I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'd like to take a minute to answer Winfrey's question. Here are the things I'd like (but don't expect) Obama to do:
- Learn to prioritize. Dragging BP CEO Tony Hayward before Congress was premature. First priority should be plugging the gusher and cleaning up the Gulf Coast. He should have reached out a hand to BP to offer governmental resources to help and then stepped out of the way. After that's accomplished, then we can focus on what caused the explosion and how to ensure that BP pays its dues.
- Put political ideology aside and do what's best for the country. Everything this president does seems to be a political calculation. Sometimes the right thing to do isn't what's best for a president politically.
- Someone should remind Obama that he is the president of the entire country, not just the states that voted for him. His slow response to the oil spill and his total failure to offer help to the victims of the flood in Tennessee were due in part, I believe, to the fact that these are more conservative states where he's not popular.
- Grow a thicker skin. Obama has an extraordinarily thin skin, unable to tolerate criticism without pushing back. He seems to waste a lot of time and energy bashing those who disagree with him instead of recognizing that people do have a right not to agree with him.
- Grow up. This is the most immature administration in my lifetime. It's comprised of a bunch of vindictive crybabies. Obama should make clear through his own example that this is not professional behavior worthy of respect. I won't hold my breath on this, though.
- Drop the pretense of objectivity when it's clear that Obama's decisions are politically driven. A good example is this commission of "experts" he has assembled to take a look at what caused the BP explosion and how to make offshore drilling safe. This is a total sham. None of the people on the commission has any experience or expertise in the oil business or in offshore drilling. The "experts" are really a panel of environmentalists who are opposed to offshore drilling and who want to see us use only "green" energy sources.
- Don't rely so much on academic "experts". When help is needed, reach out to people who have real-life experience with the problem to be solved. Obama simply has too much confidence in the ability of government and academia to solve problems. Most of the booms that have been laid to hold off oil in the Gulf were laid by shrimpers!
- Face reality and start living in the real world. Obama's pie-in-the-sky dreams of green energy may be a worthwhile goal for the future, but the reality is that we are dependent on oil and gas for the foreseeable future. Face that fact and free up the oil companies to access the plentiful oil reserves we have available, both onshore and offshore.