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A glimmer of leadership in Obama's Oval Office speech

Given all the idiotic advice President Obama has gotten about what to do about the BP oil spill, I thought his Oval Office address Tuesday night had it about right. Call to arms. Three-point plan. End our energy addiction. God bless America.

I don’t know what it means to look “presidential,” but I thought it helped that Obama looked pretty stressed and serious tonight. The impossibly youthful first-term senator who won the White House 18 months ago seems like a distant memory. This visibly graying man has been working at the hardest job on the planet; it showed on his face, better framed in the Oval Office than in his sometimes skittish performances on the road.

“Seize the moment” was the signature line for me in the speech, in political and policy terms. Obama needs to take the opportunity of the oil-spill crisis to show that he is a leader -- not in the ridiculous “kick some ass” language that some macho-challenged advisers had earlier encouraged, but with real policy proposals.

Obama was right to say that we are drilling a mile deep in the gulf because we are exhausting, with our voracious energy appetite, safer sources on land or in shallow water. And he was especially right to say that the nightmare of the gulf oil spill won’t end until we find alternatives to our economic dependence on fossil fuels.

Obama did his usual bipartisan thing about how he’s willing to listen to proposals from any direction about how to reduce the kind of oil drilling that is coating all those poor birds with goo. But he also said, in another signature line: “The one approach I will not accept is inaction.”

That was where the martial metaphors in this speech hit their crescendo. Obama rolled right into his FDR bit chiding the naysayers: “You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II.”

Does he mean it? Is he really tough enough to break 30 years of stasis on energy policy? Is he tough enough to be a leader, as opposed to a teacher or speech-giver? That’s still the question about Obama.

I liked him better Tuesday night than I have in a while -- tired, beat-up politically, but not playing to the crowd with easy put-downs of BP CEO Tony Hayward or profit-mongering Big Oil. There’s a glimmer of real leadership there, but not yet the bright beam.

By David Ignatius  | June 15, 2010; 10:18 PM ET
Categories:  Ignatius  | Tags:  David Ignatius  
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Next: Obama's next speech on the gulf oil spill: rally the nation

Comments

There has to be an informed central point of Incident Command and to date there is the presence of the Coast Guard who is subservient to Janet Napolitano. She no doubt has limits to the decision making the Admiral makes. Now this time maybe the guy who should be up front is seriously thinking about doing just taking full control and really managing the situation.

Posted by: npsilver | June 15, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Howard Feinman were left desperatly wanting, I'd suggest this speech was a FAIL. However, I trust Ignatius and his boys in the beltway will insist on convincing us otherwise. So, kiddies, no need to trust your lying eyes. Rather trust the word of the punditocracy - they will determine for you that what Obama said was perfect and apt and good. They will tell you. And you must believe them. Join us. Join us. Join us. That's their mantra. Kinda creppy, right chaps? Cheers.

Posted by: cartmaneric | June 15, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Ignitius....what do you mean a glimmer of hope.....you must be asleep...did you not remember the passage of health and other successes? It takes a leader to do that.

Posted by: wrock76taolcom | June 15, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Ignatius....what do you mean a glimmer of hope.....you must be asleep...did you not remember the passage of health and other successes? It takes a leader to do that.

Posted by: wrock76taolcom | June 15, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I still don't understand why Obama made this speech tonight. Neither he nor the federal government should be involved in this. The situation was caused by private enterprise and should be solved by private enterprise. Government personnel nor tax payer money should be involved. The oil companies make billions in profit each year. The $20Billion Escrow is 6 months profit for Exxon alone. They wqho F'ed it up should fix it up.
Why hasn't BP hired sme of the idle fishermen to help?

Posted by: cavys | June 15, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Ignatius, you said: "Obama was right to say that we are drilling a mile deep in the gulf because we are exhausting, with our voracious energy appetite, safer sources on land or in shallow water. And he was especially right to say that the nightmare of the gulf oil spill won’t end until we find alternatives to our economic dependence on fossil fuels."

I say BS on both counts. We are not exhausting our safer sources on land and water, rather we have been prevented from exploiting plenty of sources every bit as "safe" as current land and shallow sources because of radical enviromentalists [e.g. additional shallow water wells; ANWAR; etc.] who just don't want us to use oil and natural gas. And second: there is not a single alternative energy source in sight that can replace the economics and convenience of gasoline and diesel for our transportation requirements. The radicals want us to stop using these fuels now, even though an economic and practical replacement is still way over the horizon. Even the best electrics cost too much [even after subsidies]; don't go far at all [100 miles on a charge is considered great -- and dare to use the heater or aircon and it's much less]; and take hours to refuel instead of minutes. And the electricity still is generated using mostly carbon based fuels [and the radicals still hate nuclear].

Posted by: CREEBOLD | June 15, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

We have an incompetent boob in the White House. What a pant load. Odumbo has no authority to make BP to do anything and he will look like the idiot that he is.

No to cap and tax. We are in a depression and the Nation is on the verge of bankruptcy. How about some jobs and stimulus to the economy.

November and 2012 cannot get here soon enough to correct the serious error of judgement in electing someone whose resume is he was a community organizer.

Someone prove Obama is not eligible for office and drag him out for the sake of the Nation.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 15, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the glimmer of leadership.

Tonight Obmama lost the American public. He is a lame duck president.

Posted by: mike85 | June 16, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Finding suitable, safe, relatively affordable alternatives to fossil fuels is a long-term project that will take at least several decades. Obama has shown so far he lacks the political or moral courage to offer bold steps to deal with any issue or problem.

I am not old enough to have known FDR, but Obama is no Franklin D Roosevelt. The oil spill and coming up with a real comprehensive energy policy have no useful parallels to fighting Germany and Japan during World War II. Such rhetoric seems primarily intended for a few pundits and partisans, the rest of us realize it has no relevance to anything.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 16, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Using the BP oil disaster in the Gulf to promote another pipe dream energy bill was a disgrace. We are 57 days into this disaster, it is time to concentrate on fixing this problem. BHO lost a lot of Americans tonight. I saw no glimmer or even hope of leadership. God Save the USA!

Posted by: d1carter | June 16, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

The pandering and posturing are just disgusting. As long as there is nothing and nobody to plug the hole(certainly not the bloodboiling Mr. Gibbs) but the BP- it would be prudent to shut up and do everything if not help then, at least, not to deflect the BPers from doing their job. All the demagoguery about making "them" pay might wait until the job is finished, either way. As to the FDR bit that Mr. Ignatius mentioned-that President stood mum before the first success, and I mean the D-day, was achieved. Lets better switch the logorrhea to, say, the soccer cup.

