Marc Ambinder’s Night Beat is the first time I’ve seen it in print at the national level, but Florida U.S. Sen. George LeMieux is getting the credit for the Obama administration’s plan to force BP to establish a multi-billion dollar escrow fund:
A leadership moment for President Obama. He plans an Oval Office address at 8:00 pm EST Tuesday to address his proposal for a BP escrow fund and discuss a government-wide initiative to re-regulate the oil industry as well as what one White House official called a sense of “realism” on when the American people should expect the spill to be contained and things to begin to return to normal. It will be a relatively short address, his aides say.
The idea for it came together last week, when White House officials and the President agreed on the BP escrow idea as the stick to bring to Wednesday’s meetings with BP executives. The idea had been floating around Congress (and was first proposed by Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL), who will appear with the President in Florida during his two-day tour of the region). … Local television stations in Alabama and Mississippi have begun showing pictures of oil washing ashore. Florida is preparing boom-line to try to contain oil that is spreading toward Pensacola Beach. … Democrats are happy that Republicans seem to be backing away from liability caps, a signal to them that their frontal pressure on BP is politically popular. Republicans wonder whether Tuesday night will be seen as Obama’s Jackson Square moment, or whether it resets the public perception of his handling of the oil spill.