Will Mabus savus after all?

Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, a former governor of Mississippi, and a son of the Gulf, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible.  The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents.  And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region.

So much for those who coined “savus from Mabus”,  Obama picks ‘Son of the Gulf’ Ray Mabus to lead restoration:

President Barack Obama’s selection of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus , a former Mississippi governor, as his go-to person in charge of developing a long-term Gulf Coast restoration plan won widespread praise Wednesday.

While details are sketchy, the selection of Mabus, which Obama announced Tuesday night in an Oval Office speech to the nation, is meant to quell rising unease, especially on the Gulf Coast , about the government’s response to the eight-week-old oil spill.

Describing Mabus as a “son of the Gulf,” Obama said, “the plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents.”

“I think it’s great,” said Louie Miller , the Sierra Club’s Mississippi director, who’s been a vocal critic of the cleanup. “I think he is an excellent choice: He’s not a good old boy; he can work across party lines, which he’ll have to, and he is a credentialed guy.”

“He brings to the table an understanding of Southern culture and an ability to use connections he already has,” added Miller. “He’ll be able to hit the ground running.”

Exactly what the process or timeline will be for the Gulf Coast restoration is unknown, however. A spokeswoman for Mabus said only that he wasn’t granting interviews.

It’s “deja vu all over again” for Mabus who found his greatest challenge as Governor was saving us from ourselves.  Although both are Republicans and Mabus is a Democrat, Mississippi’s Senators stepped up to set the right tone with “one of us for all of us” comments :

“I think the selection of Secretary Mabus to develop a long-term Gulf Coast restoration plan is a good decision,” said Sen. Thad Cochran , R- Miss. “He understands the economy, culture and dynamics of the region, and he knows the officials in the administration who can make the plan for restoration become a reality”. . .Sen. Roger Wicker , R- Miss. , said, “I look forward to working with Secretary Mabus as the commission investigates the recovery efforts on the Coast, and as he balances that work with his equally important role of leading our Navy during a time of war.”

However, “us” now includes the neighboring states of  Louisiana, Alabama and Florida and IMO, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu bears watching.  Note, for example, how skillfully she claims title to “America’s wetlands”:

Sen. Mary Landrieu , D- La. , who’s taken a high-profile position on the oil spill and cleanup, said, “The president’s call for Gulf Coast restoration was music to our ears. We in Louisiana have been working on this for literally 20 years trying to get the country to understand that these are America’s wetlands, not just Louisiana marshes. We need help and support.”

“Queen Mary” needs a map!  “Big oil” contributors pump significant amounts of money into Landrieu’s campaign coffers. Perhaps she and others should have insisted “big oil” protect those wetlands before taking “big oil” money.

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