I would rate it no higher than “middling”. He really hasn’t been visible, and that’s kind of his only role here. He can’t plug the hole or process workers’ claims, but he could be there saying that we are going to figure this out — or someone is going to pay.
I certainly agree with the above poster in that President Obama can’t actually do too many tangible things (the President, despite what people may think, has rather limited power). In addition to what Jeff has noted, President Obama could be using the spill more effectively in a political sense. I would like to see BP’s irresponsibility used as a reason to push energy legislation or to limit/abolish corporate personhood, and Obama could certainly promote these things more. I’d also like to see some more concrete language from him about the consequences BP will face, along with other oil companies (since they all had the same outdated, ineffective disaster plan).
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