President Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, condemned Hayward's attendance at the event as "part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes" on ABC television, adding: "I think that we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting".Ooooh! Zinger, Rahm! Didn't Obama go to Chicago to watch a baseball game? Shouldn't he be skipping meals and sleep to get the goo gusher gone? Let alone watching a contest? Several points here:
- People do not do their best work under prolonged stress. Breaks and recreation, despite cutting into "work" time, can increase productivity.
- Tony Hayward has done squat, as best as I can tell, over the last two months. Getting him the hell away from work might have the unintended side effect of some actual information being released, as opposed to Hayward-approved snake oil, smoke, and mirrors. Does it really matter that he's not going be around to talk about how wonderful he, his company, and the spill are?
- The White House should be very cautious about throwing stones. Boldly and alertly springing into action and taking "control" of the situation six weeks after the explosion is not exactly the kind of track record I'd want people paying real close attention to.
But making this kind of fuss over what amounts to a justified break- however bad a PR choice it might be- does nothing to reassure me that this administration has it's eyes on the ball. It makes me think they're paying closer attention to the shiny thing in the third row with the tight halter top. And that pisses me off.