The question has been focused on his performance in his first televised speech from the Oval Office. It should be on his ability to take charge of the environmental disaster that prompted the address.
In this media-saturated culture, everything produces an instant response. Funny thing is, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history did not get a measurable response from the Commander-in-Chief for far too long. The media that thrives on instant communication noticed. Finally.
While he got away with the finessed semblence of leadership for far too long in his campaign and presidency, Obama is more exposed than ever now that he can’t deliver what even his liberal base and media admirers believed in…real leadership.
Even with the gravity of the Oval Office address, the media couldn’t prop him up. In their own words:
Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Howard Fineman react to President Obama’s Oval Office Address on the oil spill. Here are the highlights of what the trio said:
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.”
One wonders if they can take their new found instincts to deeper levels. We have many urgent issues of domestic and foreign policy to be handled in that Oval Office. The ‘Eureka’ moment comes not second too soon.