May 4th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

Dear President Obama #470: “So what about drilling now?”

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/05/03/obama.oil.strategy/smlvid.obama.oil.gi.jpg caption="In the wake of the big BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama is hearing from a variety of public officials about his future offshore drilling plans" width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: In the wake of the big BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama is hearing from a variety of public officials about his future offshore drilling plans (surprise, surprise.) But thank goodness he is also hearing from me in my daily letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

A friend of mine in the news business told me something years ago when he’d just come out of Central America where he’d been way up close and personal with an armed insurrection.

“How was it?” I asked him.

“As news goes, it was tough,” he responded.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, when you are pinned behind a log for six hours while rifle fire zings over your head, it’s kind of hard to stand up afterward, dust yourself off, and then render a fair judgment on the news value of the story. After all, fights like that are happening every day. Is it news just because I was caught in the middle of it?”

That is an important thought which we, oddly enough, ought to keep in mind as we consider the oil spill off of my beloved Gulf Coast. Because I don’t think we should make policy based on the sentiment of the moment. Not this time. Not ever.

I know, I know, it’s easy for some people to read that and howl. “What’s the matter with you? Isn’t it obvious that this is evidence we should stop all offshore drilling?” But understand, I am not defending or condemning off shore drilling; that is the work of others. What I am saying is that our policy toward it should be based on a broad base of evidence, not on one event, and we should be careful about making big decisions when passions are running hot. Fall off of your bike, and it’s easy to say “I’ll never ride again!” But that does not necessarily make it the right plan.


May 4th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Beat 360° 5/3/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

Larry King, Michael Douglas, and Wolf Blitzer attend the TIME/CNN/People/Fortune 2010 White House Correspondents' dinner pre-party at Hilton Washington Hotel on May 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time Inc)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

Beat 360° Winners:

Marshall Arbitman
"Two wolves, one Blitzer"

Bill from Kansas City
"Weekend at Bernie's 3"

________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
May 4th, 2010
07:08 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 5/3/10

Editor's Note: After Monday night's AC360°, we heard from many of you about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and what can be done to clean it up. What do you think?

Why doesn't our government have engineers from NASA and the ARMY Corp working on the oil spill? This oil is still spewing out into the Gulf. This is a disaster! What can be done to stop it?

I wonder if anyone is looking into using the oil eating microbes. They say it dies off after eating the oil spill and becomes food for fish.

I appreciate your coverage of the oil spill. This is too big for BP to handle. We need all military activated to come figure this out. Add all university professors, all engineers, all high school and college students. I tried to sign up to get training to volunteer. Forget it. BP is in charge and there is NOTHING. No one knows what to do.

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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