The Oil Spill: The Best Thing to Happen to Sarah Palin?

© AP

The BP oil leak brings trouble to President Obama’s reelection outlook and opportunity for pres-hopeful Palin.

Double, double, oil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble! Mr. wOw considers Obama’s real Waterloo.

Watching and listening to all those who ponder, pontificate, advise, criticize, rant — I do mean you, James Carville, you idiot! — and yacht while millions of gallons of oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, I have come to only one conclusion: More is expected of Barack Obama than any president in the history of the United States. Any other. Ever.

It’s not that I feel Obama has handled this perfectly — too tentative at first, always too “thinky,” perpetually opaque emotionally. But I wonder what else could have been done that would have stopped the oil flow.

Sure, Obama could have jumped in with his own experts right away, but now we see our experts are no more expert than those of BP. He trusted that BP would work as fast as possible to cap the flow. He didn’t feel the urgent need to rush immediately to the Gulf. He was keeping tabs, but – there are other issues of extraordinary importance that require his attention on a daily basis.

Obama and his advisers – all of whom helped get him elected, but don’t seem too swift on helping him govern – take an inordinate interest in what is said about the president on the cable stations and in editorials. And yet with all of this watching, none of them seems to have grasped the importance of appearance; of superficial, symbolic gestures and statements. Although this is not bubonic plague sweeping the country, it is an ecological disaster of unprecedented gravity. Maybe – and maybe this is unfair – certain showy/phony/ non-Obama-like things need to be considered. Rushing right down to the scene – and sticking around. Canceling the Paul McCartney dinner at the White House. Not taking any vacation time. Not golfing.

OK, don’t jump down my throat. I know all about all of George W.’s vacation time. But … somehow, he handled it better. I don’t know how, but he did. Or Cheney did. Or the various press secretaries did. And Lord knows the man needs to relax. But this is the job he wanted. He sure didn’t want to waste his time being a senator. So, if it’s more complicated and confounding and unsatisfying and exhausting than you imagined, Barack — tough. (Not that he will go the way of Alaska’s former governor, who found the kitchen stove way too hot to complete the job.)

Barack Obama needs to be superior to any commander in chief prior to his election. He is held to a different standard, both by his supporters and his detractors. He knows it but he still won’t act like it. He is prickly and sensitive to criticism – hence his silly “kick some butt” remark – but if any president needs to fake-macho posture — like W.’s frankly brilliant “The Decider” moniker — it’s Prez O. And not after days and days of being bashed for being too soft. Politics is like acting. It is acting. Just pretend. Americans are whiny, spoiled, lemmings — easily distracted, easily fooled.

I fear the horrific oil spill spells doom for a two-term Obama presidency, unless some other major crisis comes along and he rises to the occasion to save the day. That could happen. It better happen.

The ex-governor of Alaska will definitely run in 2012. And I don’t mean a marathon.

Good luck, Mr. President. Sincerely.

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