President Obama went to the Gulf for many reasons, only one of which is to prove that the Gulf Coast is back and ready for business.
Obama, and his daughter Sasha, hit the water mere hours after saying he would do so the next day. The opportunity was taken without reporters and press cameras.
Despite the stir of previous vacations when Obama ended up on magazine covers shirtless, experts feel that is exactly what is needed here. “I want to see him take his shirt off and show it’s clean and safe” said Stephen Leatherman, professor at Florida International University in Miami. He feels, like many, that the best symbol of moving on is the President leading the way.
When press secretary Robert Gibbs was questioned on Friday about whether Obama would swim during his mini vacation, he seemed hesitant to answer. After several queries, he turned it around and asked if the reporters are bringing their suits. But Leatherman says the decision of Obama to swim carries tremendous weight and should not be joked about.
Obama has been under fire how seldom he has come to the Gulf since the disaster. Many wonder if his 27 hour trip is enough to even make a difference.