Posted by: felix155 | June 16, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

No, we have not "exhausted" safer sources, we have allowed environmentalists to preclude drilling there. And the 800 lb. gorilla in the room is the unspeakable reality that this well may have discovered a massive reserve that could actually reduce imports.

Posted by: doug7772 | June 16, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Again we hear about America needing to regain technology leadership! Why then is science being removed from public education? A friend's 6th grade daughter came home with a report card that said they had not done enough science in school to warrant a grade in that subject. Is that what we want for our kids? Is that how we regain technology leadership? Instead of giving up, we started a business that brings back the fun in science; challenging and engaging kids in the hands-on science basics we discovered when we were kids. Now's the time to get kids excited about science as a career. Just find out what interests them and keep them asking questions.

Posted by: BuildingNerds | June 16, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse


That glimmer was a reflection off the teleprompter..


Posted by: AG11 | June 16, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

I felt as though President Obama was giving another Saturday morning weekly address. This is not his deal. He needs crowds and their feedback to be at his best. He made some strong statements, but the passion of speaking to real people wasn't there.

That kind of makes it more genuine in the sense that he's not an actor. He's an orator.

Posted by: terryolson | June 16, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Apart from the fact that Obama seems to be out of his depth & was surely not yet ready to take on the enormous task of the presidency, there can be no doubt that my fellow-Americans are the most wasteful, spoiled citizens on the face of the planet.

It seems to me that it's time for them to re-discover layered clothing, the joys of cotton in the summer & woolens in the winter. Time to install windows in homes & cars that can be opened. Time to sacrifice a bit of creature comfort & turn down the thermostats or air conditioners.

One way to ensure this is to make the cost of driving, heating or cooling a luxury good to be used sparingly. How about taxing energy for Americans at European levels? This would surely produce some needed tax windfalls & perhaps even lead to a new & less wasteful mindset.

Posted by: expatriot1 | June 16, 2010 3:42 AM | Report abuse

The main problem of America is its massive debt load and the unfunded liabilities to come, from guarantees attached to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Farmer Mac, social security shortfall, etc. All estimated to balloon to about 3.5-6.5 times of U.S. GDP (depending on the source, from the President of Dallas Fed to various reseach organisations). Then one must add in debt loads at the state government level.

Posted by: ordak100 | June 16, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

No, Obama is not FDR. Neither is this the U.S. of the 1930's or 1940's. This country was largely minding its own business then. Times were tough but it seemed as though adversity was shared. Nobody believes that today. The cynicism is palpable.

There is no speech that would make me feel any better about the "oil spill." This is more than that: It's a blight that no amount of "clean-up" will dispel. All caused by uncaring greed.

As to who's going to pay for all the financial losses.There will indeed be legal problems. And if BP is bankrupted, what good will that do? How about getting fees from all the oil companies drilling in the Gulf? (Are there any paid now for that privilege?)

The energy bill? Might pass. So what.
It has already been noted that "cars won't run on wind power, etc."

Our president has so much to deal with already. I hope he gets good guidance.
Speech or no speech, now is his time to lead.

mnm18

Posted by: 18mandm | June 16, 2010 4:49 AM | Report abuse

glimmer of leadership?

let robert browning reply

"let him never come back to us
there would be doubt hesitation and pain

forced praise on our part
a glimmer of twilight
never glad confident morning again."

Posted by: razor2 | June 16, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

robert browning poem was called "the lost leader".the lost leader being wordsworth.

obama was of course never a leader lost or otherwise.


and ignatius is of course a gofer.

Posted by: razor2 | June 16, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

No pun intended I dont dont think what the other did was unethical, wrong protestantism, but a greying stressed Obama looks more and more like that guy who had put his money from Nigeria into his refridgerator.

Posted by: uzs106 | June 16, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

What a joke. It is soooooo impersonal to be read to ALL the time. He must think we are all idiots and never watch or read about what is REALLY happening!! The "Speech Giver" is nothing more than a used car sales man.

The "Government Stupid" and the enviromentilist Lobbiest are as much to blame for this happening as BP.

Oh and BP is a big supporter of Cap and Tax!!! They have a huge natural gas business that will make billions converting coal plants to natural gas.

Kind of odd that we have a coal mine explosion and a Blowout almost back to back!! Evil is Evil and agenda's are more important than lives or the enviroment!!

Just wondering why the "Speech Giver" did not announce HIS SURGE from the Oval office. That is right the WAR against radical ISLAM is not high on the list on his AGENDA!!

God help America.

TERM LIMITS NOW !!

FAIR TAX NOW !!

DEATH TO JIHADISTS!!

SECURE THE BORDERS NOW !!

Posted by: 79USMC83 | June 16, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Oil and Gas Lamebrains might be the term used to describe those who say they are in control of the BP blow out!
By Dwight Baker
June 15, 2010
Dbaker007@stx.rr.com


The Executive staff did a poor job finding out the facts before putting their seal of approval on the speech. One thing we have far more of the worlds oil than 2 percent. The Bakken shale in North Dakota rivals most of the oil finds in history. Now on the green note that has seemed to slip peoples minds---- to re-tool the automotive business and the high end trucking business and all the other shippers who use oil products for fuel would take 30 to 40 years and cost a kings fortune to do. Natural gas might be an answer for the large truck trailer shippers and for us to as long as pipelines were laid to the major markets to bring about the supply lines for consumers.

Getting some feed back after the President Speech looks as if the goal set out to save his Presidency and save our Gulf was missing.
Good intentions by the President and his staff showed through but the greater dimensions as mentioned were missing for one reason or another. The greater goals of stopping the oil and gas was not addressed head on and that is just what the American public wanted to hear.

Thus as in the title are those assigned the great job of getting this blow out plugged --- oil and gas lamebrains? I have no sympathy at all for folks who pretend to know and simply do not. Move over step out of the picture and let those who know oil and gas do the job at hand.
What many of us are too tired of the pundit political media hype type huckster's that spin and spin. And our poor citizens on the Gulf have had enough of them too, they are down to the earth working folks like many others and they are tired of hearing this and that come out of the mouths of those who have no clue what to do and when.

I meant no harm to come to those I inferred rightly so that they had not the oil and gas common sense and reason to understand the simplicity of stopping all the oil.

