The building aftermath of the Gulf oil-spew demonstrates, as a side effect, the absurdity of the modern habit of treating the president and the presidency as near magical in power and ability. People are said to be upset with Obama because he hasn't been angry enough or the fedgov hasn't done enough. It's almost as if people expected him to don a wetsuit, be impervious to the pressure, and dive down with a blowtorch and fix everything.
All this is part of the Cult of the Presidency, seeing the president as the First Teacher, First Parent, First Avenger, First Mentor, First Moralist. In the real world Obama is stuck moving back and forth between ineffectual and perhaps phony anger and reassurances. Don't know yet whether this is Obama's Katrina. It doesn't deserve to be, perhaps, but he does deserve to have one.