06.15.10

Wasting a Crisis

Obama’s Oval Office speech was too little too late. Margaret Carlson on why he should have fired Ken Salazar and pushed for a real energy bill.

Such a small speech for such a big disaster.

Obama missed an opportunity to do something concrete about the oil spill—firing his Interior Secretary. If only the president had shut down Interior's Mineral Management Service instead of opening up new offshore drilling sites. This is where bipartisanship gets you into trouble. Instead he lamented that the problems "ran much deeper" than Ken Salazar knew (he only instituted new ethics guidelines against folks having sex and doing drugs with their charges). He could have known. Everyone who read the paper over the last few years did. Show him the door. 

More Daily Beast writers react to Obama's Oval Office speechObama also looked weak, summoned to the Gulf multiple times and to an Oval Office speech because the press is unhappy with his response. A cold, steely stare at BP is more effective than feeling our pain.

And worst of all, he didn't push an energy bill to fight this "war" but temporized, saying he'll get to it "in the months ahead," which means after weak-kneed Democrats are reelected, or not, in November. We just saw a crisis being wasted.

Margaret Carlson is a columnist for Bloomberg News. She was a columnist and deputy Washington bureau chief for Time magazine.