Gulf Oil Spill is Obama's Hurricane Katrina

The American people are now very engaged on this. Unlike the White House, they get it.

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By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

If you haven’t had your morning coffee yet, the video posted below the jump will get your blood moving. It’s Phillippe Cousteau Jr. and an ABC News reporter donning hazmat suits and diving down below the surface to see the “toxic soup” that is now the Gulf of Mexico. CBS News spent nearly half its show last night on the spill; NBC devoted much of its show, too, including Brian Williams reporting that if left unfettered, the well could give off oil for the “rest of our lives on Earth,” which the former CEO of Shell confirmed. (If that’s true, that’s truly shocking.) As I write this, two of the “hot searches” on Google Trends are “top kill” and the live feed of the BP oil leak and Twitter has “oil spill” and “gulf” as trending topics. At the gym, in the grocery store, on the sidelines at the kids’ games, everybody’s talking about it.

[See which members of Congress get the most money from the oil and gas industry.]

Just in the last 48 hours or so, the tipping point has been reached. There’s now a consensus among most people that this is President Obama’s Katrina. The fact that he was in San Francisco for a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer last night, cutting up in front of the cameras, is adding to that impression. On Good Morning America, James Carville, who is no Republican, got very emotional: "They're [The people are] begging for something down here and he just looks like he's not involved in this. He's got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing and get this thing moving, we're about to die down here.”

The American people are now very engaged on this. Unlike the White House, they get it. On Morning Joe this morning, columnist Mike Barnicle asked a great question: Could it be that President Obama just prefers campaigning to governing? Unfortunately for the people of the Gulf coast, it sure looks like it.

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the Gulf oil spill
  • See which industries give the most to Congress.
  • See a slide show of the 10 states with the priciest gas.