The Gulf Coast: Devastated by hurricanes and oil spills. But nothing can compare to the latest insult. President Barack Obama has refused to strip down and show off his sculpted pecs to the press on a pristine Florida beach.

Obama is taking a trip to Panama City, Florida this weekend at the behest of governor Charlie Crist to help fight the idea that the entire coast is covered in oil and dead pelicans. What's he going to do down there? Announce a renewed commitment to the people of the Gulf? Or strip to the waist and splash in the water in slow motion while water beads brilliantly on his taut skin?

Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University told CNN, "Absolutely, I want him to take his shirt off and get in the water... because I think there's this feeling that if you get in, you're going to get contaminated or get all kinds of disease." Somebody's spent many lonely nights in his office replaying an old VHS of Obama's Democratic National Convention speech.

The prospect of a shirtless Obama also has the D.C. press corps acting like fifteen year-old girls at a Jonas Brothers concert. Today's White House press pool report reads:

[Obama] said he will swim but out of the prying eyes of the press. He joked that the last time he went swimming without his shirt on he wound up on the cover of magazines. Pool joked that that's a good thing.

Mr. President, If you could just say a few words about reports that you are smoking hot?

But why stop at the waist? If Obama taking his shirt off in public can save the Gulf, imagine what would happen if he took his pants off. Palestinians and Israelis would lay down their weapons in awe; the Dow would shoot up 500 points; someone would discover a fourth Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book.

Take it off, Mr. President. Take it all off.

Update: BREAKING: Well! Look what we have here. The White House just released this picture of Obama swimming today in Florida. Obama's heaving, glistening chest could have saved the Gulf, but instead we've got... some shoulder:

So this means the Gulf is about 20% saved.