????????

    Giving a speech about doing something is NOT leadership. 

    • retired militaryWHAT LEADERSHIP??????????

      The kind that you’d expect even out of a corporal whose stripes were still wet.  You tell me what you’d expect:

      (A) “Dammit!  Here I am, in charge of a detail painting the colonel’s office, and Private Jones tells me that he knocked a hole in a can of paint and now it’s leaking all over the carpet!  This is all I need right now… OK, I need to put the can in the trash, get my guys to clean up as much of the paint as possible, and, if we can’t get the carpet clean, tell my sergeant so he can help me figure out what to do before the colonel comes back and sees this mess.”

      (B)  “Dammit!  Here I am, in charge of a detail painting the colonel’s office, and Private Jones tells me that he knocked a hole in a can of paint and now it’s leaking all over the carpet!  This is all I need right now… OK, I guess I’ll tell Jones to deal with it.  I’m going to go listen to my i-pod and shoot some hoops while I think about how I can blame him for this.  If the colonel comes back, he can talk to Specialist Smith about what’s going on.  Oh, and I need to make sure that Smith knows to tell the colonel how pissed I am about this mess and how I told him to keep his boot on Jones’ neck until this mess is cleaned up.”

      • This is Corporal Hochstetter’s fault, because he was Jone’s Corporal BEFORE me, and he didn’t bust Jones out of the service and left him for me to deal with.  Plus I’ve only been Corporal for a year and a half now, and I can’t be expected to fix all the problems instantly.

        • Heh.  I’m trying to imagine my old CSM’s reaction to something like that.

  • Real leaders are morally compelled by events to seek clarity and to act on it. When the knowledge available is inadequate, leaders seek out adequate knowledge. Something inside compels them. Confusion is their enemy. They move forward as rapidly as possible. They provide a sense that they are moving toward the solution and the victory. When they are thwarted they restart. They assemble facts and actors and tear kitchen sinks out of walls and throw them if that’s all that’s available.

    Obama acts like a campus pussy leading a teach-in who couldn’t get his Volkswagen bus out of the mud if his life depended on it and wouldn’t think of asking the guys playing rugby to give him a hand. His problem is that he has never done anything, and they gave him a Nobel Peace Prize for that already. And he has never done anything because he doesn’t know how to do anything, and he’ll get some sort of prize for that as well.

    This is the silliest man ever given power, and that would be funny if he wasn’t so destructive. If not for the latter, we could just have a few years of fun proclaiming him the successor-in-interest to Rufus T. Firefly.

    But he’s going to get a lot of people killed before he’s done.

    • “But he’s going to get a lot of people killed before he’s done.” – here and abroad.

  • Never in the course of this nation have some many politicians been so afraid of ordinary citizens, even when they aren’t armed.

  • pedro would like to disagree with the premise of this post.   pedro is out of bullets though.   pedro will try to make some limeade out of this mess though,  just to keep the natives amused:
    at least kooks only make up 6% of the base.  magically swap obama with w,  change absolutely nothing else,  and you’d get that 28% saying w was doing an excellent job.   i don’t think any of these 34% should be allowed anywhere near a voting booth.
    if the republicans can cough up somebody who isn’t a flatout kook pedro will gladly pull the lever for them in 2012.  pedro isn’t sure you can do that though,  you’re still letting the fringe call the shots and that’s a shame.

    • “if the republicans can cough up somebody who isn’t a flatout kook pedro will gladly pull the lever for them in 2012.  pedro isn’t sure you can do that though,  you’re still letting the fringe call the shots and that’s a shame.”
      Pedro man, we couldn’t agree MORE….

    • Sociopaths 6%, reflexively dishonest 17%, mixture of kooks and not paying attention 25%
      The good news is that’s a drop from 19 months ago, the bad news – only five percentage points.

    • You certainly sound more GOP-curious now than before, so I will bite:
      How about Christie?

      • pedro would be okay with either of those.
        maybe there is hope on the horizon. california,  always in the vanguard, could only cough up 25% to pull the lever for orly last night.  it’s not much, but it’s a start.

  • I am currently rereading “The Stand” the extended version by Stephen KIng.
    I originally read this book back in 1979.   For some reason I picked up the
    extended version and am about halfway through it now.
    I am assuming most have either read the book or watched the movie.
    On Page 530 of the paperback version they are still working their way to Ms
    Abigail in Nebraska / Boulder.
    Fran and Stu and Harold have met up with Mark and Peri(woman) who were a
    couple.  Mark was an American history Major going for his doctorate and he was  with a woman named Peri who was a liberal arts professor.  Mark comes down  with appendicitis and is dying from it.
    Peri makes the observation that almost all the group were either college
    graduates or would have been had not the plague came around.
    Then she makes this observation as Mark is dying and no one can help him due to no medical skills.
    “He’s dying” Peri said, not loudy but ina an angry, helpless way. “He’s dying because we’ve all been spending our time learning how to bullshit each other in dorms and the living rooms of cheap apartments in college towns.  I could  tell you about the Midi Indians of the New Guinea and Harold could explain the literary technique fo the later English poets but what good does any of that  do my Mark?”
    In short, she has come to the understanding that liberals (like people in
    Obama’s cabinet who have never done anything except sit in college dorms and talk about ideas and dont have a clue when confronted with a  problem in the real world.
    Nothing has changed in the past 31 years.
    I wonder if Obama and his team will ever come to this realization with things like the economy or the oil spill.

    Maybe after I finish the book I will send it to Obama with the above passaage circled and a handwritten note to get a clue.

  • I would accept if Obama had done everything he could to prepare for the after effects of the leak, because the actual plugging of the whole is more of a technical issue.  I would also accept if he already changed the rules so that relief wells have to be pre-drilled, as Canada requires (IIRC.)
    Then, I think he could honestly just say, its up to the engineers (and lawyers for the money aspect and the investigation of previous regulators) and be done with this. Instead, he does not waive the environmental impact reports, he does not get on BP to get enough booms, boats, etc., and I don’t know if he changed any regs.
    So, what I am saying, is that we need to consider the actual leak as an “act of nature” that he can’t really “fix” on his own, but all of the effects of the leak can at least be ameliorated.