“The idea is to give the government’s response a reassuring, authoritative face. The new plan is designed to send a clearer signal of control than was possible when various Cabinet secretaries were serving as the spokesperson du jour, or when rotating government officials were appearing next to BP executives,” Politico’s Mike Allenreports.
Meanwhile, the White House dispatched Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, to appear on the national morning shows today. Video of Browner’s “Good Morning America” interview after the jump.
President Obama will hold a press conference tomorrow to address new offshore drilling regulations. He will also head to the Gulf Coast on Friday.
The moves reflect a different tone from the administration’s original stance on the recent Gulf Coast oil spill, which was to paint it as a problem almost solely to be dealt with by the company’s responsible – namely BP – and not the government.
“The president himself has only made one brief appearance in the region since the spill began and has only spoken publicly about the incident six times in the past five weeks,” CBS News notes.
Manny Ortiz, senior lobbyist at Washington D.C. agency Quinn, Gillespie & Associates told PRNewser today, “the perception problem now is that everyone agrees BP is bad, but what is [the administration] doing to fix it?”
With a news cycle that has turned from solely BP focused to administration and BP focused, “the strategy of keeping [Obama] away won’t help right now,” said Ortiz. “They have nothing to lose.”
Democratic strategist James Carville had more pointed words when went off on Obama on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today. “I have no idea of why they didn’t seize this thing,” he said. “I have no idea of why their attitude was so hands off here.”
UPDATE: The White House held a private, on-the-record meeting incident commander Thad Allen and several influential political columnists today.
As the massive Gulf Coast oil spill continues to get worse, British Petroleum (BP), is “coming under mounting pressure,” The Wall Street Journalreports. Since the accident, BP’s stock market value has declined by roughly $25 billion, the AP reports, and the clean up will cost billions and could take years.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked yesterday about President Obama’s approach to BP. “I point you to what [Interior] Secretary Salazar said about — I think the phrase was — at least the phrase I heard earlier in the week with him was to keep the boot on their throat. So I think that kind of sums up in that Western Colorado way how — what we’re trying to convey.”
The company, which has done much to put forth a “green” image, insofar as changing its logo to green and yellow and its tag line to “beyond petroleum,” has also invested hundreds of millions in to alternative energy research. Those efforts mean little now, as the company faces its biggest challenge yet.