This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," May 29, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," the oil spill that threatens to engulf an administration. As the blame game continues, a look at the political fallout and the future of oil drilling in the U.S.
Plus, President Obama's immigration scramble. By demonizing the Arizona law, has he ruined any chances for bipartisan border reform?
And a national security shake-up leaves the administration without an intelligence chief. It's being called the job nobody wants. And it may not be making us safer anyway.
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
President Obama made his second visit to the oil-soaked gulf Friday, capping a week in which the spill and criticism of his response threatened to engulf the administration and its agenda. A day earlier, the president responded to those who have said that the White House was not sufficiently engaged in the disaster from the beginning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And we understood from day one the potential enormity of this crisis and acted accordingly. So when it comes to the moment this crisis occurred, moving forward, this entire White House and this entire federal government has been singularly focused on how do we stop the leak and how do we prevent and mitigate the damage to our coastlines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan Henninger; editorial board member Jason Riley; and Washington columnist Kim Strassel.
OK, Dan, the president is getting criticism on this from the right and left and from the mainstream media. Does he deserve it?
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: You know, Paul, we've managed to elevate the status of presidency of this country to the status of fairy god mother in the United States. Whenever anything goes bad the fairy god mother will wipe our tears and make all the bad things go away and deploy all of her minions to make everything better again. No, it's not fair at all. The United States government doesn't have that much power.
Having said that, yes, he is getting attacked by the right and by the left. The right, in part, because of what happened with George Bush and Katrina. There's a point up to which, yes, the government must take some responsibility. But this idea that the president is not fully engaged has become a weapon of political destruction. And so the White House overreacts the way it does. And I think we've seen an example of that yesterday with the president shutting down oil exploration and the letting of leases all across the coastlines of the United States.
GIGOT: Hasn't the president, Jason, given the impression, through what he's done in his first 18 months, that government really is the answer to so many problems.
JASON RILEY, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER: Yes.
GIGOT: He's fed us this view, which I agree with Dan on, is widely held, that the government should — should spare us. You know, it should do miracles a mile below the surface.
RILEY: He's certainly eager to expand government into every aspect of our lives, whether it's taking over the health care system and financial industry, car industry, you name it. So, yes, he's given people this impression. And it's come back to bite him a little bit on this.
When President Obama was asked yesterday at the press conference about the Katrina comparison, he sort of said, I'll let you guys in the media make that comparison. But it's true, as Dan said, these unreasonable expectations that, not just Democrats and Republicans are throwing at him for political reasons, obviously, but that the general public.
GIGOT: Right. The American people have come to expect —
RILEY: That natural disasters and rare accidents never occur. And when they do, that somehow the government is supposed to have the perfect response immediately.