The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 4, 2010

President must cast aside politics for leadership

By Cindy Allen, Managing Editor


President Barack Obama still seems to be grappling with how he should handle the calamitous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a world where first-term presidents are constantly campaigning for re-election, this president has taken this skill to a new level. But, I think he’s starting to see that being in campaign mode on this issue is just pushing him further away from the American people and particularly the people in the Gulf.

Americans don’t want to see him right now using this disaster to further some political goal of forcing green energy alternatives or trying to punish the oil industry. Those debates will certainly come, and there will be plenty to talk about.

But, right now, we have a major disaster on our hands that I don’t think any of us really comprehend the consequences of. We have to find a way to plug this leak and start cleaning up the Gulf. I think the American people will back and fully understand billions being spent to do what we physically can to mitigate this disaster.

The president has rightly canceled some trips abroad in the wake of this disaster. Some say he’s been slow on the take on this, and they may be right. But, the president can’t control the past.

He can control the future. This disaster has the potential to make Hurricane Katrina look like a tornado drill. He needs the best physicists, geologists, chemists and whoever else might offer some expertise in getting this situation under control.

There will be plenty to analyze, criticize and complain about once this disaster has been stopped or at least slowed. Right now, we need action, cooperation and expertise from our administration.