Obama squandered his Oval Office moment

Obama could have called for a “moon shot” tonight to make a transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy, and he failed to do that. He made his first-ever speech in the Oval Office, and he had all three networks at the 8 p.m. slot, and he didn’t make good use of it.

The speech was flat and uninspiring. He recited a litany of the things the administration has done to try to bring the spill under control, but it was a rehash of things the public has already heard. Yes, he’s going to make BP pay. That’s good — as far as it goes. But he didn’t use the moment to assert a resolute sense of command.

Nor did he use it to call on Americans to make the sacrifices that will be necessary to make the transition from petroleum to cleaner fuels. Yes, he said a little about it. But he didn’t even endorse the energy bill currently languishing in the Senate.

The president has wasted a crisis.

373 comments Add your comment

kevinbgoode

June 15th, 2010
11:54 pm

Gosh, I must have missed the Republican response – and their inspiring plan to save America.

Oh – that’s right. They don’t have one either. So I’m not sure why all of the con-artist con-servatives are salivating about the President’s poor speech tonight – it isn’t like they’ve got a thing to offer America, either.

Americans will roll up their sleeves and do anything to reach a goal – so give us the plan, Mr. President, and stop worrying about appeasing the whiny Right. They are gonna say NO to anything that might actually help America, just as they can’t stand the idea of any American tax dollars being spent on Americans in America.

susan

June 15th, 2010
11:55 pm

thank you, cynthia, for givinh an honest commentary about the speech. the facade is quickly cumbling…and it should not really a surprise to anyone.

boots

June 15th, 2010
11:56 pm

It is George Bush’s fault Obama gave a terrible speech and sounds like Jimmy Carter. In fact, it is George Bush’s fault Jimmy Carter sounds like Jimmy Carter. Obama, just go play golf for the next 2 years and don’t do anything else. We will take care of the rest…

miles

June 15th, 2010
11:59 pm

thank god for OBAMA…the last president let a terrorist kill 3000 americans

susan

June 16th, 2010
12:05 am

kevinbgoode…i am not aware of any American opposing American dollars being spent in America, quite the opposite. Many people are tired of so many of our dollars going elsewhere, especially during these hard economic times.

what many Americans would like to see is our drilling for oil in areas that can be more easily controlled. Not in the depths of the ocean where things cannot be easily addressed. I don’t believe that more oversight is needed – the tools are in place, but obviously, the people weren’t doing their jobs. they should ALL be fired, if they haven’t been already. Like many of the issues facing our country today – it is not MORE regulation that is needed, but the regulation ALREADY INPLACE that needs to be enforced (ie. our borders)

susan

June 16th, 2010
12:07 am

@ miles: “let”?? you are offensive.

bake

June 16th, 2010
12:11 am

i really just hate most of your crappy points of view. pointing fingers. hating parties. our founding fathers would be disgusted. 200+ years ago we were one. and in a time of crisis we certainly don’t seem to be looking for common ground to help each other out. rather we seem to be looking for any edge we can get when it comes to politics. that’s sick. i relish the day that a legit 3rd and maybe even 4th party shows up to really help pave the way and address issues. the dems and retards are just blocking progress…and that’s really pathetic in this day and age. we’ve got way to much on the line…

Joe

June 16th, 2010
12:28 am

Good job bake- you gotta love folks who hate the hate from other groups so much they hate them more and call them retards????….. Meet you in the am and kick an 80 year old conservative in the crotch for giggles?

