President Obama: Emoter in Chief?

In the wake of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, President Obama has been trying to convey presidential action and concern over the oil leaking from a blown out well in the Gulf of Mexico, which continues to leak for a 44th day.

"Right now, stopping this oil spill and containing its damage is necessarily the top priority, not just of my administration but I think of the entire country," President Obama said.

However, some television pundits and newspapers columnists, even those who support him, say Obama isn't showing energy, passion and connection.

"They may have had this as their top priority, but they did not communicate that to the American people," former Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., said on MSNBC last week. "You've got to show emotion. This is an emotional issue."

VIDEO: Is Obama Not Upset Enough?
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Wrote New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd today, unless the President "wants his story to be marred by a pattern of passivity, detachment, acquiescence and compromise, he'd better seize control of the story line of his White House years."

What do they want? Think President Bush standing at Ground Zero with firemen after 9/11.

Moments of Crisis

Standing on top of the rubble of the Twin Towers and holding a megaphone, Bush told Americans, "I can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

Go back to 1986 after the Challenger space shuttle exploded. President Reagan hugged the families of the dead astronauts.

"I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen," Reagan said. "But sometimes painful things like this happen, it's all part of the process of exploration and discovery."

The White House scoffed at what they see as noise from the chattering class.

"If the president thought that yelling at the top of his lungs would solve this crisis, he would stand on top of the White House and do that," Gibbs said. "But he believes this crisis will be solved by plugging the hole and responding to the damage done, not by method acting."

Emotional Connection

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said that Americans expect their presidents to rise to the occasion in moments of crisis and provide them comfort.

"The American people want to feel that the president is connecting emotionally to them," Brinkley said. "People in Louisiana want to feel that he's there with them, that I'm in this with you."

When pressed about President Obama's emotions, the press secretary said that he has seen rage from Obama.

"He has been in a whole bunch of different meetings, clenched jaw, even in the midst of briefings, saying everything has to be done," Gibbs said. "I think this was an anecdote shared last week -- 'to plug the damn hole.'"

Not everyone agrees with the idea that there's a great call for an emotive Obama.

"There's this great call for a daddy, and especially among liberals, and I find it ridiculous" Joan Walsh, editor of Salon, said on "This Week." "I don't care if he emotes. I don't care. I don't need a daddy. I had one. He was great."

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