And I thought I’d seen it all…
It turns out that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal–who throughout the Gulf Coast oil spill seemed to be milking the crisis for every ounce of political gain it was worth, with his constant grandstanding over the federal government’s inadequate response and reluctance to erect his pet project of a series of sand berms off the Louisiana coastline (those that were built proved highly ineffective)–was actively obstructing the cleanup efforts. A report released Tuesday by the presidential panel commissioned to investigate the spill alleges that Jindal withheld the location of the oil-soaked marsh he routinely used as a backdrop for TV interviews, apparently finding it too handy a political prop to reveal its whereabouts.
States the report:
Coast Guard responders watched Governor Jindal—and the TV cameras following him—return to what appeared to be the same spot of oiled marsh day after day to complain about the inadequacy of the federal response, even though only a small amount of marsh was then oiled. When the Coast Guard sought to clean up that piece of affected marsh, Governor Jindal refused to confirm its location.
It’s good to see Gov. Jindal has discovered the art of political theater following his dud of a response to President Obama’s first State of the Union address in 2009. He might, though, want to save future demonstrations of his theatrical gifts for a more appropriate occasion than America’s worst man-made environmental disaster ever. Come to think of it, this year’s State of the Union is right around the corner. Bobby Jindal for the Republican rebuttal, anyone?