Opinion: Robert Gibbs reveals Obama so enraged over BP oil spill, he actually said ‘Damn!’


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When it comes to the BP oil spill disaster, the White House press corps wants blood. The members want raw emotion.

They want President Obama to throw a tantrum worthy of being featured in a Coors Light commercial.

Think Dennis Green. Or Jim Mora. Or Herm Edwards.


They don’t want Tom Landry or Tony Dungy. They want Ditka. Even better Hurricane Ditka.

You could tell that on Tuesday at the White House press briefing when human pinata Robert Gibbs was repeatedly....

...asked about President Obama’s robotic or perhaps Vulcan-like response toward the oil spill.

‘Have you seen the President enraged about this?’ asked one reporter.

Throughout this process, absolutely,’ Gibbs responded.

‘Do you think that that has come through to the American people?’ the reporter followed.

‘I think the American people are frustrated. I think the people of the Gulf are frustrated. I think the President is frustrated. I think the White House is frustrated. I don’t see how anybody could look at what’s happening in the Gulf and not be frustrated and heartbroken -- absolutely,’ Gibbs said.

Expect a follow-up? Yep. Don’t say frustrated and heartbroken when the reporters are talking about rage. They aren’t asking him to write a country song. They want to know about jugular-popping, chair-flinging across the Oval Office, Bobby Knight-like rage.

‘You said earlier that the President is enraged. Is he enraged at BP specifically?’ asked CBS reporter Chip Reid.

‘I think he’s enraged at the time that it’s taken, yes,’ Gibbs answered. ‘I think he’s been enraged over the course of this, as I’ve discussed, about the fact that when you’re told something is fail-safe and it clearly isn’t, that that’s the cause for quite a bit of frustration.’


There he goes again. Gibbs mentions the word ‘frustrated’ but reporters want to know about rage. Shirt-tearing, Lou Ferrigno exploding, Christian Bale screaming RAGE.

‘Frustration and rage are very different emotions, though,’ Reid followed. ‘I haven’t -- have we really seen rage from the President on this? I think most people would say no.’

‘I’ve seen rage from him, Chip. I have,’ Gibbs responded meekly, almost like he was wearing a bonnet next to Mary’s little lamb.

And as you can imagine, it didn’t work. No sale.

‘Can you describe it?’ an exasperated Reid pressed. ‘Does he yell and scream? What does he do?’

‘He said -- he has been in a whole bunch of different meetings -- clenched jaw -- even in the midst of these briefings, saying everything has to be done,’ Gibbs said. ‘I think this was an anecdote shared last week, to plug the damn hole.’


Yeah, it was time to wave the white flag. Reporters continued fruitlessly. Nada. Nothing to see here. Move along.


After all, Gibbs isn’t going to pull out a shoe Khrushchev-style. If anything, if he did take off a shoe, it would probably be more reminiscent of the ever-menacing Fred Rogers.

Related Item:

As the Gulf oil flow continues, Obama slides away from BP

-- Jimmy Orr

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