Neal

June 16th, 2010
1:02 am

I find it interesting that President Obama likes to compare our near future ability to rely on green technology to our past history of the race to the moon. He seems so optimistic that we can only succeed with green energy. I only wish that he showed the same optimism for capping the well head and cleaning up the gulf. Instead he tells us he can’t plug the hole and he can’t suck up the oil with a straw. It seems that the Governor down there in LA got tired of waiting and started sucking up the oil with a 4 inch PVC straw. Plugging the hole and cleaning up the oil, no make that stopping the oil before it reaches land and cleaning it up is a much nearer technology than Wind and Solar. What we need is a President that will suspend the Jones act so that other countries can help us. Temporarily suspend many of the environmental acts so that sand barriers can be built. No way they would be more catastrophic than the oil. On the Energy issues, suspend environmental concerns that hinder building Nuclear power plants. Suspend environmental concerns that stop us from drilling on land and in shallow water. I have seen many former oil well sights that have been totally returned to virgin state. Let’s do what we can do while we accept the challenge to do what we can’t do today.

Vote-Twice-This-Fall

June 16th, 2010
1:04 am

I thought toward the end of his miserable speech Obama was going to give an alter call for those lost in sin. His teleprompter must need greasing because he sounded like silent flatuence tonight.

Recovered Demoholic

June 16th, 2010
1:06 am

Judging from the reactions across the networks and blogs, ObaMao needs a do-over. Then, he could just use the transcript of Sarah Palin’s interview on O’Reilly, and replace every “He” with either “I could have” or “I will.”

EC123

June 16th, 2010
1:47 am

Jimmy Carter was right.

Ronald Reagan is the FOOL who came into office and took the solar panels off of the White House that Carter had installed there.

Reagan is the FOOL who set this country on the path to middle eastern oil dependancy.

Jimmy Carter was right.

J.R.

June 16th, 2010
2:03 am

I just noticed that the speech dealt with cleaning up the mess in the gulf, but didn’t say anything about stopping the leak. You don’t need to clean up the mess before you stop what is causing the mess. We have to stop the leak first, Obama needs to get the priorities in the right order. It’s much like the economy, get people back to work and the economy will fix itself, not the other way around.

Ken Hawkins

June 16th, 2010
2:04 am

Told myself there was no need to watch it because it would be old hat, uninspiring, and downright BORING. Should have listened to myself. This guy has worn us all out in front of the camera, I believe. When will the ‘Leader’ emerge in this guy? Hate to say it, but it has never been there and never will be there. Community organizing? He’s pretty good at that. Leading? He has no clue!

For what it is worth

June 16th, 2010
2:05 am

For once, Ms. Tucker, I agree with you. The President of the Free World made an Ass out of himself tonight and just played the ‘political card’. I was expecting a lot more from him. And, in my opinion, he failed to deliver. Once again, more rhetoric than real action. What a waste of time and effort.

For what it is worth

June 16th, 2010
2:08 am

EC123 – I don’t know what you are drinking – but whatever it is has made you a total DA. Blaming Reagan 30 years after the fact – what time vacuum are you living in. Besides – Jimmy Carter sucked as Prez and still does. What a waste.

LoFlyer

June 16th, 2010
2:37 am

Obama was elected on the premise that he was a bi-partisan, centralist leader. The AJC, Cynthia Tucker and 90 percent of American media deliberately mislead the voters refusing to investigate Obam’s history as a community organizer or his record as US senator.
Now that Obama has a god forbid, ecological crises in the gulf, he revealed his true colors as a community activist, not a “kick-ass” leader who has no clue on how to lead, much less “kick-ass”.
What few Americans realize is that Obama is an accidental president. The Florida Democrats kicked in their votes for McCain after being kicked out of the primaries and shifted their votes to the weakest most liberal republican candidate, Senator McCain. The 2008 election will go down in history as an anomaly lead by the American media more interested in Governor Palin’s children than the history of a unqualified Democratic presidential candidate.
And this is just a low-key issues, BP will eventually seal the oil-well and clean up the mess. What happens if North Korea decides to invade South Korea as NK continues to fail its citizens and blame everyone else after torpedoing an SK warship?
What will Obama do?
When You have Keith Olbermann and MSNBC criticizing Obama handling of the issue, then Obama’s free propaganda ride with American media is over.
Americans are pissed at the Obama administration. He has never been bi-partisan, is anti-capitalism, pro-Euro-socialism and generally a elitist UN world-citizen rather than an American leader.
Obama is truly fracked for the last of his administration.

