We pay the president 400 grand a year, let him and his family live in a nice house for four — or maybe eight — years, give him access to the best possible public transportation and supply him with a staff that opens doors, answers his phone and serves him meals.
And it’s still not enough to compensate him for the job we ask him to do.
President Obama went on TV last night and, to my ears, said a whole lot of the right things, in the right tone and with the right inflection in his voice. But today he’s getting hammered by those in the opposing party.
The guy can’t buy a break.
He vowed to make BP pay for the cost of cleaning up the hideous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; he has ordered the establishment of an escrow account, to be administered by a third party (BP agreed today to place $20 billion into the account); he has pledged to devote every asset at his command to fight the spill; he made a pitch for alternative energy research and development to wean us of our addiction to oil; he has sought the deployment of National Guard and reserve troops to aid in the cleanup; he has vowed to make the Gulf Coast whole; he has told families and business owners that he will be by their side “for as long as it takes” to repair the damage done by the oil spill; he invoked his faith in God to see us through this crisis and urged all Americans to rely on their own faith and to pray for those who fighting so hard to fix what is wrong.
But he’s getting hammered by those, such as Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, for “holding the Gulf hostage” to cap and trade legislation. The first words in Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s response were “It is deeply frustrating that neither BP nor federal regulators had the plans in place to prevent and respond quickly to this tragedy.” Well, no kidding, senator. Weren’t you on duty as well as the president? Where is the shared responsibility here? We do have “co-equal branches of government,” correct?
I give the president credit for speaking out and for giving assurances to those who are suffering the most that he intends to throw the full weight of the government behind this effort.
Yes, this is a crisis of monumental proportions. It’s only the latest in a string of crises that the administration has dealt with since taking office.
A friend at church told me the other day that although he isn’t “much of a fan of Obama,” he’s “beginning to feel sorry for him.”
These are times, no doubt, when even the stoutest of men and women must wonder: Why did I ever seek this job in the first place?
I’m thinking President Obama is asking himself that very question.