Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Politicians use oil spill to posture

(This is almost true.)

Pushing and shoving erupted briefly Monday on the coast of Florida's Panhandle beaches when the number of politicians seeking camera opportunities exceeded the available beachfront.

No injuries were reported, but local authorities in Pensacola were forced to impose a system of permits for beach access for political speechmaking based on rank.

Presidents will continue to have unlimited beach access, followed by state governors, U.S. senators, state Cabinet members, U.S. representatives, state legislators, and last, locally elected officials.

Pensacola authorities also asked politicians posing for cameras on the beaches to abide by a "voluntary code" of time-saving activities, including arriving on the beach already in shirtsleeves and limiting the number of times they use the word "appalled."

"With just a little cooperation from all parties, I'm sure we can get through this crisis," said a spokesman for Escambia County's emergency services department.

A spokesman for Gov. Charlie Crist said the governor was willing to abide by the restrictions but, five minutes later, announced the governor had reversed his position.

"No one ranks in front of Charlie Crist when it comes to wearing grim expressions and shirtsleeves in times of crisis," the spokesman said.

Meanwhile Monday, President Barack Obama, Crist, state Attorney General Bill McCollum, and Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, engaged in a bidding war over how much money they thought oil giant BP should have to pay for the disaster continuing to spread through the Gulf of Mexico.

"Only by demanding increasingly ridiculous sums of money from BP can we show we are doing anything about this crisis," Obama said.

Obama opened the bidding by saying BP should not be able to pay any dividends to its shareholders. Every politician or candidate in Florida immediately issued a statement bragging that Obama had just stolen his or her idea.

Crist one-upped Obama by demanding that BP fork over "one zillion" dollars, apparently under the mistaken belief it was a real number.

McCollum demanded "all the money BP will ever make" and Sink proposed "all the money in the world." Each campaign took credit for outdoing the other.

The president, meanwhile, signaled his increasingly grim determination not to look like an effete, disconnected, think-o-crat by … spending the night outside the White House.

"Nobody can accuse President Obama of not swinging into action now," presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Obama planned to return to the White House to address the nation Tuesday evening, showing that he is "super-duper on the case. Not even health care got an Oval Office speech," Gibbs said. "See?"

In other developments Monday, BP announced a major breakthrough: a new, improved version of its "We'll Make This Right" advertising campaign. The main thrust consists of more "We'll Make This Right" advertising.

Elsewhere, in London, British officials and opinion-makers expressed resentment over American resentment against the British oil corporation, calling it "a bit of an overreaction from you silly Yanks."

American officials responded with a proposal to transport "a bit of the oil spill" from the Gulf of Mexico and dump it into the Thames.

Politicians use oil spill to posture 06/14/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin


    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  4. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond


    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman says election is about moving forward


    Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office  Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward..

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally