Anyone rational who listened to Obama's Oval office address to the nation regarding the Gulf spill is now wondering why he bothered. Well, we know why he bothered. Politics. And criticism. So Obama did what he always does when he is heavily criticized for things he's done or hasn't done -- he tried to talk his way out of it. Only this time it didn't work, even with those who have blindly followed him in the past, the people Hillary Clinton supporters called Kool-Aid drinkers during the primaries.
The Kool-Aid seemed to have worn off on Keith Olbermann, one of Obama's staunchest, and most blind supporters, when Olbermann was absolutely stupefied over Obama's speech, a speech that might have hit new lows in being empty, shallow, and superficial.
To sum it up, aside from announcing a new head of MMS which could have been done using a press release, Obama's Oval office address to the nation might be called Oval Office Speech Abuse.
Historians some day may label this Obama's The Dog Ate My Homework Speech. It sounded like something cobbled together by a 15 year old who had been up late playing Warcraft and put it together so at least he could turn in something.
Obama spent about 18 minutes basically telling us nothing we didn't know before except it sounded like it took him 58 days to find out what the rest of the country knew 58 days ago.
He said absolutely nothing of value, of interest or importance and his words that were already as empty as a Louisiana beach.
Today he announced a $20 billion fund that BP is putting in an escrow account to pay damages to people but did anyone really think BP wouldnt be held financially accountable especially with BP admitting their culpability?
What Obama needed to do and still needs to do is have the federal government take charge of the clean up. Cleaning up the gulf and skimming the oil off the surface should be where his focus is. Making the people suffering financial losses whole will happen with him or without him.
From a practical and presidential point of view whats been needed in the gulf is skimmers. There is no one familiar with the spill who hasnt said that there should be thousands of skimmers in the gulf cleaning up that oil. To date there are 32. The criticism of Obama is that he should have been on the phone more than a month ago and getting countries all over the world to send their skimmers to the Gulf to help with the spill. He did nothing.
Three weeks into the gulf spill in response to criticism that he wasn't doing enough, with Billy Nunguesser,president of Plaquemines parish in New Orleans on television every day and railing at Obama and BP over their lack of response and sounding like the only person who knew what he was talking about, President Obama called a press conference and said he and the government were doing "everything they could" to respond to spill.
But three weeks later, when "everything" amounted to not enough and criticism kept mounting even from people like James Carville whose vein were popping from being so angry, Obama, again motivated by criticism, responded that the government was now going to "double and triple" its efforts to help in the Gulf spill.
What you didnt hear in the news media and the question not one single reporter or commentator has asked is, how do you double and triple your efforts if you were doing everything you could in the first place? The answer is you cant. So there was never anything real behind doing "everything" they could. And one thing we know he didnt do which he could have and should have, is get those skimmers into the gulf. So much for "ready to be president from day one".
The New York Times recently ran an article about how chaotic Obama's response to the spill has been with one of the main criticisms being that no one seems to know who is in charge and that no one seems to be in charge.
Obama cannot show he is in charge because he isnt. He has shown he doesnt know what to do next or what he should have done. He cant show he is angry because he isn't. He is just used to being able to talk his way out of anything and now he can't.
There is no point in waiting for Obama to take charge. He is not and has never been a take charge person. This is the person who joked to a Chicago Tribune reporter covering one of his book signings when he was in the senate,that "maybe I ought to go back to the senate and actually do something". He never did. Instead he voted "present" over 100 times in the Illinois state senate voting neither for or against something because he either couldnt make a decision or didnt want to have a record an opponent could run against. Or both.
One more peice of bad news for Obama -- according to a new poll, Louisianans have said that Obama's response to the Gulf spill is worse than Bush's response to Katrina. Given that the Gulf spill is now in its 59th day and people are still complaining about the response and that as of this writing it is still not adequate and there are still not the 2,000 skimmers needed to clean up the gult, that's not a surprise.
And the word "gulf" is slowly coming to mean not just the oil spill but a reference to Obama's credibility.
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