But, some do and I am one of them an oil and gas engineer with the plan to stop the oil and gas in 3 to 4 days after the plan is adopted. It is appropriate to include that the plan has been passed around in the oval office, the boardroom of BP and most the media sources in the world. It is easy to see just google Tame Nature with overshot and there you will find the work of laying out the plan.

Now what can the American Public do? Learn about the TAME NATURE overshot plan to plug the blown out well then continue to publish that message so that many more will know. Contact me Dwight Baker dbaker007@stx.rr.com to receive a copy of the Plan FREE OF CHARGE


Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | June 16, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

There’s a glimmer of real leadership there, but not yet the bright beam. The operative word GLIMMER reminds me of HOPE and CHANGE. Some how his administration, and Congress are lost in the politics instead of solving the problem with continuing to harm the economy and the job market.

Posted by: ZebZ | June 16, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Most of the posts on this article prove it. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Posted by: barrysal | June 16, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

And the top story tonight the oil covered most of the Gulf coast causing coastal wetland devestation, it is fair to forcast the complete destruction of rookeries of many endangered species which will now probably die out at least in thier native habitat but in related news the President let the people know in his speech the prospects may be getting better for passing a new controversial tax and in the speech he has made it pretty clear that it was either former President Bush or BP's fault. Sounds like an SNL skit from the 70s.

Posted by: almorganiv | June 16, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I will bet a quick survey of the general public will find this speech to be far short of what average man, vs. WAPO pundit, is looking for in terms of leadership.

This is a tough problem and won't be solved quickly. But last night we, once again, saw the triumph of rhetoric over pragmatism. Instead of addressing what the public wants to hear (i.e. a relatively short and simple to do list on the clean up and a priority legislative agenda to begin moving away from fossil fuels) we got the usual rhetoric about commissions, how engaged he is, how really effective the Federal response had been vs. all the pictures we keep seeing and that old standby the American Spirit. When will poliicians learn that very often actions speak far louder than their words?

If Mr. Ignatius is giving our President a pass on this speech on the leadership scale, he must be grading on a very generous curve.

Posted by: bobfbell | June 16, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Ignatius, like President Obama, tends to look at things rationally, and avoids the knee-jerk bombast of the media. After reading the list of comments thus far, I have to wonder if we are any longer a governable nation. Aggressive ignorance and anger seem to be our social default settings.

Posted by: RSWells | June 16, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Ya know, when all you do is talk and you fail to do anything, they call you a Bull Shixxer. That's what we've got for a president.

Posted by: richard36 | June 16, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Like millions of other Americans I voted for Obama because I thought he could inspire our country to greater things and that there would major changes in how we approached the environment, energy, immigration, health care, and gay rights. This was a man who mesmerized millions on the campaign trail with standing room only crowds and incidents of people that were so excited fainting at several of his speeches. He was the ultimate rock star candidate blazing with charisma. America wanted more than an end to the war in Iraq. The American people badly wanted and needed leadership.

Instead, what we’ve apparently learned is that we have a technocrat as President, who is skilled at reading canned speeches off a teleprompter that are devoid of any passion or emotion. This brilliant man seems to be better suited to being a constitutional law professor, or perhaps some day, a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. I don’t think there are many people who would doubt he would be great at those jobs. Instead, it appears we have the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

Liberals despised Ronald Reagan but Reagan knew how to lead and inspire the people after he was elected, not only before. There was an excellent article this week by a former staff member of Reagan’s during the time Reagan was President and this aide was asked what Reagan would have thought about the new Arizona law on immigration. Reading the former aide’s quotes about how Reagan was against putting walls up to bar people’s entry into America and how Reagan would be totally against the Arizona law and how Reagan welcomed immigrants made me yearn for a leader who could express himself that way in 2010. I’m a Democrat but I acknowledge that Reagan knew how to lead.
Likewise, on the liberal side, whenever you heard Ted Kennedy speak on the floor of the Senate, the word that immediately would come to mind would be passion. You not only knew what Ted Kennedy thought about an issue, you FELT it!

The American people need someone who can inspire them to take on challenges greater than themselves. They don’t need a college professor or a Supreme Court justice, they need a leader who can motivate them, and who can reach deep within the hearts of most Americans to do the right thing to turn our country around to be that shining example we once were to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, what I and millions of others now realize we have after we watched with elation and pride when Obama took the oath of office at the Capital is a dispassionate president, a technocrat, who cannot motivate and whose speeches are falling flatter and flatter and becoming more dispassionate every month. The tin man needs a heart. Lead Mr. President, or step aside in 2012 and allow someone else to be the leader we all thought you would be when we invested all our hopes and dreams for our country in you.

Posted by: mjkoch* | June 16, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Something weird is happening all over the world. Everyone is turning into Rush Limbaughs. No authority is recognized of any leader--church leaders, government leaders, company leaders. There's a real pattern here.

If no leader in the world is respected or deserves a following, who does the world turn to for leadership? I'm busy.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | June 16, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but if and when this knucklehead "seizes the moment" he will surely only use it to further his ant-business, anti-freedom agenda. Operating on the axiom that he should "...never let a crisis go to waste..." he flits from lip service about cleaning up the Gulf to his real agenda. You know, the one that gave rise to his 2007 declaration, "Under my energy plan, electricity prices will necessarily sky-rocket". The old "Cap and Trade" scam. And he said it so matter of factly. I guess when the skyrocketing prices start hurting families, he will raise the taxes on the Jones family to subsidize the bills on the Smith family.

That Obama can roll "...into his FDR bit chiding the naysayers..." is mere speechifying. Faced with the crises that FDR faced leading up to WW2, Obama would have made Neville Chamberlain look like a lion.

Moses led his people through the desert for 40 years. With any luck, this wicked misguided fool will only lead us around for 4 years.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | June 16, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

This was NOT Presidential. It was blaming everyone but himself and democrats for the very, very slow and ineffective response to this industrial accident.

It was using the Gulf tragedy to try and pass Cap-n-Trade... a enormous energy tax that will produce nothing, fix nothing and only take money away from American workers and lower every Americans standards of living.

Snake oil is what it was.

Posted by: markandbeth92 | June 16, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ignatius, evidently, when you took your journalism classes at Poo dunk U, you must have fallen asleep during the reading/comprehension classes.

Did your boss, Obama give you a private speach last night?

If this president had any leadership abilities, most of what we're seeing happen along the gulf coast could have been avoided.

