James Carville Runs Into Coast Guard Admiral and BP CEO at Dinner
Well isn't this lovely... Mr. Tell BP "I'm Your Daddy" James Carville apparently ran into BP CEO Tony Hayward and Admiral Thad Allen at dinner in Louisiana. After all the screaming he did at President Obama to get tough with BP and tell them who "the daddy" is and after numerous public temper tantrums about the response to this disaster in the Gulf, his description of the meeting to Wolf Blitzer on yesterday's The Situation Room sounds rather chummy to me.
BLITZER: Let's bring in James Carville. He's arrived from New Orleans. James, you've had some exciting moments over these past several weeks. Some of them too exciting. But tell our viewers what happened last night. You went out to dinner in New Orleans.
CARVILLE: I had actually driven up to Baton Rouge for a fund-raiser, the Congressman running for the Senate. And I was coming back and I called Ronny and Mike, two of my close friend whose work with me who work in the mayor's office. I said meet me at 1179. Let's get some dinner.
BLITZER: That's a local restaurant.
CARVILLE: It's a very kind of popular local Italian place. Mr. Joe is a very well known guy around town. I walk in and somebody says, hey, that's Admiral Allen having dinner over there, so I go over because we had talked to each other on the phone and we were going to hook up and I said, admiral, you know, how are you doing?
BLITZER: He said, hey, sit down. When an admiral sits down, you sit down. He said do you know who I'm having dinner with. I said absolutely. It's Tony Hayward.
CARVILLE: The CEO of BP.
BLITZER: The CEO of BP. So we had a pleasant conversation. I talked about working in Columbia and was going down to see my friend that I worked for. And he and Admiral Allen spent some time in Columbia with the coast guard drug interdiction and Tony at BP.
CARVILLE: Let me just set the scene. It's Tony Hayward, Thad Allen and James Carville, the three of you. You've been quite critical of Tony Hayward, everybody at BP. That must have been a little tense, that exchange that you had it.
BLITZER: Wasn't -- it was polite, but, yeah, it was -- it was, you know, it was tense. He asked me, he says, what can I do to, you know, you said some pretty harsh things about BP. What can we show you? I said well I feel some harsh things about BP. And I said in all honesty I don't trust you. He said, well, we're going to do things. We're going to show you that we really are committed to this. So we just kind of talked, and he said, look, I want to come back in a year, and let's have dinner, and you're going to see we're really serious. I said to tell you the truth, I've got to be honest with you, I'm very skeptical. I would love nothing better than to be wrong.
BLITZER: What do you want BP to do now that they're not doing?
CARVILLE: I mean you're starting to see that they're proving some of this stuff that the government is starting to do. A lot of people -- there's been a lot of stuff about they come in, they put people on the beach, that they -- you know, temporary hours. They say people come in and have food poisoning and we report from a doctor they obviously don't have food poisoning. He said I can't say what they have, but they don't have that. Be up front. Every piece of news we get from them, it's erroneous. They say a thousand barrels. Mr. Hayward says we're going on a government estimate. I said but Ed Markey finds an internal document you say one to 14,000. I want them to be candid on the short side and tell people that they're going to -- you know, not just show people every day that they're going to stick with this. And if they do that, I'd love to have dinner and say, you know, look, I broke an egg on my head on television when I was wrong. I don't mind being wrong. And I'd love to be wrong about something that I'm right -- predicting something bad. I'd love to come back and say, man, this is amazing what these guys have done.
BLITZER: We spoke with Billy Nungesser, the Plaquemines Parish president just a little while ago. He senses that after the president's visit there last Friday, President Obama, things are beginning to move a little bit more rapidly. He's more encouraged than he was before.
CARVILLE: I hope he's right. Again, you know, I hate to criticize. I don't like criticizing my president. I don't like criticizing a president of my political party. I don't like criticizing the president that so many of these policies the president had that I support that I think are good policies. I certainly don't harbor any -- I mean BP to me is just a giant corporation. But, hey, I hope they surprise me. I hope that -- again, I hope a year from now we're say, you know, it's an amazing thing, the commitment to the people of south Louisiana that came out of the BP and the administration. I'm skeptical. I have to tell you, I'm a long way from getting there.
You don't trust him... and you're skeptical... that's the best you could do James? I would have had a lot more questions for him than that had I met him face to face, like why the hell aren't you doing more to contain the oil? And where are the tankers to get this stuff out of the ocean before it spreads all over hell? You should have told him that they want to show they're "committed to this" then try to actually contain it, start geting the damned oil out of the water and quit dispersing it.
If I were Carville I wouldn't be holding my breath for that dinner next year and James, there's not a question about whether he's wrong. He's wrong. So far all it looks like they're committed to is limiting their liability.
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