Obama & Hayward; Two sides of a coin

Oh, this is rich, and as tone-deaf and irony-challenged as ever:

A White House spokesman had a little fun at the expense of BP CEO Tony Hayward at the daily briefing Monday, tweaking him for taking his yacht out on the water for a race off English shores while the waters of the Gulf become ever more polluted.

“You know, look, if Tony Hayward wants to put a skimmer on that yacht and bring it down to the Gulf, we’d be happy to have his help,” Bill Burton said.

A skimmer is a piece of equipment dragged by a ship to corral surface oil so that it can be burned or vacuumed up.

“Tony Hayward, I guess, took himself at his word that he was going to get his life back here. It’s clear that he has,” Burton said. “But what’s important to us is that the people in the Gulf get their lives back. It’s not so easy for them to just take a weekend away and forget about everything that’s happening down there.”

At the same time, Burton defended the president’s Saturday golf outing, which has also come in for some fire, saying, “I don’t think that there’s a person in this country that doesn’t think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind.”

This part kills me:

“And so after a week where the president was taking on the oil spill, got an historic agreement with BP to put aside $20 billion to pay claims; after a day on Friday when he strengthened lobby and ethics rules in the White House; after going to Ohio to talk about the economy . . . I think that a little time to himself on Father’s Day weekend probably does us all good as American citizens that our president is taking that time,” Burton said. [emphasis mine -admin]

My BS radar always goes up when someone in politics tells us what “does us all good.” In this case, is there a suggestion that it might be un-American of a citizen to wonder if the president needed a 39th golf outing, 16 months into his presidency?

I don’t doubt that the president had a stressful week; that’s what a president gets, most weeks, and this is a job Obama said he wanted, could handle and had the energy for.

But you know, every week with this president is an “historic” and “unprecedented” week; this “historic” agreement with BP was forged by his Chicago underlings, as–if reports are to be believed–Obama bounced in and out of the room. The trip to Ohio was a ten-minute talk and glorified campaign stop.

Should he have Father’s Day to himself on the golf course? Sure, alright. But then, for goodness sake, be a man, and a grown-up, and not a spiteful sort; don’t send Burton out there to suggest that one powerful man with a crisis on his hands may play the links, but another powerful man with a crisis on his hands may not sail the seas.

These two, Obama and Hayward, deserve each other.

Funnily enough, earlier this morning, before I read this, I was thinking of the past weekend–with Hayward on his yacht and Obama on his green–and musing that these two men appear to have identical sorts of personalities, identical competencies (or lack thereof) and identical work ethics.

Glenn Reynolds notes that the press gave Obama a pass on the golf, but not Hayward on the yachting. That’s typical.

Perhaps these very similar men need to resign from these jobs they don’t really want, with these inconvenient, vexing problems that they’d prefer not to address. Then Hayward can have his life back, and Obama can have his waffle, and they can yacht and golf to their heart’s content.

And we can have a bit of leadership? Is Biden up to par, do you think, or should we listen to Sally Quinn?

What do you think? I think most of the world will not buy the WH’s double-standard, even if the press does. Toby Harnden doesn’t buy it, and he quotes Brutally Honest, as he doesn’t!

Jim Hoft has Obama not resting

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jeff

    I could be wrong but I don’t think that Obama really does all that much actual work, other than determining how to assign blame and advance his political agenda. We have now moved to a constant 4-year campaign for the White House. Hence the constant references to Bush 18 months in. I bet we will be hearing about Bush in 2012 also. How bad things were when Obama came on the scene, we are still “recovering,” it will “take time,” etc.

  • Andre

    Did everyone forget what Bush was doing when Katrina destroyed most of NO? We are still trying to put NO back together.

    [No, I distinctly remember everything Bush DID do, in trying to get Nagin and Blanco to take action before the storm, and all he put into action after it. But I've always said the BP spill is not Obama's Katrina. It's his "My Pet Goat." Btw, how long do you think we will be, putting the coastline "back together" after all of this? Have you noticed we don't see any new pictures coming out of the gulf or the beaches? And btw, Bush isn't president anymore, Obama is, and 16 months into his presidency, it might be time to stop saying, "well, but Buuuuuuush..." Unless of course, 16 months into Bush's presidency, you were still saying, "well, btu CLINTOOOON! -admin]

  • Jim Batley

    They only look similar through the distorted lens of the drive-by media.

    Certain BP employees on the rig are at fault.

    The faults and failures were known to PB middle management and the feds middle management, some since February.

    BP is serving the interests of its shareholders and the American electorate by following the lead of the official elected to protect the Gulf among other things.