No the leaking oil from the explosion IS NOT HIS FAULT. As of today we don't know who's fault it is. But you know what IT NO LONGER MATTERS. It happened and now we must react. If this administration were not so concerned with the political theater there were numerous steps they could have taken within the first few days of the accident.

Several nations who have had experience in disaster clean-up along with the necessary equipment offered assistance . This administration, turned them down, mainly to protect the stevedore unions who objected to foreign ships working in the gulf waters.

Several firms offered miles of booms and other devices that would have contained most of the oil from spreading, but again this administration either turned them down or ignored their offers.

B P requested the use of chemicals within days of the accident to be dispersed into the waters which would have contained some of the oil spreading, but once again this administration turned them down to appease the environmental groups.

The Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (sp) requested approval to build 26 berms to keep the oil from entering the marshes along the LA coast. This administration once again drug their feet, again to satisfy the environmentalist who were concerned with the environmental impact the berms would cause to the coast. Never mind that the oil was coming and the environmental impact was apparent, they got their way. After several weeks, this administration approved a few berms, NOT ALL OF THEM. Go figure.

This President spent the last two days on the coast to view the damage and hopefully show the people he is concerned, which I think he might be. However, one has to question his priorities when during this fact finding trip he has to take the time to play a round of golf.

The office of the MMS is nothing but another buffoon agency within our government. I know your retort will be this was the same under G W BUSH, but don't forget to include that it was the same under Clinton and it's founder Jimmy Carter. Obama's was quite critical of this agency while he was in the senate, vowed to clean it up etc etc. Yet after 18 months and ONE NATIONAL disaster, he finally acts.

I'm not saying this president is inept, it just is hard to follow his logic and his priorities.

Posted by: frankn1 | June 16, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Ignatius, evidently, when you took your journalism classes at Poo dunk U, you must have fallen asleep during the reading/comprehension classes.

Did your boss, Obama give you a private speach last night?

If this president had any leadership abilities, most of what we're seeing happen along the gulf coast could have been avoided.

No the leaking oil from the explosion IS NOT HIS FAULT. As of today we don't know who's fault it is. But you know what IT NO LONGER MATTERS. It happened and now we must react. If this administration were not so concerned with the political theater there were numerous steps they could have taken within the first few days of the accident.

Several nations who have had experience in disaster clean-up along with the necessary equipment offered assistance . This administration, turned them down, mainly to protect the stevedore unions who objected to foreign ships working in the gulf waters.

Several firms offered miles of booms and other devices that would have contained most of the oil from spreading, but again this administration either turned them down or ignored their offers.

B P requested the use of chemicals within days of the accident to be dispersed into the waters which would have contained some of the oil spreading, but once again this administration turned them down to appease the environmental groups.

The Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (sp) requested approval to build 26 berms to keep the oil from entering the marshes along the LA coast. This administration once again drug their feet, again to satisfy the environmentalist who were concerned with the environmental impact the berms would cause to the coast. Never mind that the oil was coming and the environmental impact was apparent, they got their way. After several weeks, this administration approved a few berms, NOT ALL OF THEM. Go figure.

This President spent the last two days on the coast to view the damage and hopefully show the people he is concerned, which I think he might be. However, one has to question his priorities when during this fact finding trip he has to take the time to play a round of golf.

The office of the MMS is nothing but another buffoon agency within our government. I know your retort will be this was the same under G W BUSH, but don't forget to include that it was the same under Clinton and it's founder Jimmy Carter. Obama's was quite critical of this agency while he was in the senate, vowed to clean it up etc etc. Yet after 18 months and ONE NATIONAL disaster, he finally acts.

I'm not saying this president is inept, it just is hard to follow his logic and his priorities.

Posted by: frankn1 | June 16, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"glimmer?"

i think not.

rather, terms like "void, vacuous, clueless, deer-in-the-headlights" come to the minds of most thinking people.

but keep telling yourself whatever you want.

we're desperately trying to keep our heads above water after 8 years of bush, and i don't see any glimmer of anything constructive coming from this white house.

i still miss bill. (sigh)


Posted by: potomacfever00 | June 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

When you slip in the highly charged phrase "addicted to oil" to build a flimsy case for Cap and Trade, you it should be accompanied by it's less emotional, fact-based counterparts... like "we'd rather drive than walk miles to the store, or fly rather than take steamships across the ocean,, we'd rather heat or cool our homes than rely on the climate moderating, We think Police and emergency services should use motor vehicles to get around quickly and flexibly. We'd rather turn on lights using a switch, and not light fires indoors to get the light needed to read or relax, and we'd like our relatives in hospital to benefit from electronic monitoring technologies... al which run on electricity generated by oil or coal plants. If anything, we're addicted to how our lives have changed and improved over the past 200-200 years. We've grown accustomed to watching TV and using the internet... both powered by electricity generated from fossil fuels. Oil and coal have made those advances possible. That is not the Bogeyman... it is a symbol of how lives get better and easier. More nuclear energy might create a better balance, but not likely in our lifetime given outdated regulations and control regimes.
If we could end our addiction to progress, easier lives and longer life spans, the oil and coal thing would take care of itself.

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | June 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

OKay, let me get this straight. We're going to,"...end our energy addiction..." by STOPPING PRODUCTION?????
Cap-and TAX is riding on the coattail of this speach. We'll be living in the stoneage soon, because no one will be able to turn on their light switches! This is quickly becoming a NATIONAL SECURITY issue that can NOT be overlooked.
We need to continue to develop solar, wind, and nuclear energy sources, be conservative, and DRILL HERE, and DRILL NOW.....

Posted by: semperfi1973 | June 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Deliberative analysis leads to stumbling paralysis. Presidential psychoanalysis?

Posted by: laloomis | June 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"......... the gulf oil spill won’t end until we find alternatives to our economic dependence on fossil fuels."

Not happening in your lifetime or mine. So, can we just take care of the problem --- i.e. that little old oil spill in the gulf....hmmmm?

Posted by: pjcafe | June 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

We have a litigator in the White House - his first move was to send down lawyers to start the lawsuits against BP - Leadership would have meant actually speaking to BP and setting out a Battle Plan to work two fronts - stopping the spill and limiting the damage.

We have a legislator in the White House - instead of meeting with BP; instead of accepting international offers of environmental help; we heard about the need for new legislation while they glossed over the fact that the present legislation did nothing to stop the abuse of the Mineral Dept and the Oil companies of those existing regulations....once again blaming it on a previous administration instead of accepting the blame for the 18 months he was the so called Leader.

