Dear BP, You Got Oil On My Khakis- That Is All, Love, Obama

The adventures of Obama continue and this week they included a very long press conference, all kinds of stern words in every direction and a trip to the Gulf in khakis (or are those slacks? I’m thinking maybe a lightweight bedford cotton blend? Well, for this post they’re darkly colored khakis damnit!).

Look, it may not seem important but what the president wears is a big deal. There are persons whose job it is, not only to make sure the president is fresh, dressed like a million bucks, but also to make sure his outfit conveys the message he wants to convey at any given photo op.

Obama’s handling of the massive oil spill doesn’t readily remind me of President Bush’s handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, but his outfit does.

I’m sure it will be lost to posterity, but I distinctly remember President Bush visiting New Orleans post Katrina wearing, probably khakis, and a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I remember thinking “This looks like he’s about to do something” as I shook my head at the clever public relations move. He wasn’t go to do anything. Nor was he going to save anyone but the subtle que of appearing with rolled up sleeves could at least subconsciously give less jaded skeptics the impression he might do something. And President Obama did the same.

Our president, who deftly dodged numerous obstacles thrown at him as a candidate, is struggling to find a narrative for his position regarding the Gulf “catastrophe”. It’s a good look that that was the word he used to describe the situation in the Gulf but the people want more.

What got him into trouble was my issue with him, his ban lifting on off shore drilling and insistence on holding on to that idea in the face of what many knew would become the biggest environmental disaster in our nation’s history.

There’s no way President Obama’s handlers would allow his khakis to be stained with the oil that’s obviously meant to stain the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding beaches. That would just be wasteful. It’s not that I’m advocating for an oily president, but a lesson learned about your friendly, local oil companies here would be nice, for everyone’s sake.

I would think by now BP’s accounts would be frozen and more consequences would be laid out for them than just paying for damages they’re already weaseling out of.

Sadly, right now instead of a lesson learned, answers, a plugged hole in the ocean floor, and unspoiled nature, we’re left with photo ops, freshly pressed khakis and rolled up sleeves.

Further reading at nytimes.com: BP Engineers Making Little Headway on Leaking Well

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