Sunday, June 6, 2010

Point Man

It's hard to imagine any President taking a page out of Richard Nixon's play book, but President Obama should.

With the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico getting worse each day, the federal government is widely perceived as doing little, if anything at all to help residents and businesses affected by the catastrophe. This despite the President visiting the Gulf three times since the disastrous explosion of the New Horizon oil rig.

After the June 1972 Agnes Flood, President Richard Nixon visited Northeastern Pennsylvania but once. At the time Agnes was the worst natural disaster in American history.

Nixon appointed Frank Carlucci, a native of the Wyoming Valley, as his point man for the recovery.

His job, ostensibly, was to cut through the red tape and keep the federal effort on track. Politically, Carlucci's mission was to keep any fallout from hurting Nixon's re-election chances in November of that year.

Carlucci, who went on to serve as Defense Secretary and National Security Advisor to President Reagan, is widely acclaimed and given high marks for his efforts.

President Obama has been criticized for appointing "czars" to oversee specific parts of his agenda. In this instance however the President should do just that. Appoint a federal czar to take command of the disaster.

And if you need advice on how to make this work Mr. President, call Frank Carlucci. He can show you how it's done.

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