We have a lecturer in the White House - instead of telling us HOW he's going to get those booms, berms and other methods of clean up clear of excessive regulation, he sets up another committee to study how we're going to accomplish the "restoration" of the gulf wet lands and we hear more litigation, more legislation, and a grand political push for higher taxes to force societal change WITH NO CLEAR DIRECTION about what that change will actually be.

We've spent 30 years on solar - its still not economical for the average household; we spent who knows how many years on wind - its still not feasible for consistent production of energy and requires an untold number of acreage; we've spent billions on ethanol and still can't use it in quantities of more than 10% in petrol.

Litigate, Legislate, and Lecture. But, no not Leadership. Not from this President.

Posted by: LMW6 | June 16, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"....... the gulf oil spill won’t end until we find alternatives to our economic dependence on fossil fuels."

Not in your lifetime, Mr. Ignatius, or mine. So, can we just concentrate, for the moment, on stopping the flow of oil in the gulf......hmmmmm?

Obama's "seizing the moment" is hogwash and less than satisfying when he has dismissed "seizing the moment" to confront / work together with BP from day one to deal with the disaster. Obama is just a hopeless politician.

Posted by: pjcafe | June 16, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse


"We are completely in the bag for Barry the incompetent boob Obama and been whitewashing Barry's three ring circus of blunders since Day One."

Your Editorial Staff.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 16, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I missed the glimmer. All that I heard was the sales job for Cap & Tax.

Posted by: mike85 | June 16, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

How do clowns like you get a job writing in a national paper?

Do you really believe Obama's energy policy will do anything but tank the economy further?

What's the plan? What's the outcome? Where will the money go that will be raised by the new taxes?

There's no plan except to screw the American people one more time.

You and Obama are both idiots.

Posted by: reddog62 | June 16, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Obama was right to say that we are drilling a mile deep in the gulf because we are exhausting, with our voracious energy appetite, safer sources on land or in shallow water. And he was especially right to say that the nightmare of the gulf oil spill won’t end until we find alternatives to our economic dependence on fossil fuels."

Obama may have been "right" to say this, but he is certainly not correct in saying it. He is right only in the sense that he correctly assumes that the American people are as ignorant of the facts as David Ignatius apparently is. It is precisely because exploration has been declared off-limits in vast areas of public land and in shallow water, that expensive and riskier deep water drilling is so prevalent. As for the projected time for the "nightmare" to end, the idea that alternatives to our dependence upon fossil fuels can be found in any reasonable length of time, if ever, is a pipe dream only entertained by fools.


Posted by: JamesCurrin | June 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

You all are fools. this oil spill has been set up through years of planning. There is an outisde force that has been planning the destabilization of America. Starting from 9/11 and on and even dating back further. There is a spill we need to plug but while we are so consumed with getting the oil plugged. No one is addressing the conditions that created this mess. The govt. does not specialize in deep water drilling. are they supposed to snap their fingers and use a magic plug? They have to defer to BP. I wouldn't be surprised if the Middles East's nuclear power is behind this as they have been behind 9/11, the Iraq war, the subprime mortgage mess, the Underwear Bomber, The Times Sqaure Fizzler, and a bunch of other things that have been put in motion to destablize our country. The American public will be Revolutionary mad if/when the truth about how much we are controlled and manipulated is revealed.

Posted by: mackmendoza | June 16, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

A glimmer of leadership ?

Obama got negative coverage EVEN from the Left.

The New York Times panned it... and the Obama-worshipping MSNBC guys were openly hostile.

I'm actually feeling sorry for poor Obama. The guy really is a hapless feckless man-child. It really sad.

Posted by: Petras123 | June 16, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Glimmer?
IGNATIUS' idea of leadership

is Peres of Israel...yelling at Turkey's
leader as he fled a 'seminar' that
Ignatius lead at the winter Davos meeting...

Ignatius wouldn't let anyone else speak but the Israeli leader, who was screaming, and cut it all off when other world leaders tried.

Posted by: whistling | June 16, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II.”


Ignatius, no one said that. Arsenal of democracy? Awaken the sleeping giant? Ring a bell? Go read your history books. Thats what you get when the white house recruits is idiot sppech writers from the student union.

Posted by: j751 | June 16, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II.”


Ignatius, no one said that. Arsenal of democracy? Awaken the sleeping giant? Ring a bell? Go read your history books. Thats what you get when the white house recruits is idiot sppech writers from the student union.

Posted by: j751 | June 16, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be nice to have a president with an ounce of empathy for working men and women. Here we have a disaster which he is slow to comprehend, and which he is even slower to find out what he can do about it. He may not be able to stop the flow, but he could have jump started the clean-up. And here he is with his pie-in-the-sky cap and trade crap, which will put more men and women out of work. True, this may create new industries and new jobs, but in the meantime how will people out of work feed themselves and their families...and retain self-respect, too. The Obama White House does not understand how badly millions of Americans need: jobs.

Posted by: sailhardy | June 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I love this liberal/enviroweenie trope that we have an "energy addiction". Excuse me, David, but any growing economy requires energy, and lots of it, to expand and to provide a higher standard of living for its people. It is energy which powers our economy, provides jobs, helps to make medicines etc. It's like saying we have an "addiction" to oxygen or something as inane as that...

Posted by: sladenyv1 | June 16, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

A glimmer ?

# Editors: Obama's speech was short on specifics. New York Times
# Maureen Dowd: Obama needs to drop the Michael Jordan act. New York Times
# Mike Littwin: Obama's speech safe, when we need fierce urgency on energy. Denver Post
# Editors: Obama is trying to link the Gulf gusher to his moribund green agenda. Wall Street Journal
# John Hinderaker: Obama's long nose. Power Line
# Byron York: If we can put a man on the moon, Mr. President, then why can't we stop the leak? Washington Examiner
# Roger Simon: Obama promises a brighter day. (Details to come.) Politico

Posted by: Petras123 | June 16, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What year was it? ... When this particular deep well tap was "hooked up"? What congress and administration? ... Cause and effect much? "Ya' get what ya' pay for
" sometimes I guess. ... To me, this situation puts "drill baby drill" in a whole new context.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | June 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Something weird is happening all over the world. Everyone is turning into Rush Limbaughs. No authority is recognized of any leader--church leaders, government leaders, company leaders. There's a real pattern here.

