It was like the Chilean miners, but he, being the man he is, rolled up his sleeves and said ‘I am going to get us out of this hole.
-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
It’s good to see the future ex senator from Nevada relying on the winning strategy of lashing himself ever more firmly to Barack Obama. It’s foolish for a Democrat to invoke Obama’s name in any context that recalls the rescue of the Chilean miners.
Republicans, however, should never miss an opportunity to make comparisons between the U.S. President and the pro capitalism Sebastian Piñera. President Piñera was on scene and engaged from Day One of the mining disaster. As opposed to Obama, who ignored the BP oil spill until sometime around Day Nine.
The Chilean president welcomed assistance from foreign countries, including the United States and Israel. To his credit, Obama must have granted NASA an interlude from their primary mission—reaching out to the Muslim world. NASA played a valuable role in rescuing the trapped miners. NASA engineer, Clint Cragg consulted with the Chilean government and ended up more involved in the rescue than he’d anticipated. Cragg put together a team of engineers to assist the Chilean Minister of Health.
Obama refused aid from foreign countries after the BP oil spill, in deference to the union mandated Jones Act. Research and technical expertise, booms, chemical dispersants, pumps, skimmers and wildlife treatment were offered. As the president insisted “everything possible” was being done to respond to the spill, offers of help were being flatly refused.
President Piñera also didn’t appear on TV constantly denigrating the mining company or shaking down its upper management. Nor did he order an immediate moratorium on all mining. Piñera has the good sense to understand there is a proper time to address liability issues and that time is not when all of the government’s resources should be directed at resolving the immediate crisis.
Tim Daniel at PJM:
In President Sebastián Piñera’s shoes, Barack Obama would have undeniably acted much differently. He would have turned to his ‘community organizing’ background and been hamstrung by his naive and far-left, us-versus-them philosophical roots. He would have been paralyzed by a toxic combination of arrogant professorial theory and lack of real-world executive experience. He would have attacked the mining company for the entire 69-day affair. He would have done so right off the bat. He would have copped out and stuck to a rigid, defeatist, backwards ideology. And in his failing, he would have put responsibility on everyone around him, except himself.
We’ve been told that the Chilean miners did a lot of praying during their ordeal. No doubt there were prayers of thanks that Barack Obama was not their president.