Spilled Oil Knows No Party Affiliation

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Frustration continues to mount as oil from the blown out well in the Gulf of Mexico attacks the delicate coast of Louisiana. The desperation has inspired a common cause between natural political enemies.

DAVID GREENE, host:

One thing we've seen from the mounting damage on Louisiana's delicate coast is some common cause among people who are natural political enemies.

NPR's Frank Morris has that story.

FRANK MORRIS: Just off a boat ride through some of the hardest-hit marshes at the mouth of the Mississippi River, a rail-thin man in a black T-shirt and cap steps to the microphone.

Mr. JAMES CARVILLE (Democratic Strategist): What's really happening out there is nothing.

MORRIS: That's James Carville, former President Clinton's savvy strategist.

Mr. CARVILLE: The silence that - you could've been in Antarctica. There were no boats. There were no activity. There was no anything.

MORRIS: This in a marsh that should be teeming with life. Carville says BP -and, yes, the federal government - is falling down on the job.

Governor Bobby Jindal, a rising star in the Republican Party, couldn't agree more. What really bugs him is that he hasn't been able to get permission, let alone federal help, to build miles of linear sand piles just offshore - berms to block the advancing oil.

Governor BOBBY JINDAL (Republican, Louisiana): Every day we wait for this permit is another day of delay, is another day that this question has been answered for us that we're going to have to fight this oil in our wetlands instead of on these barrier islands.

MORRIS: That's bad, because oil kills wetland vegetation, which is all that really knits these outlying marshlands here together. Kill the plants, and the coastline disintegrates. Jindal's been trying to pressure the Obama administration into taking a more aggressive role in the cleanup. James Carville predicts that when Mr. Obama sees crude oil stagnating in dead marshes on his visit here tomorrow, things will change, fast.

For NPR News, I'm Frank Morris in Venice, Louisiana.

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