If no leader in the world is respected or deserves a following, who does the world turn to for leadership? I'm busy.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | June 16, 2010 9:13 AM

======================================

Respect is something you earn through your actions. That's why Obama is failing. Presidents who understood that, from FDR to JFK to Reagan have followings.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The Left's rejection of President Obama's speech last night was breathtaking in its scope.

from MSNBC:

Olbermann: "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days."

Matthews compared Obama to Carter.

Olbermann: "Nothing specific at all was said."

Matthews: "No direction."

Howard Fineman: "He wasn't specific enough."

Olbermann: "I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."

Howard Fineman: Obama should be acting like a "commander-in-chief."

Matthews: Ludicrous that he keeps saying [Secretary of Energy] Chu has a Nobel prize. "I'll barf if he does it one more time."

Matthews: "A lot of meritocracy, a lot of blue ribbon talk."

Matthews: "I don't sense executive command."

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones called it a "terrible speech."

Posted by: Petras123 | June 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that it has just not sunk in with the American people that this catastrophe is so massive that the minds and hands of man CANNOT get control of it.
We seem to be acting like this is some kind of television show where we require the "actors" to do a better job of "acting". If only they would "act" according to our need to DO SOMETHING and inspire us too, we cry.
Each of us, of course, knows exactly what we, ourselves, would decisively do should WE be granted the reins of power.
I think we are fooling ourselves if we think that ANY President or ANY Congressperson or ANY corporation is capable of saving the Gulf.
Who is going to replace the $65 billion a year in Louisiana?
Who is going to replace the tourists $60 billion in Florida?
This situation is too big for everyone but no one will admit it.
Therefore, we will take every opportunity to fight among ourselves.

Posted by: cms1 | June 16, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Deepwater was built in 2001 by South Korea. The administration at that time was Bush & co.

Drill baby drill now because it will all be gone in a few decades, and we need to screw our children BIG TIME before they put us in nursing homes.

The majority of postings here are filled with deliberate ignorance. Go out to the library, and LEARN.

It takes a minimum of 10 years and multimillions to drill ONE oil well on land.

It takes about 5-6 years, and not so many multi-millions of dollars to set up a wind farm.

We have spent 30 years on solar, in an environment that discouraged such research as being extravagant, and that preferred to research and implement fighter jet engines when we already had fighter jet engines.

And yet, in 2-3 years, there will be a SPRAY PAINT that is solar. right, no progress.

There are wind generators that are small enough to sit on top of a high rise that still generates sufficient energy to run that high rise.

But no. The right wing screwballs would rather whine than educate themselves. They would rather bellyache than stand up to the plate and do something. That would be too much like real work.

Posted by: taroya | June 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The word "Lead" in missing in his leadership. How many times is he going to tell us that Energy Secretary Steven Chu has a Nobel Prize. So what! Is that going to cap the pipe and stop the spill? It hasn't so far. The president continues to show the American public that he is an egotistical, intellectual elitist. The Gulf oil spill is nothing more than a distraction...an annoyance that interferes with his agenda. So my fellow Americans since he has a plan in place to deal with the spill...lets move on and get to his energey bill... which will cost you dearly in rate increases across the board. God Bless America!

Posted by: Bockscar | June 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I have the feeling we are about to relive Jimmy Carter. Besides oil comes Iran. This followed by Republican takeover in 2012. There must be some actor waiting to become president out there.

Posted by: artg | June 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh IT’S POLITICAL, IT’S POLITICAL, IT’S POLITICAL

Well duhhh, it’s political because the Republicans are against it.

Against what? . . . . . Against clean sustainable energy.

Let’s see: . . First, President Jimmy Carter put us on the road for fuel efficiency and clean sustainable energy. Then Republican hero, Ronald Reagan, guts Carter’s programs. From then on, all we’ve heard from Republicans is, “The Free-Market is our god. Our god will take care of us.”

And what has the Republican god given us? . . The most terrible environmental crisis in American history.

I heard a Republican on CNN tonight. She kept saying Republicans are for all that. . . ? . . Well gee, if Republicans are for all that, why is it a political issue? . . Easy, because Republicans are against it.

No wonder they don’t want to talk about it – don’t pay attention to that man behind the curtain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heck, just point to a bill or resolution that the Republicans have put forth or supported that would bring us clean sustainable energy? . . There are none.

Obama didn’t say anything that a reasonable, logical, sensible man wouldn’t say about dealing with these circumstances.

Posted by: Here2day | June 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The American people have 20 Billion reasons to thank President Obama for his quick action in the gulf oil leak disaster.
No other president has ever gotten an internantional company to set aside such a large amount of funds for damage claims. Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43, should have made Exxon pay it's fair share for the spill in Alaska, but they never did.
For those who want to knock the President, please realize that we do not have the equipment the expertise or the training to cap this well.That is the responsibility of British Petroleum. But we do have a response for the cleanup underway and $20,000,000,000.00 billion in the bank to help restore the region and help those affected make it through.
Thank you President Obama, for again showing that tough words do not take the place of real action. In other words cash talks and b.s. walks.

Posted by: challuch | June 16, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

President Obama's address last night reminded me of this story:

A week before election day two old Vermont farmers show up at the town hall to hear the candidates make their pitch.

At the podium a candidate is holding forth at length and in full oratorical mode as to why he deserves the audience's votes.

One farmer leans over and whispers to the other, "What's he talkin' about?".

"He don't say" was the reply.

Posted by: norriehoyt | June 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Barach Obama - A man lost in his own Audacity.

Posted by: jimkearney19761 | June 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The Left's rejection of President Obama's speech last night was breathtaking in its scope....

Posted by: Petras123 | June 16, 2010 12:44 PM

__________________________________________

Please understand that democrats and progressives are allowed to disagree.

Posted by: challuch | June 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Barach Obama - A man lost in his own Audacity.

Posted by: jimkearney19761 | June 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

About 3,500 acres of southern Arizona have been closed off to U.S. citizens due to increased violence at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The closed off area includes part of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge that stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The refuge had been adversely affected by the increase in drug smugglers, illegal activity and surveillance, which made it dangerous for Americans to visit.

"The situation in this zone has reached a point where continued public use of the area is not prudent," said refuge manager Mitch Ellis.

“It’s literally out of control,” said Babeu. “We stood with Senator McCain and literally demanded support for 3,000 soldiers to be deployed to Arizona to get this under control and finally secure our border with Mexico. “

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have warned visitors in Arizona to beware of heavily armed drug smugglers and human traffickers.

