Gail Collins and David Brooks of the Times both agree that they're happy Obama has been strutting around declaiming these past few spillagey weeks. Brooks:In contrast with Rudy Giuliani, a master in the art of contrivance and beneficiary of obsequious media coverage, Tomasky tells us that Obama is "being too measured, overly judicious, too resistant to rush to judgment. It'll cost him one of these days."I persist in the belief that unless Barack Obama has a degree in underwater engineering that he's not telling anybody about, there's really not a lot, post-spill, he could be doing. Like you, I'm not a huge fan of presidential grandstanding. The idea that the president is the big national daddy who can take care of all our problems is silly.It may be silly, but Obama has a habit of letting crises sneak up on him. You have to look like you're doing stuff even when you're not. A very crucial executive skill.
It's a shame we don't have better media and a more responsible political culture. Tomasky makes a point about the reality in which we're immersed - where Giuliani's incompetent choices and personality quirks put him in a position to project leadership after the 9/11 attacks and the media was more than happy to play along. President Obama does have to work within that political reality. But it's a shame that so much energy is devoted by politicians, pundits and talk radio hacks toward getting the public to respond in a knee-jerk, uninformed manner as opposed to encouraging, if not insisting, that we act like adults.
Update: "Where's the President, and why didn't he fix this with his magic wand?"