Tar balls on the beach – and those heart-breaking pictures of oil-soaked birds – President Obama claims that’s just part of the story on the Gulf Coast.
"There's still a lot of opportunity for visitors to come down here," he says. "There's a lot of beaches that are not yet affected or will not be affected."
That defiant vow is part of what you’ll hear tonight when the President speaks to the nation. But Obama has quite a sales job ahead of him. A USA Today/Gallup poll says 71% of Americans think he hasn’t been tough enough responding to the oil spill – and more than half rate his response as “poor” or “very poor.”
One reason for that poor -- or very poor – view – is his acknowledgement that nine weeks in – there’s still a lack of communication between all the different agencies responding to the crisis:
"We want to coordinate, at every level - federal, state and local - to make sure that we are leaving no stone unturned in terms of our ability to respond to this crisis."
The White House also hopes to lock down today a deal with BP to create an escrow account to pay individuals and businesses who’ve been effected by the Gulf gusher. That account could be something of a gusher itself – up to $20 billion – but some critics say even THAT might not be enough.
The President's day begins in Pansacola, Fla., where he'll receive a briefing with Admiral Allen and local officials on efforts to fight the BP oil spill. He'll speak to military personnel at the Naval Air Station Pensacola’s Naval Air Technical Training Center, and then return to Washington for tonight's address to the nation - his first prime time speech from the Oval Office.
9:15AM THE PRESIDENT receives a briefing with Admiral Allen and local officials on efforts to fight the BP oil spill
Pensacola Beach, Florida
Travel Pool Coverage
11:10AM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at an event with military personnel
Naval Air Station Pensacola’s Naval Air Technical Training Center, Pensacola, Florida
12:15PM THE PRESIDENT departs Pensacola, Florida en route Washington, DC
Naval Air Station Pensacola
8:00PM THE PRESIDENT addresses the nation
Pooled Press Coverage
On This Day
1849: James K. Polk died. He was the eleventh President, serving between 1845-49. President Polk is best known for leading the nation into the Mexican-American war; U.S. forces conquered New Mexico, Calif. and Mexico City itself. Historians rank Polk as a very good President, in fact: the "least known consequential president" of the United States.”
"The Presidency is no bed of roses." - James Polk