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President Barack Obama’s floundering Presidency is taking fire for its lackluster response to the massive Gulf oil spill as Democrats, Republicans and voters show increasing frustration.
House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Edolphus Towns, a prominent New York Democrat, called the White House’s handing of the affair “simply unacceptable” and lectured Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for not even acknowledging a letter from his committee requesting documents on the spill.
“After repeated phone calls by Committee staff, we were informed today that the requested information and records will not be produced any time soon and that no estimate can be provided as to when the committee will receive this information,” Towns wrote in a letter reported by Politico.
Meanwhile, the White House is launching a damage-control media propaganda campaign to try and convince the public that it is on top of the situation.
Several reporters were invited to an on-the-record briefing Wednesday with incident commander Thad Allen.
“I think they want to do what everybody in this city always wants to do: Get their side of the story across,” said Eugene Robinson, a Washington Post columnist invited to the briefing.
But the briefing doesn’t satisfy reporters who find the Obama Presidency falls far short of promised transparency.
ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton accuses the President of “dereliction of duty” in his handing of breaking news issues.
“I’ve never seen a president as reluctant to engage in a news conference setting,” Compton told Michael Calderone, a media writers for Yahoo News. She should know. She’s covered seven presidents.
Obama will address the oil spill in a rare news conference today: His first since July.