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Obama Returning to Gulf Coast Tomorrow

President Barack Obama, LaFourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, left, and U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, National Incident Commander for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, step over booms laid out to protect the beach from oil during a tour of areas impacted by the Gulf Coast oil spill, Friday, May 28, 2010, in Port Fourchon, La. AP

Criticized for not displaying enough public concern about the BP oil leak and its impact, President Obama returns to the Louisiana Gulf Coast tomorrow for another visit.

A White House statement says Mr. Obama wants to "assess the latest efforts to counter the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill."

It'll be his 3rd visit since the April 20th explosion on the Transocean oil rig that triggered the calamitous underwater leak.

"Man, you've got to get down here and take control of this," said Democratic political strategist James Carville after Mr. Obama's 2nd visit to the scene last week. "We're about to die down here."

Carville contends that Mr. Obama and his Administration were not doing enough to assist residents of the Gulf Coasts who have lost their livelihoods to the oil leak.

Other supporters of Mr. Obama, including pundits who usually take his side, have been increasingly critical of his handling of the environmental disaster.

On his 2nd visit last Friday, Mr. Obama tried to be seen reaching out to area residents.

"I am here to tell you that you're not alone. You will not be abandoned. You will not be left behind," he said, after meeting with Louisiana state and local officials.

Mr. Obama wants to be seen fully engaged in responding to the oil leak and in recent days mentions it in almost every public appearance.

"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," Mr. Obama said yesterday at the start of a speech on the economy delivered at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

He called the oil leak "the worst environmental disaster of its kind in our nation's history" and said his Administration is waging a battle against it "every minute of every day."

His visit to the scene tomorrow is intended to illustrate that claim.

The visit will come on Day 46 of the incident. During that same period of time after Hurricane Katrina, then-President Bush had made eight visits to the Gulf Coast or hurricane-related sites.

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Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here:
Mark Knoller

Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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