    Obama is fully responsible for egregious failures in communication and response.

  • Feeney

    I love your blog, but I can’t agree with this one. Nothing wrong with the President playing golf, every weekend if he wants to. The drama queens in the media, and over at the “Gateway Pundit” blog, are going crazy over this; but keep in mind that they make their living by creating phony controversy. If there isn’t a crisis every day, they’re out of a job.

    [As I said, myself, the president wants to play golf, that's fine. It's his lackey suggesting that Hayward ought not have down time, himself, that doesn't work -admin]

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  • tim maguire

    I never bought into the idea that the president has to walk around careworn with furrowed brow every time there’s something bad happening in the world. Same goes for the folks at BP. This crisis has dragged on for months. It’s absurd to think they should be hard at work every single moment, they’re not machines.

    Ohhh, what’s that? Obama’s a petty opportunistic hypocrite? Sure, this is yet another example.

  • http://maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com Maggie M. Thornton

    I didn’t care that Obama played golf this particular weekend, but I do care that engineering and oil drilling experts have been bypassed. I care that everyone seems to have an interest in the dispersant being used, to the detriment of all others. I care that booms weren’t even tried.

    There have been no roundtables, no brainstorming working through the night, unless it is happening at BP, and we know we can’t rely on their expertise.

    Obama should be impeached for the drilling moratorium. He has had so many waterloos – but this one will finish him off. He won’t be impeached, of course, so in the meantime I’ll drag our my voodoo doll and poke him (just kidding).

    Yes, these two are incredibly similar, narcissistic elitists, and I believe they have a longer and closer relationship than we can prove.

  • SKAY

    Obama has shown unbelievable incompetence in dealing with the situation in Louisiana.

    It is BPs job to stop the leak BUT it is the Federal Government’s job is to protect our borders and shores. Governor Jindal has been asking for help since–”DAY ONE”—is still not getting what he needs– and Obama plays golf -insists on the 6 month moratorium on all drilling while people in Louisiana loose jobs.
    We now know that many countries offered help and equipment. The administration did nothing and the oil hit the shores.

    Obama loaned the Brazil oil company 2 billion tax payer dollars to drill a much deeper oil well than any in the Gulf–not long after George Soros invested in that oil company. Wonder where the oil rigs leaving the Gulf will be going?

  • Jeff

    I have to differ with Tim a little on this one. This is a major disaster, not some minor crisis. The networks have mostly stopped showing the oil spewing out of the ocean floor because it was killing Obama’s poll numbers. Now Obama’s attempt to fix blame is getting the attention.

    He himself said this disaster was akin to 911, but, he is hitting the golf course – - right after solemnly promising that he will “not rest” until the leak is stopped. Either downplay it as something that we’ll get over, or say it is an earth-shattering crisis. But it can’t be both.

    There are other things he could do to relax. He could go to Camp David, play some horseshoes, but golfing time after time is a little tone deaf. And he and his liberal friends were the first ones to pounce on 43 when he went to Crawford to clear brush. At least that was manual labor.

  • Allen

    My guess is that Hayward is gone at BP. The board has probably already told him that when the plug is capped he’ll be given his parachute and asked to resign. The guy went boating because he’s not an engineer and thus not doing anything useful hanging out day in and day out in the US just for appearances.

    I’m wondering what kind of effect Obama’s first class slacker act is having on the White House staff. It’d be one thing if he set an example of working hard during the week then going to a baseball game and golfing on the weekend like most adults, but he takes the presidential perogative to have out of town vacations and all day outtings constantly. Even if the kids in the office are motivated and ready to fight on every day without the bosses being around, the lack of discipline has to be reflected in shoddy work and poor habits. At least that’s the way it has been in every job I’ve ever had where the bosses are constantly out of the office.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    That’s one of the reasons, Allen, why Obama looked so uncomfortable during his Oval Office speech. It was probably only the second or third time he’s been in that room since his inauguration.

  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    What we need is leadership – and quite frankly Obama is an empty suit at the best of times. He can’t lead from the golf course – which may explain why he retreats there every chance he gets.

    POTUS is not an easy job – and let’s face it Obama hasn’t ever had a real job in his entire life. Turns out as POTUS you actually have to work. Which must be quite shocking to The One.

