06/15/10 — Right move? President's visit to the Gulf a good first step -- as long as he means it.

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Right move? President's visit to the Gulf a good first step -- as long as he means it.

He might not have visited everywhere people would have liked him to visit -- and there are still questions about how the spill is being handled -- but President Barack Obama needed to be where he was this week, listening to those whose lives have been forever altered by the BP oil spill.

He talked to dignitaries, too -- and to some of the people who are on the ground doing the work. He made sure people saw him eating seafood and called for more tourism in the Gulf.

And tonight, the president will speak again -- this time to the nation from the Oval Office. His topic will be what he is going to guarantee will be the result of the cleanup efforts, the investigation and the promise that there will be safeguards in place so that this never, ever happens again.

The concern most people have about the Obama administration and sometimes about its leader is that they talk too much and mean too little.

And there is a wary optimism that perhaps this time -- faced with critics from all sides -- that the president will not just make another speech -- that he will actually follow up his comments with real plans, real action and real determination.

There are many, many issues that will come out of this oil spill -- and likely new rules and a better plan for handling emergencies.

It cannot be a show trial -- and politics must be kept far, far away. That is the only way the result will matter

It is the president's job to set that tone.

Published in Editorials on June 15, 2010 10:43 AM