Bob

June 16th, 2010
3:21 am

“…. to call on Americans to make the sacrifices that will be necessary….”

You have no idea what you are talking about. There is not an American alive today that will sacrifice their absolute way of life in a way that will be absolutely necessary to arrive at that Utopian idea.

Get real, people. Take your heads out of the clouds and get back to real life. If there was a viable alternative to oil, we would already be utilizing it.

Unimpressed

June 16th, 2010
3:30 am

A Tucker article I actually agree with? I think Cynthia is wrong 90% of the time, but she nailed this one. I was hoping for an inspired leadership moment. More Hope. More Disillusion. Less Change.

ODDOWL

June 16th, 2010
3:30 am

Gov. Bobby Jindel is a fake, phony, fraud hypocrite… A couple of months age he was gallivanting around yelling and screaming “states rights, states rights”. But as soon as a serious problem develops, the state righters go running to the Federal Government demanding that they fix the problem immediately. The Governors of the Southern states haven’t done jack sh** to protect their own coastline. They’re demanding to be paid before they do the work… When you listen to these southern, tea party outriger’s rhetoric, the drivel you hear is nothing more than refried hotair spewed from the lips of David Duke, Rand Paul, Broom Palin and Beck. The Republicans have become a problem in America. If we get rid of the Republicans, we can get rid of the problem.

Veasey

June 16th, 2010
3:40 am

if we can send 10,000 troops to a pointless war, can we spare 600 coast gaurd troops to help contain the spill? and thats just military, its a recession and we cant find some workers to help clean it up??! yes i know we have people out ther but there picking up tar balls and thats about it, i live in the gulf and its killing us down here, its already a recession and now this is happening, thanks bp for being greedy and taking a shortcut that cost 11

Willy

June 16th, 2010
3:51 am

95% of the comments on this page are disgraceful. I realize you people are just trying to play the squeaky wheel, but wow. What a bunch of ugly, treacherous, lazy, weak and narrow minded racists.

Whopper Dawg

June 16th, 2010
4:07 am

I am so pleasantly surprised at the comments in response to the column. I never, NEVER, read Ms. Tucker due to her far left agenda. I did it tonight on a whim and to get the far left read on Obama tonight. I expected much support of his concepts, he has never had a real plan at anything except to spend money, but I am overjoyed at the sentiments of most of the posts.

Do not underestimate the danger of this man (I will not call him a President, he doesn’t deserve it), he is by far the largest threat to the American way of life since World War II and Adolf Hitler. That is not an exaggeration.

Norman

June 16th, 2010
5:49 am

We though our government was run by incompetents when Bush was president, but Obama’s gang has put them to shame. If Obama was a white dude his approval ratings would be the lowest in history. Screwing the people time after time is not the stuff of greatness unless you think they deserve it. Community organizing is heavily dependent on hating the prosperous non-democrats and wanting to punish them even if there is nothing gained in the process. That mindset might stimulate a community but as a national policy, my mother would call it ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’.

With Obama as a contrast, Bush Carter and Nixon will not look quite as dreadful.

UNITED States

June 16th, 2010
6:04 am

Mr. President said EVERYTHING,
when he stated, British Petroleum will pay all damages.
London would want the same thing.

Dave R.

June 16th, 2010
6:14 am

Obama squandered his Presidency . . .

There. Fixed your typo, Cynthia. No thanks needed.

Tommy Maddox

June 16th, 2010
6:22 am

Lo Flyer – you launched that one over the fence.

T-Town

June 16th, 2010
6:25 am

If only Obama would tend to dealing with the problems instead of attempting to resurrect JFK’s Camelot he would be further ahead. He should also be reminded that Camelot came crashing down when we found out JFK wasn’t the saint he was portrayed to be.

