Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


As Obama continues to flail like a president caught in an oil slick and as members of congress grandstand in front of BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, the politicians need to be careful that the public doesn't begin to side with BP. However, the roadblocks to such a scenario seem to involve BP leadership. A couple of weeks ago, Hayward pleaded that he wanted to have his life back and now BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg says he's concerned about the "small people".

Watch as Svanberg refers to the "small people" three times after his meeting with the Obama administration. The only possible excuse for Svanberg honestly making this mistake is the argument that something is lost in the translation. He's from Sweden so I don't know if he said "small" and thought he was saying something like "citizens" but in any case it's a PR nightmare for BP.

Frankly, I find that argument hard to believe. This man has likely traveled the world over multiple times and is well versed in many different cultures. As head of BP, I'm almost tempted to wonder if this wasn't done intentionally. The potential reason for such a conscious blunder is as inexplicable as his doing it accidentally.

UPDATE: The more I think about this incident, the more inclined I am to believe that Svanberg simply misspoke and his intent was lost in the translation. That said, if BP would like to start being seen by the public as the lesser of two evils - with the government being the greater - it would be well served not to make these kinds of mistakes.

It should be interesting to see how Great Britain's new Prime Minister chooses to deal with this battle between Obama and BP. It's beginning to drastically impact the "small people" of Great Britain who are relying on pensions heavily invested in BP stock. David Cameron is beginning to challenge Obama's aggressive posturing with BP; we'll see how long it lasts and if he's got the stomach of Governors of different states in America. Governors like Jan Brewer in Arizona, Chris Christie in New Jersey, and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana.

Via the Telegraph

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