Will this special visitor be different?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 10, 2010

Here we go again. Another visitor from Washington, D.C., coming to inspect the Gulf Coast and the effect the oil spill is having on our lives.

This time it will be First Lady Michelle Obama. The White House announced her visit Wednesday and said it would happen sometime in mid-July.

Just what we need. Another person coming down for a drive-by photo op.

Now I’ve got nothing against the First Lady. She seems like a very nice woman and all that. But if her husband the president isn’t making things happen for us down here, and Vice President Joe Biden’s 10-minute stopover was barely even worth a mention on the nightly news, then why will a visit from Mrs. Obama be any different?

If she stays long enough maybe she’ll see a child whose father is out of work and can’t pay his house note because the president is running deep water rigs out of the Gulf of Mexico. Or maybe she’ll see a child run out of the Gulf waters onto a beach with oil coating his feet. Or maybe, just maybe she’ll get to hold an oil soaked pelican and see that it is virtually dying in her arms.

And hopefully, before she leaves, she’ll have a hankering for some oysters and go into a local restaurant, only to be told, “No oysters. Beds are closed.”

Now being a woman, she likely has an emotional side the president and the vice president don’t have. And being a mother, she’s got protective instincts that kick in when things get tough.

If she really feels the emotional side of this tragedy, she should take that back to Washington, tell her daughters about the dying birds and convince her husband to get off his behind and solve this problem. Then her visit would have been worthwhile.

Otherwise, it’s just a waste of taxpayer money.

And by the way, what type of alternative fuel will they put in that jet that flies Mrs. Obama to the Gulf Coast?

Some people have criticized Gov. Bobby Jindal for not activating more National Guard troops than he has in response to the oil spill. But if he activated them, what would they do?

The Army Corps of Engineers won’t go along with any of the state’s ideas, the latest being a plan to place rocks in the water that would stop oil from hitting the coast near Grand Isle. And before that, we were dredging sand out of the wrong spot of ocean floor.

Oh my.

If the federal government would let the state and parish leaders take over and do whatever is necessary to protect our coast, more National Guard troops would be needed, and I’m sure, activated.

Jindal is way beyond hot under the collar. And so are the leaders from Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes. And rightly so.

And now with oil in Lake Pontchartrain, over 337 miles of Louisiana’s shoreline is impacted by this spill.

But until Nancy Pelosi’s driver can’t get gas to fill up her limo, or until Air Force One is grounded due to a lack of fuel, Washington just may not really care.

Sandy Cunningham is publisher of L’Observateur. She can be reached at sandy.cunnningham@wickcommunications.com