“We need support from the federal government. It’s their job to secure the border and they haven’t done it,” said Babeu. “In fact, President Obama suspended the construction of the fence and it’s just simply outrageous.”

Signs have been posted warning Americans not to cross into the closed off territory south of Interstate 8. Babeu said the signs are not enough – he said Arizona needs more resources to help scale back the violence caused by the drug cartels.

“We need action. It’s shameful that we, as the most powerful nation on Earth, … can’t even secure our own border and protect our own families.”

Posted by: corebanks1940 | June 16, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the wingnuts are all over this one. You can feel the hatred and insanity dripping off the screen. I guess to these people a presidency should be judged like an episode of American idol. Do they get that one on Fox?

Posted by: gposner | June 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

it

takes a minimum of 10 years and multimillions to drill ONE oil well on land.

It takes about 5-6 years, and not so many multi-millions of dollars to set up a wind farm.

We have spent 30 years on solar, in an environment that discouraged such research as being extravagant, and that preferred to research and implement fighter jet engines when we already had fighter jet engines.

And yet, in 2-3 years, there will be a SPRAY PAINT that is solar. right, no progress.

There are wind generators that are small enough to sit on top of a high rise that still generates sufficient energy to run that high rise.

But no. The right wing screwballs would rather whine than educate themselves. They would rather bellyache than stand up to the plate and do something. That would be too much like real work.


Posted by: taroya |

Where the heck do you get your stats? Nobody wants a wind farm in their back yard, Even the Liberal Lion, Dead Ted Kennedy didnt want one to block his nice scenic view of cape cod.

And in order to keep that highrise running,you also need them in areas that have a constant source of wind at least 10 mph per hour, year round. That doesnt happen anywhere except liberal lala land. They can only be set up in certain areas, not always near the areas that need the electricity. They take up a lot of land and still require a back up source to provide energy during calms.

It costs a boatload more money to put up a windmill farm than it does to drill onshore, where according to all the reports, we have over 200 years supply of oil, if the tree huggers would just shut up and let the oil companies drill.

You are the one that needs an education, not the greedy right wing oil barons that want to drill on land.

Posted by: Yeahright2 | June 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If we want to end our addiction to oil, we're going to have to stop using it to send our military forces halfway around the world to fight civil wars that have nothing to do with national security in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda isn't in either country.

Bring all our troops home and you'll cut our oil consumption dramatically.

Posted by: WillSeattle | June 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Unhappily, we need a president with some understanding of the needs of millions of working class Americans. We don't have one now. The cap and trade nonsense is proof of that. Yes, of course, we need a sensible energy policy, but that isn't it. For one thing, in company with Obamacare, it will kill lots of private businesses precisely at a time when they are needed most. Obama may argue that greening America will create jobs, and it may, but when? In the meantime, those responsible for providing for their families are wilting. There are many responsible things government can do to conserve energy, and to promote nuclear, wind and solar initiatives. Cap and trade will enrich Al Gore. Will it help anyone else? For once, will the President think of American people first?

Posted by: sailhardy | June 16, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't a glimmer of leadership.

It was an oncoming train.

Posted by: jrsnotary | June 16, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't a glimmer of leadership.

It was the light from an oncoming train.

Posted by: jrsnotary | June 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

" This visibly graying man has been working at the hardest job on the planet ".Are you sure, Mr.Ignatius ,that the job is really the hardest?How about the job of the CEO of BP or that of a U.S soldier in Afghanistan ?

Posted by: vismorge | June 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse


A glimmer of leadership?

In your dreams!

Even MSNBC trashed Obama's so-called speech. Even Chris Matthews (who once felt a tingle up his leg when the great one spoke) said: "I don't sense executive command."

But, you see a glimmer of leadership?

HA!

Posted by: FredChatard | June 16, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Some real jackholes out there...
People say the Prez is over his head.
How many people in this world have experience running a government responsible for 300 million folks except ex- presidents?
If you are not an ex-president then your opinion is based on the same thing you sit on.
Or have the experience to work on multiple complex concurrently?
No one is above criticism but to idiotically claim that this man is an 'empty suit' or dumb is more a reflection of your ignorance and inadequacy than it is his.

Posted by: priceisright | June 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I see a bunch of people looking to take out their frustration by dumping on the president for anything and everything. They're clearly not interested in reason, evidence, or argument.

So I'll simply say, Good Luck, Mr. President. Out hopes are with you and with this nation; may we not fail to rise to the challenges before us.

Posted by: j3hess | June 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't comment on President Obama's appearance, image or presentation, since the things that impress me tend not to register with other people and vice versa.

He's clearly struggled with this crisis, for two main reasons. First, the worst mistakes the government made were made before the Deepwater Horizon blew up. A lot of that was the product of the last administration (and to some extent the one before that), but Obama came to office talking of reform and new beginnings without directing urgency in all the places that needed it. Minerals Management Service was clearly one of them, and most of Obama's problem now is that nothing can be done about the oversight failures that helped produce this disaster.

The second reason Obama has struggled is the way he's set up his administration. He has a lot of talented people at the table, which he deserves credit for. The problem is, they're all at the table all at the same time. Obama places a premium on keeping everyone happy, making sure everyone's voice is heard, and also making sure everyone is looking over his shoulder and prepared at all times to defend the appearance that Obama administration decisions come from Obama personally.

This approach does work with respect to some subjects, but an unprecedented, rapidly developing crisis -- and every administration has at least one in its first couple of years -- is not one of them. A large, multi-faceted government response requires people with unquestioned authority to impose cooperation on multiple government departments, and Obama's executive style resists delegating that kind of authority. He wound up with Adm. Allen in charge of the government's role in the effort to shut down the gushing well more or less by default, and the clean-up, shore prevention and damage assessment has been halting and badly coordinated. Since the White House insists on Obama being seen to be at the center of everything, he's naturally taking the blame for all the things going wrong now.

Make no mistake (to use a favorite Obama phrase): the Deepwater Horizon blowout would have been a major environmental disaster regardless of who was in the White House. It would be a major disaster even if Obama had done everything right after the rig blew up. Sometimes the best thing a President can do from the standpoint of public image is not worry as much about public image as Obama's White House does. The substance of a response to something like the Gulf spill is hard enough.

Posted by: jbritt3 | June 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama misleads. He promised to do everything he can to help in the Gulf.

The US Navy rules the seas. He can order the Navy into the Gulf to help. He has not. Why?

