Tony Hayward got his life back yesterday, and was excoriated for it. The CEO of BP just can’t catch a break.
After 2 months of public penances, press conferences, Presidential demands, administration threats, Congressional hearings, and PR gaffes, two days after his Congressional inquisition, one day after (maybe) being replaced as the day to day manager of the response efforts, the haggered Hayward earned, indeed needed, a day off.
So he flew to England to watch his 52’ American built yacht, Bob, race off the Isle of Wright.
What must he have been thinking while at sea? Could he escape the Gulf? Did he perceive the irony of escaping from the sea to the sea? What was his advice to his son?
Was he texting? How about updates on the response?
Did he hear on the BBC that John Lennon's original lyric notes for A Day in the Life sold for $1.2 million?
And did he think of the “small people” in the Gulf, who lack the luxury of taking a day off on a yacht as they struggle to save their beaches and businesses, as he inhaled the refreshing, clean sea air?
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel took a cheap shot at Hayward, stating that this is “part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes” made by Hayward. Emanuel continued “I think we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting.”
Rahm Emanuel forgot to mention that as he was attacking Hayward for taking a day off at the races, his bosses, President Obama and Vice President Biden, were golfing. Indeed, President Obama has played many rounds of golf, attended a concert, skipped Memorial Day at Arlington, and engaged in political fundraisers, such as for Senator Boxer in California, in the past 60 days while concerned every morning about the blowout and the jobless.
Remember, President Obama is in charge.
At least Rahm Emanuel did not call Tony Haywood a “f…ing retard.”
The Congressional hearings on Thursday required Hayward to sit there and incur the Congressional abuse, led by the Grand Inquisitor, Congressman Henry Waxman. With the exception of Texas Congressman Joe Barton, every Committee member, Democrat and Republican, was going to score points at the expense of the hapless Hayward in the Congressional kabuki of “Rope a Dope.”
The cry two years ago was “Drill, Baby, Drill.” Now it’s “Grill, Tony, Grill.”
Hayward was pilloried for being evasive, non-responsive, and denying responsibility for the drilling decisions on the rig, but displayed an exemplar of being lawyered up. BP is facing criminal indictments. Hayward was undoubtedly counseled not to commit perjury or admit to charges that could disadvantage BP legally.
Thus, he was non-responsive, just as Solicitor General Elena Kagen will follow the precedence of the recent Supreme Court appointees in their Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of being non-responsive to the Senators’ queries.
BP may be the largest oil and gas producer in the United States, but neither BP nor Tony Hayward understand Americans. Hayward cannot relax while the Gulf is hurting.
Tony Hayward is the public face of BP. He cannot return to private life until he
resigns, is terminated, or the hole is capped.
Tony Hayward has no private life, and that is his fate every day in his life.