July 15th, 2010
07:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama not celebrating Gulf news yet

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/15/art.obama.sshepard.jpg caption="Outside the White House, President Obama makes comments on the developments in the Gulf oil spill."]

Washington (CNN) - Inside the West Wing of the White House, President Obama's top aides call it "the G's" - the Gulf oil spill and the Greek debt crisis - two major crises that have slowed the administration's mojo though officials are hopeful it will get better before the midterm election.

When the Obama went behind closed doors with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and other top Senate Democrats at the White House on Tuesday, senior Democratic officials familiar with the conversation tell CNN that Obama recalled that "things were looking up" for his party in April after the signing of health care reform on March 23.

But the officials said Obama noted to the senators that momentum was slowed by the Gulf oil spill that started with an explosion on April 20, just weeks after the health care signing, coupled with the Greek debt crisis that over the same time period has spread across world markets and helped slow economic recovery in the United States.

Obama made clear in private that he realizes Democrats will face a headwind in the midterm election, according to the officials, but added that he plans to be aggressive about making sure the election is framed as a "choice" between Republican policies of the past and Democratic policies of the future.

The officials said Obama talked in private about personally campaigning to sell the administration's accomplishments - from the stimulus plan to health care reform and now financial regulatory reform - while also focusing on efforts to create jobs.

"He wants to focus on jobs - a simple messaging contrast with Republicans," one of the Democratic officials said of the strategy session.

But after taking that simple jobs message to Michigan on Thursday, the President was pulled back into the Gulf story again when he returned to the White House in the early evening, though this time it was potential good news about how the oil had stopped flowing-at least temporarily.

Senior White House aides say they will not celebrate until tests by BP and the government show for sure that the crisis is finally turning the corner for the better, a point the President reinforced when he was asked about the oil flow after he made a statement about Wall Street reform's passage in the Senate.

"I think it is a positive sign," Obama said carefully about the news from the Gulf. "We're still in the testing phase. I'll have more to say about it tomorrow."

Filed under: 2010 • President Obama
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. thor

    So now Obama is telling everybody that doesn't laugh in his face that the economic recovery in the U.S.been slowed by the crisis in Greece.A very delusional man. Needs a vacation ,yeah that'll do,a vacation !!!

    July 15, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Too bad the corrupt Republican-appointed Gulf State judges won't allow Obama to prevent another disaster from happening again at only 33 of the exploratory wells. Out of several thousand. Nice to know the Big Oil GOP stooges and sell-out Dem's (Landrieu) only care about the $...yet spin it around and blame Obama for not regulating.

    July 15, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Hugo

    Not celebrating the cap yet, are you kidding me. Now the work really begins and will continue for the next twenty years or so. Go Dems, home that is...
    Wall Street Reform, oh yeah that's gonna work about like Obamacare, my premiums for my family coverage just went up by 60%. I wonder what Congresses healthcare premiums are? What a douche bag!

    July 15, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. no Mission Accomplished?

    come on Obama, 'W' would have declared victory and had a made for TV special

    of course the war has continued with out stop to this day despite his declaration

    W continues to be a dummy

    July 15, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. George of the jungle

    In the presidents short time in office he has had to face the pirate high jacking two wars hati the oil spill middle east and has found time to pass some great legislation. Considering all the things he has tried to do without the help of the party of NO I feel confident that he can not only do a good job but Govern. I will vote for him again.

    July 15, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Ancient Texan

    He doesn't realize it, but the Healthcare Bill is just as big of a disaster as the Gulf Oil Spill. The Healthcare Bill was deliberate, and the Oil Spill is the result of an unfortunate accident that was mishandled

    July 15, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. blue

    Congratulations Mr.President, your work behind the scene got BP on off of their back side, and they plugged the hole.

    July 15, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  8. ib

    of course not; he wants to use this to promote his green agenda.

    July 15, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |