Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Et tu, Jesse?
Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), a longtime family friend and political adviser, told POLITICO that President Barack Obama should address the nation on the oil gusher that continues to contaminate the Gulf of Mexico and threatens to devastate coastal economies.
He said the crisis presented an opportunity to rally the nation behind job-creation on the Gulf Coast — a call to service on the coast that could echo past efforts by progressive presidents to turn economic calamity into employment.
"No more cursing," Jackson said, referring to Obama's remark to NBC's Matt Lauer that he's trying to find out "whose ass to kick" over the matter and an earlier demand for his administration to "plug the damn hole.
Instead, Jackson said, the president needs to address the nation and focus it.
"Level with the American people," he said. "Turn the crisis into a cleanup and job-creation opportunity. Turn crisis into opportunity and stop the blame game."
Jackson's remarks are the strongest criticism to date from a Democratic lawmaker on the president's handling of the disaster in the Gulf, and they carry significance because of his role in Obama's political rise.
But they also represent a break from lawmakers who have second-guessed the political handling of the situation without offering an alternative path — or without attaching their names to the criticism.
A White House spokesman was not able to provide an immediate reply for comment. (Source)