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.