"But look, we've gone through a difficult year and a half. This is just one more bit of difficulty. And this is going to be hard, not just right now; it's going to be hard for months to come. ...
"You know, when I woke up this morning, and I'm shaving, and Malia knocks on my bathroom door, and she peeks in her head, and she says, 'Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?' -- (soft laughter) -- because I think everybody understands that, you know, when we are fouling the Earth like this, it has concrete implications not just for this generation but for future generations. ...
"And in case anybody wonders -- in any of your reporting, in case you're wondering who's responsible, I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.
"That doesn't mean it's going to be easy. It doesn't mean it's going to happen right away or the way I'd like it to happen. It doesn't mean that we're not going to make mistakes. But there shouldn't be any confusion here. The federal government is fully engaged, and I'm fully engaged, all right?"
Not waiting for an answer (or for any more nettlesome questions), he hurried off for a quick photo-op pit stop in the Gulf on Friday before jetting to Chicago to keep a high-priority promise to be back in his hometown for Memorial Day weekend.
The sterile performance was eerily reminiscent of his national security announcement last December from Hawaii, when he appeared before the American people in tie-less informal island wear to read a bloodless, perfunctory statement about the Christmas Day bomber. Eyes down on his notes the whole time, he described the failed attack with the weariness of a small-town sheriff's deputy, rather than as the leader of the free world. Then it was back to the beach. This is Obama in crisis: disengaged, put upon and impatient to get back to Me Time.
Rough men stand ready to keep and defend our well-being and safety. Someone wake President Obama when it's over.