FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While BP struggles to get control of the gulf oil spill, President Obama is going to try to get control of the story line.
Tomorrow night he will make his first address to the nation from the Oval Office since being inaugurated. The speech will follow a 2-day visit to the Gulf region nearly 60 days after the start of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The stakes for the president are high. It is his fourth trip to the region since the April 20th rig explosion; he continues to come under fire for being slow to respond.
The trip, the Oval Office address and his first face-to-face meeting with BP executives since the spill are all meant to show that the president in charge. The question is whether it's too late and whether the remainder of his presidency will be damaged as badly as the Gulf Coast – much the way George Bush's presidency was damaged by Katrina.
In the Oval Office speech tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to call for BP to create an escrow account reportedly in the amount of $20 billion to pay for damage claims to businesses and individuals whose lives have been destroyed by the spill.
He's also expected to call for an independent third party to handle the claims process.
The cries for Mr. Obama to step up have been getting louder. Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. recently called on the president to "level with the American people", use the crisis as a way to create jobs and "stop the blame game."
The spill has tested President Obama's leadership perhaps more than any other single event in his presidency.
Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear from President Obama about the oil spill in tomorrow’s Oval Office address?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/14/art.cashregister.cf.gi.jpg caption="Do you feel better or worse about your financial situation?'"]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While Washington touts the recovery, fewer Americans are feeling "better" about their own financial situation these days.
A new Gallup poll shows 50% of those surveyed say they feel better about their personal finances. But that's down 4 points from April... and so far the drop is holding in the month of June.
The poll also shows that several other important measures of personal financial well-being are holding steady...including:
- 34% of Americans say they have more than enough money to do what they want.
- 77% say they have enough money to buy the things they need.
- and 21% say they worry they spent too much money yesterday.
These numbers have remained virtually unchanged in the past couple months.
But, the fact that more people say they're feeling worse about their personal financial situation could spell trouble.
For one thing, it's a turnaround from April when consumers were feeling better about their own pocketbooks.
There are several possible reasons for this decline, including the stock market having its worst month in 40 years in May.
Also, there's the ongoing and worsening financial crisis in Europe as well as the deteriorating conditions resulting from the Gulf coast oil spill. And the May jobs report was disappointing, showing an artificially high number of new jobs because of the hiring of temporary workers for the census.
Whatever the reason, if people are worried about their finances they're less likely to spend money – and without consumer spending, our economy has lost its motor.
Roughly two-thirds of the American economy is driven by consumer spending.
Here’s my question to you: Do you feel better or worse about your financial situation?
Interested to see which ones made it on air?