Obama, finally, visits oil spill area – UPDATE: Top Kill appears to have failed

ed-al603_noonan_d_20100527180850Obama looks and sounds more like a victim of the oil spill than the leader who will solve the problem.

As much as I hate to admit it, Peggy Noonan nailed his quandary in the Wall Street Journal:

The original sin in my view is that as soon as the oil rig accident happened the president tried to maintain distance between the gusher and his presidency. He wanted people to associate the disaster with BP and not him. When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way. In any case, the strategy was always a little mad. Americans would never think an international petroleum company based in London would worry as much about American shores and wildlife as, say, Americans would. They were never going to blame only BP, or trust it.

One recalls the comment of psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan to one of his patients: “Where have you been all your life?” This President seems utterly unwilling to engage with problems himself. Is it the Chicago cabal that holds him back? Or is it the much maligned “lack of executive experience” finally coming through?

UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that despite misleading statements earlier in the day by BP CEO Hayward and Adm. Thad Allen, the Top Kill effort has failed.

Barack Obama vows to take responsibility for BP oil spill – Telegraph.