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Obama Speaks From the Oval Office

It is shameful that the oil industry raking in billions in profits per quarter has not invested in clean up technology. No mention of that. For that I give him a C.

First, just so you all know, I remain an O-bot.  However, that speech was just filled with FAIL!  The president just didn't seem to be like himself.  He sounded distracted throughout the whole speech and in some places like he hadn't proofed the speech in advance.  

So, not impressed.  


Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is. 

-- Benjamin Franklin

For the record,

I was really disappointed.  I wasn't looking so much for what he was going to say, although that was important.  I had already read an overview of WHAT he was going to say.  I was looking for passion, strength and leadership.  What I saw was a power point presentation.  He seems unemotional and I was so hoping for more.  Where is the man that stirred the passions of a country during the election season?


"Peace Cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding."

Albert Einstein

"No easy way out." TPM analyzes the tough situtation. 

Did not see it live but DVR'd the address and just watched it. My initial response is disappointment but I'm not sure if I just had unrealistic expectations. I mean, it was a 15 minute address so could he have worked miracles and hit a homerun with such a somber complex situation/conflict in such a short time?

The words of the speech were important and blunt-not sugar coated-so I do appreciate his honestly, but it lacked the inspiration and passion I was hoping for-and details were lacking, though maybe this was not the venue.

I guess I hoped he would have used this to advance climate/energy legislation forcefully and point to clear evidence as to why we need a moretorium and sharp regulation for oil companies (although critics might say he was using the crisis for political gain.) Part of me blames his "team" for not setting up a way to capitalize on this devastation by pushing for energy/climate legislation in a more compelling way. You know, make sure the public becomes his best cheerleaders so we can pressure Congress to do the right thing. If Bush was able to use 9/11 to convince us we needed to go to war in Iraq, shouldn't it be a no-brainer for President Obama to use the BP spill for climate/energy legislation that would actually be legit, real, necessary and beneficial?

I don't think the oval office setting works well for someone accused of being too much of a professor. Perhaps he should have ended his 2 day trip with a televised town hall in the hard hit areas or even a big passionate speech in a large or small venue in the Gulf area with an audience of victims. Seeing them cheer or support him-which I'm sure many would if his words were tough-and surrounded by state and local Democratic and Republican leaders would send a stronger, more unified message.

Having said all this, he did not do a bad job but I just think it was a missed opportunity.

I'd be curious as to Suzi's take on the speech and the feedback she is hearing around her. Let's face it, people will judge him more on actions and follow-through in the coming weeks and months above one address from the oval office, but he needs to be out front more and show the leadership we all know he has NOW more than ever.

I saw this comment on a 538 blog which I thought was interesting:

I predict --
The right wing will immediately see the speech as a failure.
However, if the President takes any action now, the right wing will see the speech in retrospect as a powerful and scaryscary call to socialism.

The far left will will say the speech was too lackluster because it did not call for immediately stopping all imports of oil and all drilling everywhere.
As a moderate, I saw the speech as a reasoned recital of the actions being taken, as an insistence that BP will be held responsible and forced to pay, and that America will take all necessary steps to wean us off our addiction to oil and to find alternatives -- and to make sure this tragedy never happens again.
We'll see how effective the speech truly was in the vehemence of the right's ridicule of it now, and fearful hyperbole about it a week from now.

He gave a great speech today at a military base in Pensacola FL.  After seeing that, I was really pumped for tonight's address.  I was disappointed and deflated with what I got. ;-(
Kerry admits he does not have 60 votes yet. Looks like they'll have to take out the climate change/cap in order to get something passed. Disappointing that the GOP chooses to play these games but they have the fillibuster weapon and are happy to use it.  Given that reality, I'd support dropping the controversial "cap and trade" stuff if they can get real reform in some major energy areas. Just like in health care, don't let perfect be the enemy of the overall good we could achieve, right?

My feelings on the speech?  I can sum it up in one word: Meh!

I didn't disagree with the things he said, but he didn't say enough. I wanted to hear a REAL plan, especially regarding clean-up and protecting the coastline.  I wanted to see evidence of strong leadership that could reassure me that BP will not be allowed to continue calling the shots on clean-up, keeping the press at bay on the coast, etc.

I want to see his focus on energy legislation focus on the dangers of deep water drilling.  I want him to make America realize our survival depends on breaking our addiction to oil.  He danced around that, but didn't nail it.

Don't mistake my disappointment with the speech as some diss of the President, or abandonment. It's not. He just didn't hit it tonight, nor has he beeen hitting it from the beginning of this disaster.   I can't figure out why. 

I DO think he's finally learning not to depend on BP for stats or real information...all he gets from them are CYA lies.

Interesting take from Fareed Zakaria:

Fareed Zakaria had this warning for pundits in Newsweek's print edition: "I agree with virtually everyone out there who’s complaining on camera and in print that our response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been just terrible. Except that by ‘our’ I don’t mean the government’s or the country’s but ours—the media’s. Reporting on a massive technological breakdown that is having huge environmental consequences, our focus over the last week has been on whether the president is offering enough public displays of emotion?"

More: "Have we gone mad? We face monumental engineering challenges: to plug a hole in the deep sea, separate oil from water, clean up the coastline, and restore the gulf. But let’s forget about talking to experts and seeking technical solutions. That’s for nerds. Let’s put on battle fatigues and kick some butt. Commentators have been begging for some symbol of Obama’s resolve, as when George W. Bush stood at the World Trade Center site after 9/11 and promised revenge for the attacks. If the president were to invade another country, would that show he cared?"


Thanks, I needed that! ;-)

I think the date of the speech wasn't the best, coming the day before his meeting with BP execs.  He would've wanted to appear even-handed before such a meeting, although if he had spoken afterwards he could've done more in line of kicking ass.  I also agree that it would've been better with an audience as they energize his speeches.

I also wonder if his speech was constrained by time limits.  Perhaps the stations only wanted to give him 30 minutes, including post-commentary. 

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