The president is not showing enough emotion. He should have spent the night on the Coast instead of just visiting for the day.
True, it often is the media doing much of the analysis. And true, a good, thoughtful analysis of a situation serves a valuable purpose. But by the same token, a good, thoughtful analysis should include more than isolated comments.
Too often, people in my business - on both sides of the political spectrum and current company included - nitpick and analyze singular comments made at a specific time instead of looking at the whole of a person's comments and actions.
Gov. Haley Barbour has come under criticism in some media outlets for bemoaning the fact that the massive Gulf of Mexico oil leak is hurting tourism on the Mississippi Coast.
On Fox News this past weekend, the Republican Barbour said, "It may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what's going on down here. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is beautiful. As I tell people, the Coast is clear, come on down."
He talked at length about how news reports about the oil leak had hurt tourism on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Some viewed his comments as displaying a certain insensitivity to the magnitude of the oil spill and to the impact it is having on the area's ecology and environment.
It is ironic that Barbour, who received such high marks for his response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is being criticized in some quarters for his response to the oil spill.
But if one listens to the totality of Barbour's remarks, it does not appear he has downplayed the impact of the oil leak. He has acknowledged the terrible devastation it has caused in Louisiana and also has said every effort must be made to prevent Mississippi from being similarly hit by the leaking oil.
By the same token, Barbour also is trying to cast his state in the best light.
Tourism - especially tourism on the Coast - is a major cog in the Mississippi economic engine.
Some have interpreted Barbour as trivializing the oil spill by stressing the importance of vacations when a massive oil slick in floating around the Gulf of Mexico.
When he talks about the fact that the Mississippi Gulf Coast has been spared the brunt of the oil spill thus far, he is not saying the oil spill is not a serious problem.
He is only saying that if someone had considered coming to the Coast to visit the beaches, casinos and restaurants, other attractions, there is no need not to come - as of right now.
And Barbour is saying that because he wants to avoid another serious problems - additional cuts in state and local budgets. Mississippi has faced substantial budget cuts because of a dramatic downturn in the state economy.
If tourism falls off, that means even less funds for vital services, such as law enforcement, education, health care and transportation.
Mississippi can ill afford additional budget cuts.
A dropoff in tourism is another serious problem caused by the oil leak. Barbour is only saying that is one aspect of the disaster that could be avoided at this point.
Like him or not, Haley Barbour is one of the best communicators ever to serve as governor of Mississippi. He is considered by many political observers to be one of the nation's best political communicators.
So far be it from me to try to put words in his mouth. All I am saying is that if a person listens to the totality of what the governor has said over an extended period of time, he has not downplayed the severity of the oil spill.
Bobby Harrison is Capitol Bureau reporter in Jackson for the Daily Journal. Contact him at (601) 353-3119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.