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Shields and Brooks Assess President Obama’s Response to Oil Leak

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks stopped by the Rundown Friday before their discussion with Jim Lehrer on the NewsHour broadcast. They discussed how they view the government’s and President Obama’s response to the record-setting oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Brooks said that the early decisions made to try to stop the leak reminded him of past mistakes in risk-management. You can read his column on the topic here.

“There were all these decisions made in real time under great pressure, and they had sort of cost pressures, and they are trying to make these decisions really with no idea what the ramifications are,” Brooks said.

He said there are systems, such as space shuttles, complex financial systems and oil rigs in our society that are very hard to understand, and that experts only have vague ideas on how to deal with them.

Shields said that it hasn’t been a good month for the White House because President Obama was slow to react to the oil leak crisis.

“I think they are playing catch up. In a time of crisis the only person who is judged is the president. If it is resolved successfully people will ignore and overlook mistakes made along the way. If it isn’t, the presidency goes with it,” Shields said.

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