Word on the Street: President Obama and the Oil Spill

Word on the Street: How well is President Obama handling the oil spill crisis?
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 15, 2010

1 of 9

Age: 25
“A lot of people are saying he’s not being tough enough. Then he used the word “ass,” and now people say that was inappropriate. I don’t know what they want him to do — he can’t go down there and plug the hole himself. I guess people just want more emotion, but he didn’t really campaign on emotion. He campaigned on intellect and knowing all the facts before making irrational decisions. This is who we elected President. I’m interested to see what his response will be on Tuesday night, but I think he’s doing a good job."

2 of 9 Cynthia Gordy

Age: 39
“There’s only so much he can do right now to stop the leak immediately. He definitely has to make sure a lot of things change to prevent this from happening in the future, but I think he’s done a good job in terms of what’s in place right now.”

3 of 9

Age: 54
“Everyone’s pointing the finger at Obama, but he’s not responsible for the spill, nor should be responsible for taking care of it. I think if he continues to push BP to come up with as many ideas as they can to fix this, and also has them take other people’s ideas, then maybe the fingers will start pointing in the right direction.”

4 of 9

Age: 40
“A lot of people have been critical about him not doing enough, but the federal government is not in the oil business. Considering the circumstances and the resources he has to work with, I think he’s doing a good job.”

5 of 9

Age: 26
“I’m looking forward to the announcement that he’s going to ask BP to set up a fund for people who work on the Gulf Coast, because their source of income has been totally crippled by the oil spill. I think BP has an obligation to help them out in this time of difficulty, so I’m excited about that.”

6 of 9

Age: 33
“I think his response has been pretty even keeled, as usual, and he’s going about it in a very calm and collected way. I know a lot of people want to see him get angry, but that’s not going to solve the problem. My only frustration is that I would have liked to see him have more face time with BP, and I think he waited a little too long to actually sit at the table with those guys. Other than that, I think he’s handling it decently.”

7 of 9

Age: 40
“Obviously I would like to see him stop the leak, but beyond that I feel like he’s doing the best that he can. The steps he’s taken, continually visiting the Gulf and talking to the powers that be who are responsible for it, are the most he can do at this point.”

8 of 9

Age: 23
“I think he’s been a little too aggressive in terms of pointing fingers at BP and worrying about whose fault it is. He’s become more of a politician instead of representing the change he campaigned on. He could have taken a more diplomatic, progressive approach, as opposed to a political approach.”

9 of 9

Age: 42
“Now that we have a 24/7 news cycle, issues like this get polarized, either to the left or to the right. I’m sort of disappointed by comments he’s made after criticism that he hasn’t responded angrily enough [such as the “whose ass to kick” remark.] I think, in trying to distance himself from the idea that this is Obama’s Katrina, he let the critics win. He would have looked a lot better just keeping with his measured approach, and letting people understand the discussions that have been going on, without sounding contrived. It wasn’t necessary for him to say that."

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