Feedback Loop: President Obama's Speech on the Oil Spill

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 10:32 AM

US President Barack Obama (L) talks to retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, National Incident Commander, during a meeting with cabinet members to discuss the administration's response to oil spill. U.S. President Barack Obama talks to retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, National Incident Commander, during a meeting with cabinet members to discuss the administration's response to oil spill. (Getty Images)

Last night the nation watched as President Obama used his first prime-time Oval Office speech in 17 months to address the BP oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. While the president promised a "national mission" to move away from fossil fuels toward a new renewable energy economy, he also emphasized that there will be a long term relief plan in place to help Gulf coast states which have been environmentally and economically ravaged by the oil spill. “The one approach I will not accept is inaction," President Obama pledged. "The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is too big and too difficult to meet.”

The question this morning from the Gulf to the Beltway is, did President Obama's speech do enough to allay the concerns of a distressed nation? Takeaway listeners had a few things to say about the issue.

Neal Klein from Florida took issue when he heard our host, John Hockenberry use the term, "great vision" to describe Obama's plans for moving the nation to renewable energy.  He posted this comment to our website:

"You repeat over and over that the president described a great vision in his speech. What great vision? It's an oft-repeated wish to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. A plan to get there is what we need. In 18 minutes of speaking, where was the great vision, John?"

S.E. Neef also had a semantical problem with today's show, albeit of quite a different nature:

"Use of the term 'oil SPILL' continues to anger me. It is NOT a 'spill' that may simply be mopped up. Is is, in the strike-it-rich vernacular, a GUSHER!! It is an ONGOING FLOW."

Bob from Brooklyn texted us with this simple message:

"Never heard such a unconvincing speech from this president."

And Ruth sent this text with what she thinks the president should do:

"'Carpe diem' - seize this moment to encourage better cleaner sustainable and less hazardous energy sources."

We asked our Facebook fans if their minds were changed by the president's address.  Here's what some of them had to say:

Melissa Mengden Bunker: "Wondering now more than ever- who is in charge?"

Kate Robinson: "This is not our government's fault. The only "sting" I can put on our government is why didn't OSHA audit BP for a contingency plan? Lets' face it folks....BP NEVER had a plan and they are to blame."

Brien Rourke: "I like the guy, voted for him, but was always guarded in my optimism... Obama is no less a pawn in a hideously corrupt system than is any other elected official. He's behaving just like folks are 'sposed to when they've been paid hush money. Heck, he even behaved like a paid flack, advocating for the safety of offshore drilling. He breaks my heart a little bit more with each passing day."

Marla Persaud Farrington: "Sorry, but praying isn't going to fix this. Not one of Obama's better speeches, I think."

Richard H. King: "Mr. Obama is a disappointment. None of this is in any way the president's job any more than it was Bush's job to evacuate hurricane victims. I don't want a prez to be my daddy."

And, to end on a lighter note, Jim Thompson wrote this on Facebook: "The President did alright. Even though I know an Oval Office speech is a sacrosanct event, wouldn't you have liked to see him borrow a line from 'South Park' and say to BP 'YOU BASTARDS!'?"

What did you takeaway from the president's speech? Are you satisfied with his performance on the oil spill? As always, you can keep this conversation going. Leave a comment on any of the stories you’ve heard, call in to 877-8-MY-TAKE, check out our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, and text us by sending TAKE to 69866.


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