I have such mixed feelings about this. If people's fears about going in the water were ungrounded, I'd be applauding this as the kind of leadershi
August 15, 2010

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I have such mixed feelings about this. If people's fears about going in the water were ungrounded, I'd be applauding this as the kind of leadership you want to see. But with a million gallons of toxic chemical dispersant in that water, there's no way I'd put my kid in it. How do you feel about it?

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Whether or not he would wade into the water became the question hanging over President Barack Obama’s overnight stay on the Gulf Coast.

Obama answered it within hours of his arrival in Panama City Beach, when he took his daughter Sasha, 9, out for a dip to prove to the nation’s skeptics that the Gulf of Mexico is safe and clean despite the millions of gallons of oil that flowed into it over the past four months.

It’s exactly the image Florida officials wanted: the president and his daughter in the water. The two of them swam at Alligator Point Beach, an area near the restaurant where they ate lunch.

Unfortunately for the reporters traveling with the president, the White House took control of the photograph of the outing.

A staff photographer snapped the image, and the White House released it online while photographers with the news organizations traveling with the president were holed up inside a banquet room in his hotel.

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