  • Anna Barrie

    After reading your post, and following some of the links and reading what was posted there, I was reminded of an old Talking Heads song, “Road to Nowhere”. Don’t know if you’ve posted it on your blog before, but I think this will become my theme song for the rest of this ridiculous, disastrous presidency. link

  • Doc

    This is just another crisis that the Democrats won’t let go to waste. It’s an opportunity to demonize an industry, oil, which they’ve linked to the GOP for decades. Every statement they make is political in nature. The environMentals sense a chance to shut off offshore drilling for years to come. We haven’t even seen the civil suits which will be filed by Sierra Club and like-minded watermelons (green on the outside, red in the middle). The corporate media continue to carry the Dem’s water, although perhaps with a bit less enthusiasm than they used to have.

    I do find it ironic that these phony EnvironMentals only seem to care about nature when an American or Western company is profitting from the drilling. China, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, etc, can drill call they want and you won’t hear a peep from the enviro clowns.

  • AvantiBev

    I am writing from a city where the fatherless young black and Latino men are butchering each other (and innocent bystanders) at a rate that makes Afghanistan seem peaceful. Chi town had 40 shootings this past weekend, 7 fatal –oops they just found 2 more dead bodies along a railroad track, make it 9. The reporters did not even mention the stabbings or beatings in Monday morning’s news round-up.

    It was FATHER’S DAY and our fatherless prez went to play golf. I don’t see the girls in that cart. Lead by example; even though Stanley Ann Dunham left you, Obama, without much of one. I would rather see pictures of Obama doing something with the girls; even teaching them to golf or playing a game they like to play.

    I can still hear my own sweet Babbo answering us two girls when we would ask “What do you want for Father’s Day, Daddy?”

    “All I want is to be with my girls! Don’t waste your money getting me presents. Save your pennies. Just let’s all be together.”

    Want to know what is worse than even a major oil spill? This is a FATHERLESS NATION and almost every social pathology can be traced back to the god awful sexual revolution, women’s stupid surrender to it, and all the chaotic child rearing that accompanied it.

  • Joe DeVet

    I read the Sally Quinn piece, and SQ is way off base. Contra her, Hillary has been a disaster and a laughingstock as Sec’y of State. She only looks good in comparison to Obama, who is simply awful, and Biden who is both awful and a fool.

  • ccc

    Well, I think Obama should be criticized for all the golfing and partying – it is he who compared this spill to 9/11, it is he who has all said we must sacrifice. He is not behaving as if this is 9/11, and he sure isn’t sacrificing.

    As for Hayward, an article on June 18, the Friday BEFORE the yacht race, said that BP had removed him from overseeing the oil spill response:


  • Andre

    This blog is hysterically funny. They can’t all be for real can they? Imagine all your life criticizing those you don’t agree with. I need to go back and read blogs when Bush was president. That will be a joke.

    [No, I distinctly remember everything Bush DID do, in trying to get Nagin and Blanco to take action before the storm, and all he put into action after it. But I've always said the BP spill is not Obama's Katrina. It's his "My Pet Goat." Btw, how long do you think we will be, putting the coastline "back together" after all of this? Have you noticed we don't see any new pictures coming out of the gulf or the beaches? And btw, Bush isn't president anymore, Obama is, and 16 months into his presidency, it might be time to stop saying, "well, but Buuuuuuush..." Unless of course, 16 months into Bush's presidency, you were still saying, "well, btu CLINTOOOON! -admin]

  • Greta

    This mistake here is worrying about if Barry is playing golf or going to a ball game that same weekend. The crisis does not yet need a community organizer in his opionion. He has been down to check and does not yet see the need for what he is qualified to do. Just because some of the people were dumb enough to elect him president does not mean that he can actually do the job. Lets face it folks, Barry is not qualified for the job. It does not matter what he does because if he moved to the gulf, nothing would improve. He does not have a clue about oil, healthcare, how to create jobs, or how to win a war through effective leadership. He has never run a company. He has not done anything in his life. What in the hell do you expect him to do?

    We have a zero in the white house and hopefully the american people who supported this fool and continue to try and defend him will care enough about the country to elect a leader and a congress that is not socialist and that have some basic qualifications. I find it interesting that the people that screamed at Bush for putting a guy from horse show background to head FEMA voted for a guy to fill the presidency with even less experience than that same FEMA guy and because of that has done a worse job with the oil spill than the FEMA guy did they all hated….

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  • Barbara

    Hayward’s Yacht race was held on pristine waters….Obama’s golf game was played on pristinely manicured terra firma. Come on. The last time I looked, nobody, not even the right wing, is holding Obama responsible for fouling any golf links. But BP is very responsible for the worst enviromental disaster in American history in the waters of the gulf. Somebody should have poured a gallon of oil over yacht Captain Hayward and forced him to walk his own plank!

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