UNITED States

June 16th, 2010
6:29 am

British Petroleum is the culprit,
not the President of the U.S.A.
………………………………..
God Bless President Obama.

ctucker

June 16th, 2010
6:40 am

Willy, I agree with you that the commenters have shown their, ah, true colors.

Mrs. W.

June 16th, 2010
6:45 am

“But he didn’t use the moment to assert a resolute sense of command”. That’s because he is not a commander. He is a wet behind the ears pup with no prior executive experience. Jr. senator to POTUS is a huge leap and he has fallen into the crevice.

Also Cindy, you are not one who should be pointing the racism finger at anyone else – even Glenn Beck. You, most of all, need to go look into that proverbial mirror.

Acer

June 16th, 2010
6:59 am

Willy and Cynthia….color has nothing to do with it. People are all colors were willing to give Obama a shot at being President when he was elected. That’s why he was elected. And it took a lot of white votes to help get him elected. But when you are incompetent, you are incompetent no matter what color you are. There are incompetent whites and there are incompetent blacks. Obama is incompetent to be President and people on both sides are recognizing this. But to say that people are only calling him incompetent because he is black is where the racism comes in. It is just as racist for someone to fail to see the truth BECAUSE of skin color as it is for someone to claim a falsehood BECAUSE of skin color.

Harry Reid

June 16th, 2010
7:00 am

Obama will be a one term President and go down in history as the worst American President!

ken

June 16th, 2010
7:01 am

MSNBC trashed Obama’s speech last night. To me and others it was just a set up for Cap and Trade TAX. If money cleans the air, drop it from planes.

A CONSERVATIVE

June 16th, 2010
7:09 am

CYNTHIA….YOU LIBERALS DON’t GET IT….OBAMA IS A DREAMER…A DREAMER….OBAMA IS noooooooooooot a LEADER…YOU ARE CLUELESS.

Oxymoron

June 16th, 2010
7:10 am

And now we have Cynthia’s racist comments for the day because everyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist. You better not mention his name, people! Cynthia will label you as a racist! In fact, don’t even look at him – because that makes you a racist, too!

A CONSERVATIVE

June 16th, 2010
7:11 am

OBAMA WANTs to be the next Hugo CHAVEZ….OBARYMA IS POWER hungry

Granny Godzilla

June 16th, 2010
7:12 am

I would have agreed with Ms. Tucker last night. I wanted stronger.

Then, I saw the Fox and Friends headline this morning suggesting Obama was being to hard on BP.

He did what he needed to do.

Americans love cheap stuff more than life itself

June 16th, 2010
7:19 am

We love the cheap crap that China makes and markets through Wal-Mart.

We love the cheap interest rates and ignore the dangers of taking away the risk of lending money. This encourages mortgage institutions to devise ways to sell higher interest rate mortgages (subprime).

We love and expect ever rising stock prices. This leads to short-sighted (quarter-to-quarter) decisions by executives and managers. This increases the incentives to “cut corners” on safety and other external concerns.

We love our cheap oil. We have some of the lowest taxes on gas in the world. As such we have no financial incentive to cut back or find alternatives. This disaster is likely to become a minor speed-bump for the rush to drill in deep water.

Mrs. Tucker is correct, Obama is missing his opportunity to become a great president.

jgf

June 16th, 2010
7:24 am

we should continue to drill for oil and use it until every drop in the earth has been sucked out. why is obama at war with bp and feels that terrorists are only criminals.

seldomfound

June 16th, 2010
7:24 am

Could we all be missing the obvious? Incompetence is not unique to either party. Government is best relegated to fighting wars and collecting tax to do so. We need to retrieve the power and funding we’ve given the feds. Make sure you vote for people – not parties.

resno2

June 16th, 2010
7:26 am

“Mrs. Tucker is correct, Obama is missing his opportunity to become a great president.”

