Haley Barbour and Bob Riley -- Their states haven't been as hard hit ecologically by the spill, and the economic damage done by the moratorium has less of an impact on Alabama and Mississippi than it does on Louisiana. But both men have shown themselves to be effective leaders during the crisis. When the federal government refused to locate the proper booming materials, Governor Riley did it himself. When given the chance to skewer Barack Obama over the lethargic federal response, Barbour famously quoted Napoleon Bonaparte: "Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself." Both men had established credentials in disaster response--Barbour with Katrina and Riley with Ivan and Katrina. Both have shown the benefit of that experience and expertise.
It bears noting that Obama has tallied three vacations since April 20, one to Chicago, one to North Carolina and one to Maine. He's also managed to tuck in ten rounds of golf in the 90+ days since the incident. Aloof. Unattached. Out of touch.
Rubbing salt into the Gulf Coast's wounds, Obama held his first "hot" press conference in nearly a year on May 27, in which he announced the deepwater drilling moratorium, enraging Gulf Coast residents and raising the ire of even steadfastly supportive Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Charlie Melancon. His June 16 Oval Office address to the nation--his very first ever--was panned from both the left and the right as a colossal failure.
That speech should likely be the metaphor for the entire White House oil spill response--weak, rambling, ineffective and utterly clueless.
Gimme some feedback in the comments.