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


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