Jan. 9, 2009: On the day he was named as President Obama's choice for national intelligence director, it was already clear that retired Adm. Dennis Blair was stepping into a difficult role. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Dharapak/AP

"Every American affected by this spill should know this: Your government will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to stop this crisis," President Obama told reporters last week in Venice, La. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Dharapak/AP