I wouldn't necessarily spend a lot of time at this juncture coming down like a ton of bricks on President Barack Obama for only attending the first 20 minutes of his meeting with BP bigwigs this week. But it does seem more than a little odd and worth noting.
It is reported that after 57 days of never speaking directly with BP execs, President Obama met with BP CEO Tony Hayward and BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg along with Vice President Joe Biden, attorney general Eric Holder, Admiral Thad Allen and five cabinet members.
Then we are told that the president only stuck around for the first 20 minutes of the meeting. That sounds odd to me.
First of all, 10 minutes of that time was probably taken up with hand-shaking, business-card-exchanging and seat settlement.
Second, isn't 'Bam the guy who wants the world to think he's in charge, waking up every morning and going to bed every night thinking about how to "plug the damn hole". He then finally meets with the top brass of the company who owns the "damn hole" ... and he turns the meeting over to Joe Biden after 20 minutes?
I don't know. Something about that doesn't ring true to me.
Here's the sad truth. This spill is going to go on for many months. It's going to spoil a multi-state ecosystem, the effects of which will last for a generation. The government will fumble and bumble it's way through the mess as it always does. That's how government works. Books and movies will be produced and many will focus in on how Obama's government made things worse and didn't do what it needed to do in a timely fashion to mitigate the disaster.
Somewhere in that postmortem examination will come a clip on the Day 57 meeting in which the president excused himself after 20 minutes. Why?
History won't be kind to this president on this.
(Postscript: On a related topic, does anyone know whether unions can be victims of the oil spill and thereby eligible for some of that $20b BP fund? I'll bet they can be and, if there's anyone out there foolish enough to take me up on it, I bet the unions have no trouble cutting through the red tape to get their money. Not with this White House. Bet me.)