President Obama "bluntly defended" his response to the BP oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico this week, telling Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show that he has consulted with experts since the early days of the spill to learn "whose ass to kick." The comment contrasted sharply with his normally cool demeanor, prompting a debate over whether his salty language was a genuine expression of toughness, or an attempt to defuse complaints that he's not angry enough about the growing environmental disaster. "I thought nothing would top 'plug the damn hole'" as a phony display of bravado, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. Sorry, Obama, this macho bluster is "roughly six weeks too late," and it's not fooling anyone. It wasn't meant to, says Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic. Obama is plenty angry, but he shows it by working on the problem instead of putting his emotions on display. Remember, he's not the one who conjured up "the posterior metaphor": Matt Lauer had just asked him how he responded to critics who say he needs to stop consulting experts and "kick some butt." Here's what Obama said:
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
Obama looks for 'ass to kick': Macho nonsense, or real anger?
Many pundits have criticized Obama's cool-headed response to the oil spill. Getty
June 9, 2010
of The Week magazine.