Great? obama has missed his opportunity to become a mediocre president

ken

June 16th, 2010
7:27 am

From 1900 to 1973 we had cheap oil and everything ran along pretty good. The phrase BIG OIL was non-existant. In 1973 Politics got involved and it has been down hill since then.

gw

June 16th, 2010
7:32 am

mr. prez you can’t talk your way out of the oil crisis any more than you can spend your way out of the ression

andygrd

June 16th, 2010
7:33 am

Here is some true for you all, and please read the Act for its applicability, if you doubt the comments below:
Crucial offers to help clean up BP’s oil spill “have come from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that . . . possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships.” But the Obama administration wouldn’t accept the help, because doing so would require it to do something past presidents have routinely done: waive rules imposed by the Jones Act, a law backed by unions.
“The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act. This is a piece of 1920s protectionist legislation that requires all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed. So . . . the U.S. Coast Guard . . . can’t accept, and therefore don’t ask for, the assistance of high-tech European vessels specifically designed for the task in hand.”
The law itself permits the president to waive these requirements, and such waivers were “granted, promptly, by the Bush administration,” in the aftermath of hurricanes and other emergencies. But Obama has refused to do so, notes David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen.
“After the Obama administration refused help from the Netherlands, Geert Visser, the consul general for the Netherlands in Houston, told Loren Steffy: ‘Let’s forget about politics; let’s get it done.’” But for Obama, politics always comes first: “The explanation of Obama’s reluctance to seek this remedy is his cozy relationship with labor unions. . . ‘The unions see it [not waiving the act] as … protecting jobs. They hate when the Jones Act gets waived.’”
Ironically, even the staunchest supporters of the Jones Act are now distancing themselves from refusals to accept foreign help, saying they have “not and will not stand in the way of the use of these well-established waiver procedures to address this crisis.” Obama is being more intransigently pro-union than the unions themselves. Never mind that “each day our European allies are prevented from helping us speed up the clean up is another day that Gulf fishing and tourism jobs die.”
In April 2009, the Obama administration granted BP, a big supporter of Obama, a waiver of environmental regulations. But after the oil spill, it blocked Louisiana from protecting its coastline against the oil spill by delaying rather than expediting regulatory approval of essential protective measures. It has also chosen not to use what has been described as “the most effective method” of fighting the spill, a method successfully used in other oil spills. Democratic strategist James Carville called Obama’s handling of the oil spill “lackadaisical” and “unbelievable” in its “stupidity.”

Cynthia is Sexy!!

June 16th, 2010
7:35 am

Agreed Cynthia…Obama not only squandered imo he failed miserably.

WyldByllHyltnyr

June 16th, 2010
7:38 am

This president is both a crisis and a waste. Leadership is not, “…we don’t know how to get there.”

Palin/Jindahl 2012 – Change that brings leadership

What the give is what they take away.

June 16th, 2010
7:44 am

Fist ? what clean fuel do you want us to use.
2nd? How can mobama do anything to BP
3rd? why don’t we as a few people with common since boycott AJC untill they take you off their staff?

Granny Godzilla

June 16th, 2010
7:45 am

Palin/Jindahl 2012

Oh please yes!

Josh

June 16th, 2010
7:46 am

CT said, “The president has wasted a crisis.”

Good. WE have a document called the Constitution that limits the power of our government. CT, you may hold anti-captialist thoughts and beliefs but that does not mean that our President can do whatever he wants. Think about the people in our history who have done this. Hitler, Stalin, Mao……the list goes on and on and you support this type of government control and takeover.

Now, I am not sticking up for BP one bit. They have to pay for the damage they have done. That does not give the power to Obama to go kick their butt (a**). There are procedures and rules we have to follow to make BP pay. That is the price of having a free country with free people. There are principles that have to be followed in order to continue to be free. I am glad he wasted a crisis. He did the right thing.