Obama could ask for help from foreign governments, who have offered to help.

Obama has not done this. Why not? Obama said he would do everything he can,

But again he misleads.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | June 16, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

'.. President Obama, tends to look at things rationally, and avoids the knee-jerk bombast of the media. After reading the list of comments thus far, I have to wonder if we are any longer a governable nation. Aggressive ignorance and anger seem to be our social default settings.'
Posted by: RSWells

Bravo, well put.
and sad...

Posted by: mloaks | June 16, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Quote: "Given all the idiotic advice President Obama has gotten about what to do about the BP oil spill, I thought his Oval Office address Tuesday night had it about right."

You're the only one, dude. Time to question your judgment.

Posted by: BadNews | June 16, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

It was a glaring mistake to bring up the lustfull progressive dream of cap and trade in a speech intended to reassure the public. The subject is not President Obama and the impression he makes but what he intends to do and we still do not know. It is as if someone is wispering in his ear even at this critical late stage to just let BP handle it.

Posted by: almorganiv | June 16, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

This is minor but-- to the earlier poster and all those who keep carping that Obama uses a teleprompter: what do you think George Bush and every other president in modern times uses (and SHOULD use). Also, compare Obama when he is speaking off the cuff -- at that Republican conference that was televised a few months ago, for example -- and George Bush speaking off the cuff (and i acknowledge that on non-serious subjects Bush has a folksy charm). On serious matters, where there is no teleprompter and no notes, there is simply no comparison. This issue must have been spread by some republican talking points or something...and those who don't like Obama just eat it up and ignorantly keep repeating it like he's the only president who's used a teleprompter....

Posted by: Nancy26 | June 16, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, if it can't be fixed with the pull of a trigger or the push of a button, most people in this nation of Mayfly memories just get frustrated and angry.

Why can't good governance be like ordering a pizza from Dominoes? Why can't this complex mess be fixed within my attention span? Who's on Dancing with the Stars tonight?

Posted by: blackmask | June 16, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, if it can't be fixed with the pull of a trigger or the push of a button, most people in this nation of Mayfly memories just get frustrated and angry.

Why can't good governance be like ordering a pizza from Dominoes? Why can't this complex mess be fixed within my attention span? Who's on Dancing with the Stars tonight?

Posted by: blackmask | June 16, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is strange to most of you because he is comfortable in his own skin. He does not feel he has to impress you and take credit he just gets the job done. He did it with healthcare, GM bankruptcy and a hosts of other things and now BP...People asked WHY hasn't he talked to the Head of BP yet...as though anyone talked to the head of EXXON after the Valdez disaster. Well, small people and small minded columnists, the man works off of his plan. I know many of you will hate him to your dying days, but he will neither know it, or care and your lives will remain just as miserable and he will do just fine.

Posted by: october30 | June 16, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is strange to most of you because he is comfortable in his own skin. He does not feel he has to impress you and take credit he just gets the job done. He did it with healthcare, GM bankruptcy and a hosts of other things and now BP...People asked WHY hasn't he talked to the Head of BP yet...as though anyone talked to the head of EXXON after the Valdez disaster. Well, small people and small minded columnists, the man works off of his plan. I know many of you will hate him to your dying days, but he will neither know it, or care and your lives will remain just as miserable and he will do just fine.

Posted by: october30 | June 16, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The simple fact is that he did not answer any number of outstanding questions, among them why the aid of other countries, this government, private sources has not been accepted, despite the fact that there is abundant evidence, now, that it would be useful.

Until I hear those answers, in lieu of, "I've asked BP the same thing," I will not be satisfied. And, I'm not happy that it is taking so long.

I don't want good speech. I want answers.

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | June 16, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I think Ignatius is far too easy to please. Seriously doubt the people in the Gulf who have no income for the year and whose homeland is being destroyed are nearly as pleased.

What was there to be pleased about except the call on BP for the set-aside? A call to arms when the President has had the power to do that all along and has miserably failed to do so? The 3-point plan that is vague as a nebula on the other side of the universe? Suggestions that we all kick in to end our energy addiction with absolutely nothing specific as to how or what he want us to do?

How many of these things are going to keep one gallon of oil out of a marsh?

What we want him to do is make the federal bureaucracy move - cut through the red tape, put somebody in charge who can override the naysayers and get things done, see that the right resources are put into action right now in the right way in the right places.

What do we get? Another commission. A history review. Pie-in-the-sky plans. Excuses. And a call to prayer. Looks like that's the only chance we have. Prayer certainly will work as well as anything we've seen Obama do. Maybe better. The Good Lord is far more likely to be listening to the people than Obama is.

Posted by: bjwtaylor | June 16, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

To all of you hate-sayers and nay-sayers: only one President has spoken as boldly on this issue as Obama and he is the most reviled in modern history. Yes, more so than St. Jack who slept through the Bay of Pigs and lacked the courage for civil rights legislation, more than Lyndon whose Dubyaesque lie on the Gulf of Tonkin killed many 10s of thousands and ruined countless lives, or Gerald (thanks only for Chevy Chase's mercifully brief career) or St. Ronald who bankrupted the nation, or Papa Bush, who dared to be honest, or blow-job Bill, or even Dubya, who competes with only Andy (the original redneck) Jackson as the most destructive president in our history.

Yeah - you get it, Jimmy Carter, who gave the same message 33 years ago. He and spoke sensible truth then - and was reviled for it. Obama is right now and is reviled for it. Maybe we should look to our own greed and say: "Maybe, just maybe, we should move on the alternatives- aggressively".

GROW UP AMERICA AND LOOK AT THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR OWN ACTIONS - and that means each and every one of you, progressive, moderate, paleo-conservative, neo-conservative, brain-damaged tea party twerp, whatever. NONE of us who live on the grid are guilt free!

Simple regulatory solution: ban any personal use vehicle weighing more than 2500 pounds and having less than 35 mph EPA highway mileage - better yet, simply tax any such vehicle $10k/yr - double for Hummers and Rovers as an UGLY penalty!

Posted by: fr3dmars | June 16, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The posts here reflect the usual suspects:
* The ones who expect Obama to wave a magic wand and make everything great.
* The ones that would find fault with Obama no matter what he does.
* The far right FOX , Hannity, Rush listeners that just hate Obama and use the opportunity like this to post negative comments.

It's a sad commentary on the state of our nation that we have come to this mindless set of posts.

Posted by: trottime1 | June 16, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

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