Obama: Right speech, wrong time?

The only thing that history will remember about President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation tonight is the date.  Obama has called the oil spill his 9-11.  If so he is offering the nation too little, too late.  The oil spill happened on April 20, 2010.  He finally got around to addressing the nation on June 15, 2010.  Nothing he says or does now can erase that delay.  It is fixed in history.

Remember 9-11?  George Bush was criticized for getting spooked by the Secret Service who had him flying around in the air for hours to stay safe.  Eventually the president awakened from his lethargy, assumed his role of leadership, told the well intentioned Secret Service to stuff it, and flew back to the dangerous White House where he addressed the nation from the Oval Office.  It took hours for him to take charge, not weeks.

On December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation the next day.

Although very late, many observers expected President Obama to strike a lofty theme that would transcend the crisis.  He would appeal to the nation to strive for energy independence.  It would be compared to John Kennedy’s call to land a man on the moon in one decade.   Instead Obama seized on the crisis to pass another piece of his favored liberal agenda, his cap and trade plans.  It is seen by many as a repeat of the bait and switch of the Stimulus Package.  Obama had been elected to office, partially to resolve the mortgage crisis.  But his Stimulus Package raided the Treasury for key constituencies and promoted favored liberal programs while not addressing even the easy fixes for thousands of suffering homeowners.

Obama’s speech talked about “windmills, insulated windows for homes, gas efficient cars” and then his voice trailed off as he mumbled some other vague reference to energy technology.   None of the stated programs will solve the energy crisis.  Unfortunately none of them will even make a dent.  And of course, none of them will do a thing for the oil spill in the Gulf.   Now, they are nice pay offs to industries and corporations who have helped finance his campaign.  And his cap and tax will punish those who didn’t.

Obama’s speech is not much different from what he promised in the presidential campaign.  If you are a liberal and you believe in higher taxes and you do not fear the transfer of wealth to the Middle East and you want higher prices for gasoline, at European levels as he once said, then you can applaud his speech.  But you surely cannot applaud his timing.

The President’s strength is his calm, phlegmatic approach to a problem.  It is a contrast to the blustering, decisive but impetuous nature of his predecessor.  But our strengths can sometimes be our weaknesses.  And this issue, this time has demanded decisiveness and leadership.  And it still doesn’t have it.


Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

2 thoughts on “Obama: Right speech, wrong time?

  1. Didn’t see the speech but now that I think about it, he really hasn’t done much more than complain and point fingers so far. He even took a few weeks to do that.

    What can you expect from a community organizer and one term senator 🙂

  2. I think this is a great blog. Obama sat on this for almost 50 days and then wants to convince the American people He is a president who is quick to act in crisis?! He is not convincing me he has any leadership skills at all. Infact, my misgivings about him only grow the longer he is in office.
    The oil spill crisis only gets worse and he promises to “kick someone’s ass”, and then take all their money? This must be Chicago politics, because I have never heard of it being done that way around Washington, DC while I have lived here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: